We’re now a few days away from the Ironman World Championship in Kona and I’ve been thinking a lot about my pre-race routine and meal. I don’t want to get to the Start Line and realize that I ate the wrong type of food the night before. Luckily I have the best coach, Paula Newby-Fraser, and a great sports dietitian, Leslie Bonci, to keep me in check and monitor my pre-race routine and meals.
Before I eat anything, I think about if it’s going to help or hinder me on race day. The most important thing will be sticking to foods that I know work well and will keep me fueled for the entire race, especially on the different course setting of Hawaii where it can get really hot and windy.
Leslie told me I should start prepping my nutrition for the Ironman three days leading up to the race. I’ll be increasing my carbohydrate and fluid intake a little bit each day, which will be important come race day when I need it the most.
The night before the race, I’ll eat something light with carbs and protein early in the night around 5:00 or 6:00 pm. My go-to recipe from Leslie is chicken and vegetable stir fry because it’s really easy to make and tastes great! It also has everything I need in it – chicken for the protein to limit muscle breakdown; vegetables and rice for carbs; oil for fuel and nuts for protein; plus fat and sodium. There’s also pineapple in the dish, which acts as an anti-inflammatory. Every little bit helps on the course!
About 90 minutes before bed I’ll have a glass of lowfat milk and a large handful of trail mix made up of cereal, dried fruit, salted nuts and mini pretzels. This will help top off my glycogen stores and gives me more fuel for race day. The extra salt will also help prevent sodium loss on race day.
Race morning will be the final time I get a good meal in my body until I’ve completed 140.6 miles – after that, I’m sure I’ll be eating anything in sight! For breakfast, I’ll have an English muffin with peanut butter and honey, a banana and another large glass of lowfat milk. This meal will give me a good balance of carbs, protein and healthy fat to help me keep going on the Kona course.
Thanks to a great team, I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and balance since I started this journey back in February. It’s essential to eat a good balance at each meal and eat foods that will help fuel my body for the next day of training or the next workout. I’m excited to put it all to the test in a few days!
Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry
- 1 sliced chicken breast
- 2 cups Asian vegetables
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp salted nuts
- 1 cup brown rice
- Soy sauce or teriyaki sauce to taste
- Sliced or chopped pineapple, to taste
Sauté chicken and vegetables in 1 Tbsp olive oil
Add 2 Tbsp of salted nuts on top and serve over 1 cup of cooked brown rice.
Add soy sauce or teriyaki sauce to taste, and serve with sliced or chopped pineapple.