Friday, November 17, 2006

Pre Race Nutrition

Pre-Face: I am not a nutritionist of any kind. So take this advice with a grain of salt. Actually salt ain't that great for you, take it with a nice salad.

Is pre-race nutrition actually important? Yes, but it really varies from person to person. I'll tell you what works well for me. The most important thing is to experiment with what you eat otherwise you may never find what works for you.

THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE is when I start thinking about what I should be eating for the next day of competition. ( Another key factor that has nothing to do with this article is sleep. I find that sleep the night before the day before a race is most critical. For a Saturday race, that would be Thursday night's sleep.) So what do I eat? I am a carb-monster, and I am not very fond of any lactose the day before races. Mornings, I drinks some coffee, and usually a bagel. Nothing too complicated. As a snack I'll have some nuts. Lunch, I usually have a sandwhich or pizza. (I usually get pizza that lacks cheese.) Dinner is when I get really concerned about what I eat. Everything before dinner probably doesn't affect my race too much unless I eat complete crap. Avoid fast food at all costs.

So dinner I cook the night before race is almost always penne past with chicken strips and a few slices of wheat bread. I have an apple a few hours after. I also drink a lot of water.

Now I know what your thinking, "This guy takes this cross shit seriously!" Well, I do, but I'm also a realist. I have strayed from this many a time. I like to think I have a social life. I have had beers the night before a cross race. In fact one my best races this season, I went to Monk's Cafe the night before and had several belgium beers and some mussels. But I knew the day before so I tried to compensate for what I felt was a poor pre-race dinner.

Now the morning of the race is fairly simple. Have a normal breakfast. For myself that entails, a cup of coffee, a glass of "Emergan C" and a bagel. During the drive to the race, I eat a cliff bar the hour before the gun will go off. I also sip gatoraide and water up untill the gun goes off. That is it. There is no need for a water bottle during a cross race, so don't bother putting a bottle cage on your bike!!!

I know some people eat energy gels 10 minutes before the race. This probably a great idea. I have not experimented with this. If you choose to be sure to drink 5 oz of water with it or else you may very well get sick to your stomach during the first lap of the race.

1 comment:

Ravi said...

I wont bother asking about your post-race nutrition!