Fueling for Race Morning

With early wake up calls where your stomach isn’t quite awake yet to major butterflies wreaking havoc and a digestive system working overtime, eating before an early race can be as difficult as the race itself. But getting that prerace meal in is essential to making sure you have the fuel to get through your race. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re choosing your race morning breakfast!

Choose wisely

Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy for high intensity activity. You don’t need to overload your carb stores, and you don’t want to het yourself into a sugar crash situation, so it is essential that you choose your pre race meal wisely. For shorter races, sprint to Olympic distance, your prerace meal should be 150—300 calories. It should be high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat. Unlike most days in life, race day is when processed carbohydrates can be your friend. A piece of toast or a banana with a table spoon of Peanut Butter, some oatmeal with dried fruit, or a high carb energy bar are good options. Be sure to practice with your option well before race day to ward off any surprises.

Move your normal routine to your race routine

Racing is not for the late sleeper, and with most start guns going off before 8am, your need to adjust your schedule to be an early bird. Switching to having breakfast within 30 minutes of waking will not only boost your metabolism, but it will prime your body for morning workouts, which help your body learn to perform well early in the day (and thus, at race time). Teaching your body to wake up early, crave food, and perform will make race morning a less jolting experience.

Make it portable

Even though I tend to be an early riser and eater, I am still thrown off by a 4am wakeup call for a 6am race. I like to sleep as close to my normal time as possible, so I’ve learned to multitask by taking my coffee and breakfast with me in the car on the way to the race. The night before I make my breakfast (a piece of white bread with peanut butter and half a banana) and put it in the fridge next to my filled water bottle. I put my travel coffee mug next to the Keurig so I don’t have to fumble about. Having everything ready to grab and go allows me those extra five minutes of precious sleep, and I find that driving the car keeps me distracted from my butterflies, and so munching on my breakfast is easier to do.


What’s your favorite race day breakfast? Comment below!

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