Pre-Race Fueling: Live and Learn (and Laugh)

Alternate post title: Not All Intelligent People Have Common Sense. 😉

You might find this hard to believe because of the crazy recipes you see here on the blog, but with the exception of nightly ice cream, I eat a mostly “whole foods” diet… Lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and non-meat sources of protein (dairy, eggs, beans, nuts/nut butters) are my daily staples.  When I do eat refined carbs, they’re typically in snacky form (pretzels, animal crackers) rather than white bread, pasta, etc.

So for some reason (and I really have no idea why…) over the past five months I’ve gotten it in my head that in the 2-3 days leading up to bigger races, I have to wipe all fiber, protein and fat out of my diet and replace it all with lots of refined carbs.  Basically, I was convinced that stuffing myself with plain bagels for 72 hours was a plan for success.  Doing a complete 180 on your usual diet is an awesome idea, right? 🙂

Now, I realize more than diet could be causing the stomach cramping issues I’ve had at NYCM and the NYC Half.  And I plan to spend some time researching the issue.  But I can’t help but think my awesome stupid diet flips are playing a big role.  These are the only two races I’ve done this diet derailment plan for, and they’re also the only two races where cramps have completely taken over my midsection.  I sense correlation.

The good thing is, I’m carefree enough in life right now to just laugh at my mistakes while learning from them.  I’ve learned my lesson, and while I certainly might try to increase my carb intake in the week leading up to a big race, I’m going to give up my extremist method. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Pre-Race Fueling: Live and Learn (and Laugh)”

  1. I’m currently training for a 10 mile race in May and everytime I go out for a medium to long run I end up having these terrible cramping issues!! It’s really frustrating and I can’t figure out what it might be. I’m thinking coffee pre-run? I’m going to have to start keeping tabs though because 10 miles is going to be killer at this rate…

    1. Hmm, yeah definitely start experimenting with different pre-run food/drinks, to see which your body responds best to!

  2. Hey Liz!

    Sooo over the last 3 years of triathlon and running I have spent more time on the side of the road getting sick or in the doctors office asking questions along the line of “What am I doing wrong” and “could I have a food intolerance of some sort”. Basically the doctors said “well you might have an upset tummy because you’re running too fast”…. REALLY you just said the word “Tummy” to a grown woman? I also had a doctor tell me that running was bad for your health?

    Anyways, long story short I too have been experimenting with what can I eat that will fuel me for a long race and not mess with my stomach. We are talking fiber ratios, fats, carbs, cafine vs not. Knock on wood, but come race day or long run training days the ONLY thing that I will put in my body that gives me great energry and no “issues” is…. drum roll… “Ensure”. Yup, like the grandma supplement drink. It’s a long story and kind of an accident that I came upon this, but I swear by it. 1-2 bottles of the drink 1 – 1.5 hours before I race or long run, perfect!

    Good luck!

    1. Haha, that is so funny! I can’t believe they told you that you were getting sick because you were running too fast. They do know it was a RACE, right?! 🙂

      Ensure, eh? I will have to look into that. I mean, I know everyone’s different, but hey, I’m willing to experiment with others’ successes! Thanks for the tip.

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