Since I ran a local event at the weekend – The Gosport Golden Mile and 5k – I thought that documenting what I ate and drunk the day before could be useful for me in the future. It is always said that hydration and the “right” kind of carbohydrates are a priority along with carbo-loading a couple of days before and eating super fresh. I am particularly careful the day before because it can have a massive effect on race day. Hydration and carbohydrates are my number one best friend on Event Eve but I do think it’s trial and error for everyone and different meals, snacks and drinks work for different bodies.
Since I am no expert on nutrition/running-related nutrition, every time I have an event, I research advice on what to eat and drink around the event, and there’s plenty of advice out there. It can be confusing and leave you feeling lost because it doesn’t all match up, but with a bit of patience I think anyone can find out what works for them.
Left, right and centre I hear about carbo-loading in the days leading up to the race but not on the day before (it could lead to digestive issues). However so many recommend pasta the night before. Don’t massively change your diet- it’ll confuse your body. Yet, you have to be healthy. Yes, drink water: but not too much. Then there’s the issue of fibre.
It’s easy to see why I’m never really sure what’s for the best. Considering all of this and knowing I had a busy day on Event Eve, it brought a simple day-before-the-race of eating that didn’t follow all of the “rules” and yet I felt good on Event Day.
I try most days to wake up to water. On Saturday I drunk warm water with lemon in order to wake my body up (Advice #1: paper straws don’t work in warm water; advice #2: surprisingly, glass gets hot, ouch). Throughout the day I drunk about one litre of tap water and then three green teas to make up a bit more of the recommended water we should have every day (commonly thought of as two litres). I had one small carton of orange juice and a glass of milk (to make my bones grow stronger-er).
For breakfast I ate poached egg (not the most appetising poached egg) on (wholemeal) toast with asparagus along with one of the green teas. Recipes often tell you to put table salt in the boiled water before you add the asparagus but I used pink Himalayan salts instead!
For a snack between ten and eleven I ate raspberries and blueberries and then at lunch time I ate tuna (whole weat) pasta with cucumber and tomatoes. I’ll explain why I won’t be having pasta for dinner later (a lot of people do when it comes to running events) but I had a little left over pasta made from the night before and so I used that up!
This is the first and last time I will be holding frozen grapes in my hand- handfreeze is not fun. I ate frozen grapes as a snack; they are one of my absolutely favourite things to eat. They are super easy to make and particularly nice during summer when it’s a bit warmer.
When it comes to the night before a lot of people have a big bowl of pasta in order to carbo-load. I actually often do this but I have read up a lot about it recently and stumbled across this Runner’s World article (very useful!). Ultimately it tells us that we should eat whatever we would normally eat before the kind of race we are running the next day. Since the race consisted of just over four miles and I wouldn’t normally eat pasta the night before this kind of distance, I ate chicken breast with lots of sweet potato and (slightly buttered) cabbage!
Finally, throughout the evening I snacked on a slightly funky looking avocado, my favourite Nakd bar, jelly and an apple while I watched Harvey Specter and Mike Ross do their thang!
~ Kat ~