What I Ate the Night Before My Half Marathon

Hi friends! I’ve been getting some questions lately about pre-race fuel in terms of what to eat the night before a race, so I thought I’d share what I had the night before the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC half marathon on Saturday. Remember, though, that what works for me might not necessarily work for you. 🙂

Some tips for your meal the night before a race:

  1. Incorporate both protein (meat, beans, fish, etc.) + carbs (a grain or starchy vegetable like potato) to adequately fuel you up.
  2. Don’t have anything too crazy high in fiber (aka mass quantities of raw veggies) or anything too greasy/heavy.
  3. Don’t eat anything out of the ordinary. Never had Indian before? This is probably not the best time to give it a shot.
  4. Lay off the booze. It can dehydrate you and lead to GI issues, too.

Here’s what I had on Friday night: pasta with a tomato-y meat sauce and veggies.

I generally stick with pasta the night before a race, although I have had success with quinoa + salmon in the past.

In terms of the pasta, I like to mix it up, sometimes doing whole wheat, sometimes a brown rice or alternative grain, and sometimes rocking quinoa pasta (it’s quinoa + corn), like I did on Friday.

For my protein, I again like to mix it up, but generally I go for either ground beef or turkey, chicken, or salmon the night before a race. On Friday, I went with ground beef. Tip: buy grass feed, organic beef. Several studies have shown that the nutrient content of pasture-raised animal products is superior to that of grain-fed animal products – not only do they have higher levels of vitamins and other micronutrients, but they also have a more favorable fatty acid profile, with higher amounts of omega-3. Grain feeding animals has been shown to deplete their omega-3 levels.

On the veggie front, I chopped up some peppers and mushrooms and sautéed them in a pan with some oil, garlic, and a small handful of kale.

Once the meat was fully cooked (I browned it in a separate pan), I added it to the now softened veggies.

Then, I poured in some jarred marinara sauce.

Once the pasta was ready, dinner was served! Hit. The. Spot. And fueled me up well, too!

What’s your go-to night before a race or big run meal?

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