During the race:
- Sugar: During the race, Dorfman suggests sticking with 30 to 60 grams of sugar total. The best way to do so is to monitor your intake. Keep track mentally of what you grab at each stop: one cup of Gatorade, one gummy, etc. To stay below the allotted amount, Dorfman recommends taking just a "snippet" of your gel, instead of eating it all at once.
- Caffeine: You may be able to enjoy caffeine minimally before the race (see below) but it's a definite no-no while you run.
Foods You Can Enjoy Before and During
Despite the long list of things you should avoid before and during your race, there's another large list of things you can, and should, indulge in. Here are some options for a trots-free race.
Before the race:
In general, Dorfman suggests keeping it plain. "Sometimes I've been known to call them [race-day foods] the flu-diet foods." For example:
- White toast
- Broth: It's light, easy to digest.
- Rice: Thanks to its unique structure, your body is able to use all the energy in rice for fuel.
- Iced tea or coffee: Stick to 120 milligrams, and make sure you have enough time beforehand to stretch. This is one you may have to train your body to tolerate before a run.
A few hours before the race, eat or drink but don't do both. If you have too much of both just before you run you'll experience what Dorfman calls the "washing machine affect" which is a fast pass to trots.
More: What to Eat Before a 10K
During the race:
It's important you keep your food and liquid intake just as plain as before the race. This means focus solely on what your body needs to continue running.
- Fluids: Fuel with fluids, preferably just water, every 20 to 25 minutes and have just 4 to 8 ounces at a time—a couple gulps.
- Mashed potato or rice balls: This simple, whole-food fuel, is plain enough to keep your stomach and digestive system happy while still helping you complete the run. If you tend to lose a lot of salt during your workout, add some salt when making the balls.
In general, remember: "Fluids, and a little bit of sugar and electrolytes will really cover the bases," suggests Dorfman. Play with different options and combinations in the weeks leading up to the race so you can be trots-free when the big day arrives and focus on crossing the finish line strong.
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