Updated: Jul 20, 2022
If you've ever ran a race or participated in a sporting event, competition etc... you know that nutrition can be a game changer. Yes- what you eat on a daily basis absolutely matters too. But let's chat about eating during your event.
I know some of you show up on a race day with no food and rely on whatever the aid stations/concession stands may have. Others may have stopped at a gas station or raided your pantry for a random collection of snacks. These techniques can work but if you put in all that time and effort during your training I encourage you to not leave your nutrition to chance.
There's a lot of things that can go wrong on the big day: weather, aches/pains/injuries/illness, unfamiliar course, limited options for food, etc... One thing that you do have control over is your nutrition and it's not something that should be figured out the day of. It's something that you should practice during training so that you know what your body can tolerate.
When I create custom fueling plans for athletes we start by talking about what types of food/drink you like to eat during longer workouts. If you don't like what you're consuming, you're unlikely to actually eat/drink it which means you'll end up underfueled and performance will suffer. I take things like carbs/calories, electrolytes, and fluid into consideration as well. I come up with a very specific plan that will tell you how much to eat/drink and how often. You try it out and report back with how it went and we make adjustments if/when needed.
What you take away is a plan that is tailored to your individual needs and preferences. You can be confident that on race/competition/game day that your nutrition will be on point and that you will be able to perform at your best!
Kayla Fitzgerald is a Registered Dietitian & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor located in Charleston, South Carolina. She works with clients 1:1, through small group coaching, and self guided programs. Her goal is to help you fuel your body for whatever the day has in store whether it's a 100 mile race or getting through the work day.