The fall months are here and some of obstacle course racing’s biggest events are just around the corner, including the Spartan Beast, Ultra Beast as well as the OCR World Championships. You’ve trained all year for these events. Carefully periodizing your training for the big race day, competing in an event after event to become more skilled in your craft, body composition is in a solid place and finally, tomorrow is race day, and you ask yourself, “what do I need to eat tonight and tomorrow to dominate my event?”
I have here, the OCR Nutrition Blueprint. Literally, every single nutrient you put in your body from this blueprint will be used to fuel you on race day and assist you in your most epic performance yet.
Follow along with me.
The Night Before the Big Race:
Complex carbs and protein. These are necessities the night before the big race. Complex carbohydrates are going to fill up your liver’s glycogen storehouse to be released on the sound of the starting gun. The best complex carbohydrate sources include sweet potato, vegetables, brown rice, and whole-grain pasta. These carbohydrates are slower digesting and will take a longer time to burn compared to fruit, white breads, or sugary treats. Save those foods for after the race. Be sure to eat carbohydrates that do not upset your stomach. For example, if pasta is too heavy the night before your race, then you may consider a bowl of brown rice filled with fresh vegetables, and grilled shrimp.
The choice is yours. You will want your stomach to be as comfortable (other than maybe a few nerves) the night before and the morning of your competition as possible.
Be sure to have a moderate portion of protein as well. Protein slows down the digestion process of carbohydrates and will be vital for the repair of any broken down muscle tissue from previous training sessions leading up to the pre-race evening. Be sure to stick to lean protein sources such as shrimp, egg whites, boneless, skinless, chicken breast, or even a protein shake supplement.
And please, don’t skip out on the water. We have plenty of blog posts written on the importance of hydration for competitive performance. Drink at least a gallon of water before race day… DO NOT consume it all within one hour before bedtime. Continually drink throughout the day.
Race Day Nutrition
2-3 hours before competition:
You know how the timing of your meals affects your training on a daily basis. Don’t mix anything up here. If you perform better with your training eating two hours before a race, then eat two hours before a race. Don’t mix it up on race day. However, be sure to eat more carbohydrates and protein for breakfast. Nothing fried in oil. Keep the food selections as basic, but filling as possible to avoid gastrointestinal distress. Some great examples of meal selections include:
These meals are light on the stomach but provide long-lasting energy come race time.
Be sure to start consuming water upon waking to keep yourself hydrated and well prepared for the race. If you find yourself needing another snack before the race begins, look into a fruit yogurt, protein bar, or Gatorade.
During Race Nutrition
Be sure to have a pack filled with fluids if your race will take longer than 60 minutes. This way you can hydrate throughout the race. You can also pack a sports drink and have bananas or gel yogurts for a quick dose of fuel to keep you going. Make sure these snacks are easily accessible and do not slow you down in the least. Having these nutrients on hand will keep you from cramping up and will continue to fuel your muscles throughout your performance.
This blueprint will guide you to race day success with your nutrition and ultimately tie all of your training together for an exceptional outing and personal best. DO NOT overlook the importance of nutrition on race day. Be sure to test this nutrition blueprint out before some of your longer, more intense training sessions so you can know for sure what works best for you come race day. We understand all competitors are unique in their own way, so some trail may be necessary.
With that said, good luck on race day! You’ve put in your training, you’re equipped with the best apparel (or have you? click here to find out), you ate to fuel the machine you are… now go out and CRUSH IT!