Friday, May 3, 2013

Fueling for a big race

As promised, here are my thoughts on fueling for a big event. I have had several questions about how I can do this is as a vegetarian, and I hope to shed a little light on the matter.

I did my research and found this site to be the most helpful...or so I thought. Turns out the number one rule according to everyone is - don't try anything new leading up to a race!

All of our bodies work differently and I believe I followed advice that was a little too generic. For instance, I am 4'11" and do not need to carbo load as much as most people. I definitely ate too much in the days leading up to the race, and trust, I paid for it afterward. I do not eat a diet high in carbs but really made an effort to get in an extra 400 calories everyday. This did a number on me and I spent a lot of time sleeping in the days leading up to the race.

Another common recommendation is to avoid having too much fiber. However, fiber does not bother my stomach...I actually had broccoli with breakfast, lunch, and dinner before my race. No problems. I believe this is due to my vegetarian diet and the fact that I do not have a sensitivity to high fiber foods. I would definitely not recommend eating plenty of fiber if you have a stomach, but you already knew that!

Two problem areas I encountered while away: alcohol and ice cream. Abiding by the "do what you usually do" rule, I had beer before my race. One beer a day, because I was on vacation why not?! And they were goooood. I also believe I drink enough water so I can afford the hit to my hydration. Who knows, I have a beer the night before a long run here and there, so it was no different.

In the same breath, I broke that eating ice cream. My lactose-intolerant tummy did not like that much. But my brain said, "it's Ben & Jerry's, you're on vacation, how can you say no to this?!" Oops. It was tasty though, and I know better next time!

I did not think much about photos while away, so this is a boring mostly-text post. I will practice toting my brand new camera around a little more often! The list of pre-race fuel....

Breakfast: oatmeal with apricots, raisins, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds
Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with broccoli, 2 slices of bread, green smoothie
Lunch: HUGE bowl of pasta with pesto, artichoke hearts, broccoli, and red peppers
Dinner: baked potato with "cheese" sauce and broccoli
Race fuel: apricots, walnuts, dates / alternate water & Gatorade at stops
Recovery: chocolate soy milk, chia fresca, Kind bar, 1/2 orange

And in case you haven't heard enough about food....

1) quinoa, kale & citrus salad (sub sweet potatoes & walnuts)
2) quinoa pancakes (sub banana for butter & syrup, chia for egg)
3) pasta & lentils with roasted garlic sauce
4) pasta & bean soup with kale (Tim says the best I have ever made)
5) my own raw kale salad with apples, cheddar, sunflower seeds, and garlic

Next latest training plan!


  1. Very nice, Shannon! Sorry for the Ben and Jerry' s...:)

  2. Haha I will just need to practice restraint next time, that's all!