The 5 Biggest Pre-Race Fueling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Find pre-event snacks that fuel your body efficiently by following the tips in the "pre-event eating" section.

  1. Over-Carbo-Loading: Maintaining maximum glycogen storage is ideal. Hey, who doesn't want to take off with a full tank? Remember, "too much of a good thing" ... over-carbo-loading can be another culprit in derailing a great race.

A rush of carbs into the system can throw your body into overdrive with fluid shifts and fluctuating glucose (sugar) levels, and this can cause GI distress.

You don't want to hit every porta-potty along the route.

Solution: Too much of anything is usually not the answer.

Start carbo-loading about five days before the event (for a distance race). If inclined, incorporate new foods during medium to long runs when training. You will definitely know what works and what does not work.

More: The New Rules of Marathon Nutrition: How Many Carbs?

Pre-Event Eating

Let's make this easy.  With one hour to go, have a 100-calorie snack.

If you have 30 to 60 minutes prior to the race, go for a snack that doesn't include protein or fat. Let's say you have about one hour until the event; shoot for a 100-calorie, low-fiber snack (or more, depending on body size, sex, etc). Try the following:

What to Eat 30 to 60 Minutes Before Race Start

Table 1

PREV
  • 3
  • of
  • 4
NEXT

About the Author

Jennifer Vimbor

Jennifer Vimbor, MS, RD, LDN, is the founder of Nutrition Counseling Services in downtown Chicago. An avid runner, marathoner and triathlete, Jennifer has first-hand knowledge of the nutritional needs of athletes, and has been helping athletes reach their goals since 2003. She was the nutritionist for the New York Runners Only Club, and has worked with Chicago Area Runners Association. Jennifer advises athletes, from novice to professional, in groups and privately. Find Jennifer on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Jennifer Vimbor, MS, RD, LDN, is the founder of Nutrition Counseling Services in downtown Chicago. An avid runner, marathoner and triathlete, Jennifer has first-hand knowledge of the nutritional needs of athletes, and has been helping athletes reach their goals since 2003. She was the nutritionist for the New York Runners Only Club, and has worked with Chicago Area Runners Association. Jennifer advises athletes, from novice to professional, in groups and privately. Find Jennifer on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Discuss This Article