Race Fueling

Fueling Your Race Morning on the Road

Although eating well on the road requires more planning and thought, it can certainly be done.

How should i approach my fueling (especially race morning) on the road?

A: Don’t let travel derail your stellar fuel plan. Although eating well on the road requires more planning and thought, it can certainly be done. The key is preparation and ensuring you are consuming balanced meals and snacks, which contain fiber, protein and fat. Follow these general travel fueling tips:

  • Check out restaurants at your destination online ahead of time. Have healthier restaurant options in mind before you even leave home.
  • Grab a menu before a table. Check out the menu before sitting down, and secure a couple healthy options.
  • Avoid fast-food establishments. Need I say more?
  • Make modifications to the menu. Make the menu item what you want it to be. Replace breaded chicken with grilled chicken, or throw avocado and walnuts on your salad for added healthy fat.
  • Share something with a friend. It’s a given that your restaurant entrée could feed a small pack of wolves. Take half of it back to the hotel or split with a comrade!
  • Avoid gas station or airport snacks. Bring your own snacks! Some non-refrigerated snack options: trail mix, nuts, seeds, Justin’s individually packaged nut butters, fruit and Larabars. If you have a fridge or cooler available to you, include these items: hummus, raw veggies and plain Greek yogurt. Avoid added sugars with all of these snack ideas.

A healthy race-day breakfast on the road is also important. If you are staying at the race’s host hotel, it just may open its kitchen early and offer a nice spread for racers. Score! Call ahead to find out what options are available race morning and what time breakfast starts. If this service isn’t being offered, ask questions about your room—is there a kitchen? A stove? A refrigerator? I’ve been known to bring a toaster with me to destination races—do what needs to be done!

  • Full kitchen or microwave: Eggs with fruit, oatmeal with nuts
  • Fridge: Plain Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit, hard-boiled eggs with fruit, overnight oats (cover oats with almond milk, soak overnight, add toppings in the morning)
  • Toaster: freezer waffles with almond butter and chia seeds
  • No appliances: granola bars topped with almond butter, Larabar, trail mix

Use the resources available to you and focus on consuming a breakfast that contains fiber, protein and fat to stay full, maintain consistent energy levels and perform your best on race day.

Brooke Schohl, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., METS Level II is a board-certified sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching (Fueltothefinish.com) in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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