Actually, maybe my most important fueling takes place the two days before the run. If my long run or race is on Saturday, I'll really load up with as many good calories as possible on Thursday. I'll basically stuff myself with as much food as possible. Then on Friday, I try to eat fairly normally, with the exception of adding a few more carbs, typically in the form of steel cut oats or gluten free crackers. Also on Friday, especially this time of year when maintaining fluids and electrolytes is imperative, I'll typically take in more water and potassium than normal. On Friday's I'll drink a ton of water, eat an extra banana or two, and lately I've been really into coconut water, which is increasing in popularity and becoming easier to find in grocery stores. My favorite pre-long run or race dinner is chicken, rice, and broccoli, with extra virgin olive oil and salt. I eat it before most of my long runs, and the night before a race if I can find it. Then it's off to bed to get plenty of rest for the run the next day.
|Typical pre-long run and race calorie intake the morning of the run|
After that, I'll eat about a 1/2 cup of steel cut oats and some blue berries. I literally eat the oats raw, without cooking them ... don't ask, it's just what I do. Next, I might drink about 8oz of coconut water, and have an all natural energy bar like a Bear Naked Peanut Butter Energy Bar. I try to wrap up any food intake a minimum of an hour before the run.
Then the critical timing comes into play. Exactly a half hour before my run, I'll take two 70ml Beet It Sport concentrated beet juice shots. I'm a huge believer in the effects of beet juice on your body, and have began including it as part of my long run regimen. You can read about it here. Then about 10 minutes before I stand at the starting line, or walk out the front door for my run, while I'm stretching, I'll take a GU Roctane Island Nectar gel with 8oz of water. On race day, I'll typically mix in some sprints or light running during this time-frame depending on the event ... but then it's game on!
|Race and long run combination that I've used for a couple of years now|
During a long training run, I'll normally just use water at the stops. But in a race, I might mix in Gatorade every third water stop, or so. But I've learned that too much Gatorade, combined with gels, can be an overload of sugar on my stomach, and ruin the final miles of a race. Also, at some races there will be half bananas or orange slices along the course. I will ALWAYS take fruit along the course if they're handing it out, mostly for the added calories and electrolytes.
So that's my pre-long run and race routine. I'm always trying to perfect it, but this combination has worked pretty well for me for a while now. However I'm always open to suggestions, so please feel free to share. Hope your training's going well - have a great week!
... be great today!