Nutrition for Race Day

As the Track and Field season nears completion many of you are facing your most important competitions of the season. All of the training has been completed, its now time to see the results. We are at the point in the season where we are looking for that little edge. For many athletes what to eat and when to eat it can make a difference. In the clip below Conor Holt, Head Coach of Northwood’s Mens/Womens Track and Field/Cross Country, gives advice on nutrition for race day.

The clip is from Coach Holts presentation at a recent Glazier Track and Field Coaching Clinic. For information about how to gain access to the entire presentation, as well as hundreds of other clinic presentations, click the link Glazier Clinic Vault.
The video below has sound so please make sure that your sound is turned on.

The following is a brief summary of Coach Holt’s presentation:


1. Most important thing is to keep things normal. Eat foods and drink beverages that you tolerate and enjoy.

2. Carbohydrate loading is not necessary

3. What you eat two days before the race is more important than what you eat the day before.

4. Your body like routine.

5. Food=Happiness=fuel to perform well

Race Day

1. Eat breakfast – a must do item

2. Flush for gut – Drink coffee/tea or take fiber supplement

3. Eat what you are used to eating

4. For every hour before the race, you need 50g of carbohydrates.
Example: If eating two hours before, you need to take in 100g of carbohydrates.

5. The meal should include a mixture of carbohydrates and protein. This will stabilize your blood sugar.

Post Race

1. Get a combination of protein and carbohydrates within 15-30 minutes after the race. This can be solids, fluids or a combination of both. Gels, drinks, energy bars and fruit all work.

2. The goal would be to get 0.5 grams of carbohydrates per bound of body weight.
Example: A 120lb athlete would need 60 grams of carbohydrates within 15-30 minutes after the race.
This could be accomplished with and energy bar and drink.

3. After the competition eat a full meal.

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