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.