How to keep from running on empty

I am an athlete, I guess.  Running races does something funny to you, makes you want to work harder, be faster and beat your time every time.  It’s called “runners high” and I get it bad.  It started three years ago when I wanted to check “running a 5K” off my bucket list and now I can’t stop.

The issue that came up when I went gluten free was the pre race “carb loading”.  I had gotten used to a big bowl of pasta, some chicken and a side of bread.  With being gluten free, that kinda went out the window, because gluten free pasta isn’t a delight.  So now what do I do?

I decided to go with foods that were natural carbs and to increase my protein intake.  So now instead of the pasta, I have a nice chicken breast or pork chop along with a baked potato, a side of rice (I love wild rice!) and a veggie.  In fact, most times I will have broccoli as it’s a great natural carb!  These foods will not only provide me with the carbs I need but provide a good base of energy, short term and long term.  With all of these being natural items (and not a processed item like pasta), I feel like I have a better base!  What to drink?  Water, water, water.  This is the best thing you can drink the night before a race.

Breakfast remains mostly the same for me:  two eggs and a piece or toast or two.  This provides me with short term and long term energy before the race.  The other trick is to drink water but not too much.  How much is too much?  The general rule is to drink 16-20 ounces of water the morning of the race but quit drinking about an hour before the race.  You don’t wanna be looking for a bathroom at mile two!  Then, right before the race, take a few sips.  “What if my mouth gets dry during the race?”  You can take a bottle of water along but since a 5K is a relatively short race, I usually chew gum to keep my mouth from getting dry.

After the race, don’t forget to to rehydrate.  A lot of races will provide water and juice or a drink like Gatorade/Powerade.

The thing to remember the most is to HAVE FUN!  So get out, get running, get healthy!

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