Do you do the long-jump and run the 4x400m? Buckle up. Even if your events are somewhere in-between those, on competition day, you are in for a LONG day at the track! What should you eat to stay ready all day? It’s all about preparation and knowing your body. Take a look at the tips below for how to stay fueled to run your best at a track meet.
Make sure to fuel the day before your meet! Stick to foods you are familiar with and think lots of healthy carbs, lean proteins and not a lot of fats. Stick with normal portion sizes. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water with and between each meal throughout the day.
Day of the meet, eat a well balanced breakfast that your body is familiar with, is easy to digest and has whole foods. Include carbs, some lean proteins and healthy fats. Avoid overly sugary/simple carbs, your body will burn through those too quickly.
Ideas: -Toast, English muffin or bagel with peanut butter, glass of low fat milk, a banana and water -Eggs, toast and peanut butter, glass of low fat milk, berries and water -Low fat yogurt, not very sugary granola that has some nuts, banana, glass of juice and water
Pack snacks! Everyone’s body is different, but be sure you are eating with plenty of time before your race for your body to digest, especially if you are running longer races. You should be eating something small every 2-3 hours at the meet, and within 60 minutes post race. Keep the snacks simple to digest and portions small.
Ideas: -Banana (the runner’s favorite fruit! Packed with potassium which will help ward off cramps.) -Bagel (yummy carbs!)-Gatorade (restores electrolytes you burned off while running) -Peanut butter & crackers (protein, good fats, and carbs!) -Berries, apples, oranges
Pack water! It is essential that you stay hydrated at your track meet. Your body loses a significant amount of water being in the hot sun all day. Your performance can suffer even with small levels of dehydration. Don’t gorge all at once though, drink a small but steady amount of water throughout the day.
Post meet. After pushing yourself, your body is like a sponge ready to absorb nutrients to help repair, rebuild and refuel your muscles. Focus on refueling with carbohydrates and lean proteins with a small amount of healthy fats.
Being injured doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines completely. The road to recovery can be a long and bumpy ride, but there are a few things you can do to stay race ready while you rest. Coach Torres offers his tips for managing injuries during the running season.
Rest to Recover At the top of the list is rest. You must take time out from running to recovery. Rest the muscle or injured area as much as possible.
Ice Therapy It is an age old idea that stands the test of time. Ice the area 2 to 3 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes.
This simple answer is yes, running is a year-round sport. Heat can cause complications like dehydration, muscle cramps, and exhaustion. The good news is, there are simple and easy ways to stay active when it’s hot outside. Coach Boos offers his top three tips for athletes.
Stay Hydrated This does not mean drink water right when it is time to run. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Remember, the three most important times to drink water are first thing in the morning, one hour before your run, and right before bed. How much water should you drink? That’s a complicated question, but here is what WebMD recommends.
Dress for Success Wear light-toned, breathable clothing when exercising in the heat.
Assess Yourself Listen to your body. Check for your signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If you start to experience any dizziness, nausea, chills, or stop sweating, cease exercising and let your coach or running partner know immediately. They can help you get the care you need.
Pro Tip from a Running Mom: To cool down quickly, place cold compress or ice on your pressure points – wrists, inside of the elbow, back of the knee, and neck.