One of the best things about running a long race? I can eat! I can eat things that I can’t eat all that often! You do have to be careful, though — try to get your carb loading in by just increasing the percentage of carbs you eat in the days leading up to your race, rather than eating a whole bunch of carbs the night before.
Carb baby, anyone? That time you look like you’re pregnant because you ate too many carbs and are bloated. It’s not fun to race feeling that way!
Hands down my favorite pre/post long run, race, anytime meal. You got your carbs (from easily digestible white rice), your protein from fatty fish (in my case, anyway, I looooooove salmon), and sometimes a little bit of healthy fat from avocado.
Go easy on the sauces. I have to admit I love the spicy mayo, but I try to stick to relatively plain rolls before a race. Unless I don’t.
And don’t forget the sweet potato roll!
I love pizza, but seriously, unless I can eat like 3 pieces, it just doesn’t satisfy. Stromboli, on the other hand — this is my second choice for pre/post long run/race. I usually go with veggie. I know common wisdom has you decreasing the amount of veggies you eat before long runs/races, but I find I just do better if I continue to include them.
I’m used to that, though, so do what works for you.
I’ve been known to freeze a stromboli and travel with it when the ride isn’t too long!
I can’t often get these on the road, but boy, I love me some pierogis before a long run/race. Again, carbs, protein — I pan fry them in some butter. I could do this every week.
I had scoped out a pierogi restaurant for after the Heartbreak Hill race, on our way to Cape Cod. The savory ones were a little disappointing (kind of like the race, but that was just because of the heatwave), but oh my! The dessert pierogis.
I still have dreams about those . . .
Sandwich with sweet potato fries
Sometimes the pickings are really slim. Some of my races in New England have been off season and often many of the restaurants have been closed.
I don’t eat sandwiches a lot; I don’t find them satisfying, often, or kind to my waistline, but they’ll do in a pinch. Especially when paired with sweet potato fries.
In a pinch, I have gone with gnocchi. Sometimes gnocchi with a salad, or maybe some sort of protein. I’m not sure I’ve ever done it before a race, but I do know I’ve done it before long runs. I skip the tomato sauce — as much as I love tomatoes, I’m not always a big fan of sauces (I don’t use soy sauce on my sushi, for instance, or put tomato sauce on my stromboli).
If all else fails, I’ll get some sort of protein (fish, chicken, steak), veggies or salad, a baked potato and some bread or better yet garlic bread. But it’s definitely not my preference.
You’ll notice pasta isn’t anywhere on my list. It’s not that I don’t like pasta, of course I do — who doesn’t? It’s just that I don’t find pasta to be terribly filling, which means I tend to eat too much of it, and then we’re back in that carb baby situation.
I also want to give a shout out to Kerry, who will be rocking her first marathon Sunday. Run, Kerry, Run!
What’s your go-to prerace meal?
Any unusual ways to carb load?