Now that you know what pro runners Krista Duchene and Sasha Gollish eat to fuel their training, we’re going to get into the specifics of how they fuel before, during and after a race. If you missed the first part of this mini series you can read it here.
Before we get serious about fuelling, we asked both women what the funniest/weirdest thing is to have happened to them before/during a race, here’s what they had to say:
KD: Jumping over a tall man with long limbs who fell at the start of the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. That man, our own Dylan Wykes, went on to achieve a personal best and qualify for the 2012 Olympics in that race.
SG: Well someone knocked my spike off at the Pan Am Games and that ended ok ;)
What is your go-to pre-race/big workout dinner?
Krista and Sasha have shared their pre-race meal and fuel routines with us, which are tried, tested and true for them. Fuelling is individual and it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect. Be sure to test any changes to diet or fuel well before a race to ensure your body will react positively.
What is your go-to pre-race dinner?
KD: Pre-marathon: medium sized portion of chicken and large sized portions of a variety of carbohydrates (rice, bread, pasta).
SG: When I raced on the track and at night the pre-race meal wasn't so important, I mean food is always important. With morning races I try and eat earlier in the evening. I usually go with chicken with a grain or potatoes with a small salad. I try and limit the amount of fibre in my stomach so 'breakup' with vegetables the day before the race.
What is your go-to pre-race breakfast?
KD: Bagel with honey. Coffee. Sips of Eload hydration formula.
SG: Greek Yogurt with granola (I know iron stomach when it comes to dairy!) & a banana.
Describe how you would fuel during a….
KD: Typically I race a 10 km without fuel or fluids. If it's warm, I will drink the water on the course. I might take an Endurance Tap energy gel before the start.
SG: I will drink a bottle of Sword ~2hours before, about ~20 mins before the race I'll pop and Endurance Tap. If it's really hot I might grab some water on course, mostly to throw on myself, but otherwise I do not consume anything.
KD: Because aid stations are rarely available for professionals at half-marathons I can often get by with sips of water for fluid on the course. For fuel, I will put 3 Endurance Tap energy gels in my sports top, consuming them around 6, 12 and 18 km. I'd take an Endurance Tap energy gel before the start.
SG: I will drink a bottle of Sword ~2hours before, about ~20 mins before the race I'll pop and Endurance Tap. I'll carry an extra Endurance Tap with me in case I need it. I will sometimes drink and splash water on myself, mostly when it is hot.
KD: I take an Endurance Tap energy gel before the start. Then starting at 5 km, I alternate every 2.5 km between Eload hydration formula and Endurance Tap energy gels right up until 40 km. Even consuming fluid and fuel at this eighth aid station can make the difference with only 2.2 km to go.
SG: I will drink a bottle of Sword from 2 hours to race time before (consuming 120-200 calories in approximately 600mL). About ~20 mins before the race I'll pop an Endurance Tap. Every 5k I will consume ~6oz (180mL) of water with Sword; I will try to drink this over 1k to 1mi and then ditch the bottle. Every 2.5k to 3k from where I picked up my bottle (so 7.5k 12.5, 17.5k, etc) I will consume an Endurance Tap. My goal is to not spike my stomach with calories but to try and spread it out through the race.
What is 1 piece of advice you can offer from your experience with fuelling?
KD: Train your gut, as you do your heart, lungs and legs. Record your intake of fluids and fuel, as you do your kilometres. With practise in training runs and races, determine the best level of fluid and grams of carbohydrates per hour that works for you.
SG: Never, ever, ever try a new piece of nutrition or hydration on race day. Same goes for socks. Stick with what you know.
What's your favourite post-race meal?
KD: The post-race dessert is what matters: butter tarts, pecan squares, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, brownies with ice cream, carrot cake, and waffles with peanut butter, chocolate chips and Endurance Tap.
SG: ice cream? Does ice cream count as a meal?! But otherwise something red meaty, like a burger or a tenderloin wrapped in bacon with roasted potatoes and broccoli.
They train hard, they eat well, they’ve got their fuel game on lock, and after a big race, like many of us, they look forward to dessert.Keep an eye out for more A Day in the Life of… posts coming soon.