Friday, February 24, 2012


Phoenix Marathon race day is one week from tomorrow.  Do you have a race plan?  Have you tested your nutrition?  Here's some great advice from Triathlete Magazine's Krista Austin, Ph. D. on how to prepare nutritionally for the big day, March 3!  I've thrown in my two cents, as well.

NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE  Early evening, eat a low-fiber dinner: white spaghetti with a low-fat meat marinara sauce, white bread rolls.  Or, rice and lean meat with low-fat sauce.  Drink electrolyte beverages.  My take:  Keep things bland and not too spicy and stay away from the green salad.  Don't eat anything you don't normally eat.

RACE DAY  Eat a light breakfast around 5a.m. with a plain bagel/creamy peanut butter.  She also suggests coffee. "Foods rich in carbs, such as a bagel will help restore liver glycogen that was depleted overnight."   My take:  I always start the day with a 4a.m. Ensure meal replacement drink, then I try and go back to bed for awhile.  When I wake up, I like Dr. Austin's bagel suggestion along with a banana.

JUST BEFORE THE RACE  sip a sports drink to supply carbohydrates in the hour prior to competition.  I take a GU with water just before the start of the triathlon swim. 

POST RACE Recover with a protein recovery drink, water, PB&J sandwich, yogurt and cereal or cheese and crackers.  "Carb consumption immediately after competition helps facilitate recovery by restoring muscle glycogen and minimizing inflammation'" says Austin.  "Protein assists with the body's ability to take in carbohydrates and restores broken-down muscle."  Me:  I like cold things, like Jamba Juice and fruit like bananas and oranges.

TWO HOURS AFTER THE RACE "Eat a recovery snake comprising 50-55 percent carbohydrates with the rest being lean proteins and healthy fats.  Try a banana with nut butter, Greek yogurt, fruit and granola or eggs and whole wheat toast. 

LUNCH:  Austin suggests chili with a baked potato and fruit.  "Chili contains meat and beans with appropriate amounts of protein and fiber to help lower the meal's glycemic response, along with the fiber found in salad and fruit.  Me:  I'm partial to a delicious burger. 

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