I’m linking up again this month with Amanda at The Lady Okie and Becka at Sunshine To The Square Inch for their Runner’s Tell All monthly linkup.  Be sure to pop over to their blogs to see what they have to say on today’s topic, and to see who else is linking up.

This month, Amanda and Becka’s cue was to write about nutrition and fuel while training…


Generally speaking, I eat pretty healthy…  Compared to the average American, I eat extremely healthy; but compared to my healthy living blogger peers, I’m much less impressive.  Heck, I’ve never even tasted overnight refrigerator oats, I don’t always buy organic, I’m known to drink the occasional soda, and I’ve only recently fallen in love with kale.

Today I’ll leave the day-to-day nutrition to the experts, and I’ll talk about pre-run and race-day fuel; what works for me, and what I need to avoid.

For anyone that’s been hanging out with me for a while, either on the running trails or by reading my blog, you know that I have a thing about porta potties.  In my opinion there can never be too many, and running around the curve on a trail, and seeing a porta potty ahead is a beautiful thing.

What does this have to do with fueling for a run?  Everything!

It has taken years, but I have finally figured out what I need to eat (and not eat) the day before a big race in order to perform at my best.  For me, performing my best means not having to stop to go to the bathroom along the way. And that starts with a “successful” trip to the bathroom at home before I head out the door for my run.

True story:  I was running strong, feeling like a million bucks, enjoying perfect racing weather, and on track to run a 3:30 at the Baltimore Marathon, when it hit.  There were no porta potties or bushes to be found as I did the “please don’t poop, please don’t poop, please don’t poop” walk-of-almost-shame past row house after row house.  Finally I found a place to go, but by then I had lost so many minutes that I ended up barely breaking four hours.

Situations like that have made me analyze my diet to death!

  • The Day Before:
  • I’ve learned that I can’t eat any fatty foods  the day before a race.  For me, fatty foods choose  to make a reappearance along the race course, and usually when there’s no porta potty in sight.
  • For years we had pasta the night before a long run or race, but I’ve realized that I’m much more likely to have good race (i.e. bathroom) results if I eat salmon instead of spaghetti.
  • High fiber foods work great for me.  I usually have a large salad with baby spinach as the base with dinner the night before my race or long run.
  • Race/Long-Run Morning:
  • I start drinking lots of water as soon as I get up to get things moving.
  • A banana with a small amount of peanut butter or almond butter is my favorite pre-run morning fuel.
  • After years of using GU, I have recently switched over to Honey Stingers and find that they work better at keeping my bathroom emergencies to a minimum.
  • I drink water while out on the trail, and if I’m running a longer race, I don’t take the sports drink offered unless I have tried it before and know that it will not upset my stomach.


Please keep in mind that this is what works for me.  I know that most experts say to stay away from high fiber foods for the last few days before a big race, but if I did that there would be no bathroom visit that morning, and I’d be stopping every few miles once the jostling began.

Now watch…  Because I posted this, I probably just jinxed myself and I’ll have to duck into the woods during tomorrow morning’s hill repeats!

  • Questions:
  • What are your pre-race fuel secrets?
  • Has a “bathroom situation” ever cost you a goal time at a race?
  • What is your favorite post-race treat?  ~ chocolate milk

Previous Runner’s Tell All Linkups: My Running Story In 250 Words, ,Favorite Running Gear And Products, and My Proudest Running Moment.