A good pre-long race run dinner is part of your fueling plan for your long run. If your race starts in the morning, your pre-long run dinner is your last full meal before your run. You should be eating a good light breakfast or snack before your race, but often this snack will just top of the meal you had the night before.
If you’re being conscious about your nutrition and running, your pre-long run dinner should aim to meet certain goals. This meal is meant to prepare your body for a long run. Try to avoid heavy meals or low carbohydrates dinners to prepare your body to run 10K, 21K, 42K, 100K, 160K the next day.
WHAT TO EAT THE NIGHT BEFORE A LONG RUN
In this dinner meal, we should focus on what our body needs to feel strong and ready for endurance.
Carbohydrates are a necessary fuel source for our muscles. While our body will be burning both fat and carbs for fuel, if we start running low on glycogen, our body and brain are going to revolt.
We should consider that our brain relies on carbs and it makes complete sense that much of our fatigue could be mental.
Focus on easy to digest foods.
Find meals that you and your stomach enjoy, so it will sound good before the race.
Embrace high-quality, but low fibre carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, sourdough bread, fruit.
Ensure it’s still a balanced meal with protein and fat to keep you well fuelled and hit your nutritional needs.
Don’t go in to long runs having under fuelled on your rest day.
WHAT TO EAT THE NIGHT BEFORE A LONG RUN
Salmon: High protein, anti-inflammatory food that’s easy to digest.
Sweet Potato: Carbs, and potatoes are some of the best carbs for runners.
Pumpkin: A bit more fibre, but high potassium, vitamin C and good carbs.
Basic Chicken: Simple, packed with nutrients, protein, carbs, and fat.
Grilled Vegetables: Nutrients without a huge amount of fibre.
Sandwiches: If you enjoy sandwiches, focus on healthy bread and ingredients. Enjoy some vegetables, some protein and good flavour.
Homemade Stir Fry: Rice, veggies and protein make a super easy meal, choose zucchini instead of broccoli (high-fibre) on this night.
Fruity Desserts: Dark chocolate is a good dessert, but adding some berries to our dessert is awesome for carbs and anti-inflammatory properties.
THE GOALS OF A PRE-LONG RUN DINNER:
Provide your body with carbohydrates and calories to fuel your next day long run.
Be a part of a high-quality diet geared towards health and athletic performance.
Be easy to digest and gentle on the stomach to avoid GI distress.
Practice what you will eat before the race.
While you don’t want to overeat, you also want to make sure you fuel your body with your pre-long run dinner. This is not the time to avoid food or cut carbs, your body needs to refuel properly get enough energy for your race.
GUIDELINES FOR WHAT TO EAT THE NIGHT BEFORE A LONG RUN:
Avoid foods that are common culprits of GI distress.
Include carbohydrates, protein, and a bit of fat, as you would for any well-balanced meal
Choose complex carbohydrates: potatoes, squash, whole grains.
Food safety: cook your meats, wash your vegetables, choose cooked over raw vegetables.
Practice eating the meal you will eat the night before the race.
Choose lean sources of protein
One of the goals of a pre-long run dinner is to avoid foods that can cause GI distress on your long run. Overeating can cause your stomach to feel heavy the next morning, while food poisoning can set you up for an all-around terrible run.
To avoid GI distress, you should avoid certain foods the night before a long run. Know what foods irritate you and avoid them the night before a long run, save them for dinner after you’ve done your race.
FOODS TO AVOID THE NIGHT BEFORE A LONG RUN:
Sugary refined carbs
High-fibre fruits and vegetables
Beans and other legumes
Fatty cuts of beef or other meats, animal fats can irritate sensitive stomachs
SAMPLE PRE-LONG RUN DINNERS:
1. Roasted chicken, carrots and sweet potato
2. Salmon, spinach and brown rice
3. Stuffed baked potatoes
4. Whole grain or quinoa pastas with pesto, zucchini and chicken
5. Brown rice risotto (avoid the cheese if sensitive or use a low lactose cheese such as goat cheese)
The most important recommendation is to focus on which food works for us. We should try and find what meal leaves us feeling energized and our stomach feeling calm on our run.
Plan For Good Meals A Few Days Before A Race, A Super Healthy Dinner With Good Nutrients The Night Before A Race, Feel Good And Energized The Morning Of Your Race, Run Strong And Feel Good, Enjoy An Incredible Race!