I've heard a number of different things in regards to what a person should eat on race day. Usually, however, the general consensus seems to be "whatever you're used to running on." I understand everyone functions differently, but are there any good suggestions/preferences that you could share? I'm not just looking for specific foods/drinks (although that would be helpful, too), but also any tips that you could offer about timing breakfasts or meals before running a full marathon.
Thanks in advance!
Everyone is so different, as you suggested. I could only offer that usually it is a good idea to eat a light, mild amount two hours before the race. I limit myself to one-half fruit, one granola bar, vitamin water and raisins because that reduces the liklihood of stomach upset over the long haul. Do not experiment with sports drinks direclty before or during the race. They are complicated and it may be challenging to find the ones that work best for your individual circumstances. I try to consume all calories before 4:00PM the evening before a long event to give my digestive process additional time to work to the maximum.
Also, the notion of carb-loading is relevant for anticipated running over two hours, but not all of a sudden, for example, the night before a full marathon. Some additional carbs should be slowly added at least two weeks out. (In other words, there is little benefit to a huge bowl of spaghetti on the eve of the race, especially in the absence of other preparations). I always choose high protein, moderate carb and low fat options. (again, because I have already adjusted the carbs over time). My favorite pre-race meal is actually raw tuna.
Wishing you all the best!
Here are some links to my race day nutrition:
This is actually something I am trying to figure out as well. I know the bagel/peanut butter combination is beloved but am not a huge fan of peanut butter. I have done a bagel with a hard boiled egg some and oatmeal some, but am not sure if I am on the right path or not. For some reason race day nutrition kind of baffels me even though I have the rest of my diet down pretty well.. I even tried to search here for eggs and found nothing haha.
I like to get something in 250 350 cal range about two hours before the start. I think most people would tell you it's best to have try it before your race. Anything new on race day can cause a issue, you don't want any additional issues, GI' things can happen. I drink a a drink that has 250 cals and eat a banana with peanut butter. A very gereral rule from one of the companies is: 2-4 hours before have a high-card, low-fat. low fiber meal. 30-60 mins before, have a high-card snack (aim for 40-60 grams of carbs). Try it on one of your long runs before doing it in a race!