Race Day Fueling- Part 1
To race your best, it is imperative to go into the event well fueled and ready to perform. The biggest considerations for nutrition before your race are: 1) Time of event 2) Intensity & Duration of Event 3) Personal Fueling History.
1) Time of Event – Why does this matter? Well you have more opportunities to eat if the race is at 12:30pm as compared to 9am. The later your race, the more you should be consuming leading up to the event. Your first meal should be large, filling and contain a mix of macronutrients (breakfast of potato hash, eggs, avocado). Meals closer to the event should be simple, easy to digest and contain mostly simple carbohydrates (late morning meal of fruit smoothie and bagel with jam).
2) Intensity and duration of the even matter because it determines how much energy your body will use and what type of stores you’ll be primarily pulling from. An hour all out crit will use more simple carbohydrate while a 4 hour mountain road race will use more fat to fuel the endurance. Shorter/faster races should stick to pre-fueling options that are easy to digest and simple carbohydrate based such as sport drink, bananas, chews/gels. Longer races should opt for pre-fueling sources that give the body a little more substance such as PBJ sandwich, oats, bean and rice burrito.
3) The most important thing to consider is your personal needs and habits. Race morning is not the time to try new things and your pre-race fueling should be a practiced standard. Be consistent, wake up x hours before the event, eat something, eat again x hours before, eat immediately before. Know about how much energy you burn and what foods your body can handle.
· Aim to eat a large meal 3 hours before the race.
o 3-4g of carbohydrate/kg.
o Include small amounts of fat and protein.
o Focus on solid, whole foods.
o Oats, breakfast burrito, rice pudding, sandwiches…
· Aim to have a small meal/snack 1 hour before the event.
o Focus on sport foods, easy to digest/low fiber items, and simple carbohydrates.
o Juice, banana, gels, rice cakes, chews…
· Focus on hydration. Sip fluids all morning leading up to your event.
o Water is a must but adding a sport beverage will help top off energy stores and provide electrolytes.
· Have a nervous stomach? Snack on bland, simple snacks all morning long.
o Crackers, pretzels, trail mix, and sip beverages.
· Eat what you know. No new foods morning of the race!
· Keep track of what you ate and include it in your race report/ training record.
· Practice things that could potentially aid performance in training before race morning.
o Caffeine, Beet juice...
How a pro eats - https://gearjunkie.com/todd-wells-mountain-bike-nutrition
More on Pre-Race - http://www.livestrong.com/article/350488-what-to-eat-before-a-bicycle-race/
Pre Workout Options - http://www.thecadencekitchen.com/eatwell/2016/2/17/pre-workout-meal
Beet Juice - http://www.naturesgoodness.com.au/ngimages/Nitrate%20supplementation's%20improvement%20of%2010%20Km%20time%20trial%20performance%20in%20trained%20cyclists.pdf