After several relays in which my teammates and I suffered the effects of poor food choices, we vowed to plan out our meals to see if we could, in fact, improve the overall experience of the race by attending to our nutritional needs. Happily, we were able to find ways to fight off the G.I. distress that is so common in long events such as the relay. The key, we found, is to eat as close to normal as possible, and to avoid certain foods that we know don’t sit well. This means paying attention to when we normally would have breakfast or lunch and eating a proper meal at those times. Sure, the red licorice is delicious, but it is not dinner.
The best way to make sure you have the food you need is to write up a food plan; this will help you pack the proper food when it comes time for the race. You can pencil in meals you know that you are going to eat at proper restaurants, but make sure that your plan fits with what your team is going to be doing. Use your pace prediction table to get an idea for when you will be running so that you will know what kind of food you might want to be eating at that time of day. Don’t forget to write down your nutrition needs while you are running.
Food plan worksheet
A photo from Kelly Johnson, Oregonlive blogger, of what she ate during last year’s race