Pre-Race Meal Plan
Can't stomach one huge morning meal? Divide it up.
Here's how a 150-pound runner would fuel:
3 to 4 Hours Pre-Race:
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal with 2 tablespoons honey (62 g of carbs)
- 6 ounces yogurt (17 g)
- 1 large banana (31 g)
- 2 tablespoons raisins (16 g)
- 4 ounces juice (14 g)
- 12 to 20 ounces water (0 g)
Total Carbs=140 grams
90 Minutes to 2 Hours Pre-Race:
- 1 slice bread with 1 tablespoon jam (28 g)
- 24 ounces sports drink (47 g)
Total Carbs=75 grams
30 to 60 Minutes Pre-Race:
- 1 energy gel or serving of energy chews (25 g)
- 8 to 12 ounces water (0 g)
Total Carbs=25 grams
How to eat and drink after you cross the finish—right away and beyond:
Focus on Carbs: Eat half a gram of carbohydrate per pound of weight. For a 150-pound runner, that's 75 grams, or the equivalent of a bagel and banana.
Eat Protein: Consume 15 to 20 grams of protein to kick-start muscle repair. Get it from a high-protein energy bar (by following the rules to choosing the right energy bar) along with fruit, or a PB&J.
Drink Up: Aim for 20 ounces of fluid. Including 200 mg of sodium or more will boost fluid absorption. Try sports drinks and recovery shakes.
But Skip the Booze: You're already dehydrated. Wait at least several hours, till you've had a chance to rehydrate and refuel, and then toast your finish.
Keep It Going: For the next 48 hours, continue to focus on eating plenty of carbohydrates and modest portions of high-quality protein.
Perfect your nutrition to boost your performance. Sign up for a race near you.