Filling Up & Fueling Up: What’s Your Favorite Pre-Race Meal?

By: Rachel Gibson

Every time I hear the word "pasta dinner" my mind immediately goes to the episode of 'The Office' in which Michael Scott downs a giant bowl full of fettuccine alfredo seconds before starting a 5k.

The Office: Rabies Awareness Run Michael Scott

If you've had a chance to watch that one you know that's clearly not the smartest move.

Honestly, I'm no dietitian. I've got no knowledge other than past race experiences on which to base my advice, but here it is: eat what works for you.

While carbs are needed, there's no written-in-stone credo that says you MUST EAT PASTA before a marathon. My advice, especially for new runners or those running distance for the first time is truly to try out meals during your training and see how those longer runs go, because let's face it, everybody's body is different.

I personally feel lethargic after eating a bunch of pasta and sauce (which might be due to the fact that the words "portion control" don't exist in my vocabulary), but for some reason, I also can't do well running a marathon if I've skipped my now traditional night-before-the-race beer(s).

Maybe it gets my nerves calmed down, maybe the fact that I'm out somewhere trying local brews reminds me that I'm there for fun, first and foremost. But the best meal I've ever had pre-race (along with a local beer) was grilled orange roughy, steamed veggies and wild rice. Filling, non-greasy, not heavy and enjoyed with laughter and conversation on my dad's deck one September Friday night. It's not what I always eat, but it's what's worked for me.

So I challenge you to think outside of the pasta norm and try out different meals during your training—you just might be surprised at what your body works well with!

What's your favorite pre-race meal? Let me know, below!

And of course for more running blather, follow me on Twitter: @nomad_runner!


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