Hi friends! I’ve been getting some questions lately about pre-race fuel in terms of what to eat the night before a race, so I thought I’d share what I had the night before the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC half marathon on Saturday. Remember, though, that what works for me might not necessarily work for you. 🙂
Some tips for your meal the night before a race:
- Incorporate both protein (meat, beans, fish, etc.) + carbs (a grain or starchy vegetable like potato) to adequately fuel you up.
- Don’t have anything too crazy high in fiber (aka mass quantities of raw veggies) or anything too greasy/heavy.
- Don’t eat anything out of the ordinary. Never had Indian before? This is probably not the best time to give it a shot.
- Lay off the booze. It can dehydrate you and lead to GI issues, too.
Here’s what I had on Friday night: pasta with a tomato-y meat sauce and veggies.
I generally stick with pasta the night before a race, although I have had success with quinoa + salmon in the past.
In terms of the pasta, I like to mix it up, sometimes doing whole wheat, sometimes a brown rice or alternative grain, and sometimes rocking quinoa pasta (it’s quinoa + corn), like I did on Friday.
For my protein, I again like to mix it up, but generally I go for either ground beef or turkey, chicken, or salmon the night before a race. On Friday, I went with ground beef. Tip: buy grass feed, organic beef. Several studies have shown that the nutrient content of pasture-raised animal products is superior to that of grain-fed animal products – not only do they have higher levels of vitamins and other micronutrients, but they also have a more favorable fatty acid profile, with higher amounts of omega-3. Grain feeding animals has been shown to deplete their omega-3 levels.
On the veggie front, I chopped up some peppers and mushrooms and sautéed them in a pan with some oil, garlic, and a small handful of kale.
Once the meat was fully cooked (I browned it in a separate pan), I added it to the now softened veggies.
Then, I poured in some jarred marinara sauce.
Once the pasta was ready, dinner was served! Hit. The. Spot. And fueled me up well, too!
What’s your go-to night before a race or big run meal?