This blog features news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

RSS feed of this blog

What to eat before the Half

Fuel: Is carb-loading the only way to go?

Figuring out what to eat before a big race is a delicate mix of nutrition, superstition and knowledge of how your own body handles certain foods.

Below are some pre-race favorites from various runners I’ve encountered in the course of my work. Please leave your own pre-race meal suggestions in the comments.

Fredericksburg Area Running Club President Jack Morrison:

Unlike a lot of people who want lots of carbs the night before a race, I want something less heavy. I almost always have chicken…maybe grilled with peppers and onions, or in stir-fry with with brocollini. Light, but nourishing. In the morning, I’m just not hungry. If I eat half a banana, that’s a lot. Gu’s and Gatorade seem to get me through. The only exception is the Boston Marathon. With the 10:00 o’clock start, I don’t think I’d make it, so I manage to eat a pretty bland ham sandwich.

Local running standout Bert Jacoby, who will be starting from last place at this year’s race, and trying to pass runners to raise money for the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank:

The night before I usually eat some sort of pasta… it can be plain noodles with cheese. We like to get Castiglia’s (the 208 location) a lot and I like their Chicken al Castiglia. I think my mom wants me to come over to have some spinach lasagna, which she makes and is delicious! It’s taken me a long time to figure out what to eat in the morning before a race. right now, It’s peanut butter on wheat or multi-grain bread.

King George resident and runner Neil Richard:

Grilled salmon on spaghetti with steamed broccoli and a side salad from Vinny’s the night before. Pre-race [breakfast] is water, a sip of coffee and plenty of Gatorade.

My former colleague and runner David Hylton, who writes about his training at Running…Because I Can:

Breakfast: plain bagel with peanut butter. Dinner: Pizza two nights before, some sort of pasta the night before.

Anyone have any unconventional recommendations for pre-race eats?

Post tags:


  • Wes

    Any tips for diabetics?