My most memorable food mishap happened during the 2003 Texas State track championships. I was still young and learning how to properly fuel myself for races. Long story short, I learned my lesson when it came to preparing for a race. To this day I remember how horrible and unprepared I felt for the 1600 meter race. The entire race I kept telling myself, “if I only had fueled myself properly!”
I could go on and on with stories where I learned valuable lessons when it comes to fueling myself correctly. You live and learn through trials and tribulations. What works for one person my not work for another. In my case I have learned over the years what my body can and can not handle. For example, I can not eat peanuts before running. I would not recommend it either. High fat foods typically do not sit well when consumed within an hour of intense exercise. Right before I run I have found the most success with plain bland foods. Something easy to digest with not much flavor. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac in the mornings prior to heading out the door I would eat half of a cliff bar or a slice of bread with a dab of peanut butter and honey. I generally stick to roughly 100-200 calories in the mornings before heading out for a run. Don’t forget to drink some water too!!! As soon as I finish my workout I indulge in a more satisfying breakfast such as oatmeal and yogurt or an egg dish or some variety.
This may sound silly or even a little obsessive, but when it comes time for racing I would really buckle down. The day before a race, even to this day I follow the same eating habits. First I stay away from dairy products the day before the race. I do this because I tend to produce a lot of mucus (hope that does not scare you away.) Second, I always have the same foods for dinner. Typically dinner consists of some sort of pasta. I have switched from whole grain to a quinoa/brown rice blend pasta in the past year due to Celiac.
It is important to stick to comfortable foods. The day before and morning prior to racing is not the time to try sushi or some new spicy restaurant. If you want to race well, you need to be fueled properly. Find what works for you and stick to it. My top recommendation is to find a food that is easy on your stomach. This means avoid high fatty foods the day before and day of your race. Go and enjoy the steak after your race! 🙂