The Perfect Pre-Race Health: Top Running Bloggers Feedback On The Impact Of Food On Running

as seen at Nordic Track

We caught up with four running bloggers: Erika Howder, Jennifer Boudreau, Jason Saltmarsh and Beth Risdon to discuss good pre-race health. Having the perfect pre-race health means something a little bit different for each blogger. But, the overall idea is to take precautions to keep your body healthy and strong. That means eating right, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and keeping a positive attitude. Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy supply of carbs, proteins, “good” fats, whole grains and veggies are the key to energetic training and racing success.

What does perfect pre-race health mean to you & what have you done to prepare for racing at peak health performance.

Erika Howder:

  • “Pre-race health for me means to listen to my body. I try to eat healthy whole foods the majority of the time and make sure I get enough sleep, in addition to following a training plan. Most importantly though, if my body says it needs an extra rest day or more sleep, I try very hard to honor that need, even if it means missing a run.”

Jennifer Boudreau:

  • “I'm a teacher and it seems like weeks before a big race, every single student seems sick.  As they sneeze or cough, I reach for the sanitizer.  I also up my antioxidants and vitamin c prior to a race.  I've learned my lesson before doing a race while sick (which landed me on the couch for over a week with pneumonia), so I take all of the precautions I can to stay healthy and strong.“

Jason Saltmarsh:

  • “Perfect pre-race health means that you are ready to race without pre-existing injury, with your energy stores topped off, and possessing a positive state of mind that makes peak performance a reality. I take the weeks and days leading up to a big race very seriously. I taper wisely, I eat plenty of healthy foods, I eliminate alcohol completely, I get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and I visualize success when I start feeling anxious.”

Beth Risdon:

  • “While I'm not sure there is such a thing as "perfect," I do strive to come into a race with my body and mind as prepared as possible. This involves training myself mentally to keep my head in the game, to execute my race strategy and to remind myself of a mantra when times get tough (eg."I've done this before, I can do this again."). I come into a race well hydrated and with my glycogen stores as built up as possible (this involves a carb heavy meal the night before and a decent carb-filled early breakfast). “

Based on your experiences what aspect of food has the heaviest impact on your training and race health?

Erika Howder:

  • “Keeping the right balance of protein, carbs, and fats has the most impact on my race health and training. If I stray too far in one direction or another, I find myself struggling with energy on my runs. Having a carbohydrate and protein snack fairly quickly after a hard effort run is super important for recovery and sets me up for a good run the next time I go out.”

Jennifer Boudreau:

  • “Two weeks prior to a marathon, when the tapering begins, so does the "race weight" plan.  While my mileage is low, fuel is important but keeping the intake in check is important as well.  While fuel is important so is hydration.  I really focus on getting in my gallon of water in the weeks prior to a race.  When I am well hydrated, I feel good and perform better. “

Jason Saltmarsh:

  • “I've learned that drinking plenty of water and refueling with protein after workouts helps me recover faster and feel better. I make it a regular habit to drink 8-10 glasses of water each day and I enjoy a whey protein smoothie with fresh fruit and almond milk after every run. Before my workouts and races I'll have a cup (or two) of coffee to get the engine revving.”

Beth Risdon:
  • “In my opinion, there are no magical foods, but there are foods that can fuel the body for optimum performance. For me, this means eating a relatively clean diet of veggies, whole grains and proteins like beans, eggs and some lean meats. During intense training cycles one of the key things is getting enough "good" fats (mono- polyunsaturated) such as avocadoes, olive oil, peanut butter and salmon. “

Always Listen To Your Body When Training For Your Next Big Run

So, how can you achieve perfect pre-race health? Well, according to expert personal trainer, Jillian Michaels, it's not about being perfect. What truly matters is the actual effort you put into preparing for the race. That means doing what it takes to stay motivated, remain healthy and keep your body strong. The secret to achieving your running goals and winning the race is not being scared to fail. Just keep pushing forward and let your tenacity lead the way. Soon, you'll discover that your healthy diet and daily workout routine have successfully helped you become the strong runner you've always dreamed of being. And, never, ever let anyone squash your dreams.

NordicTrack would like to offer a special thanks to the running bloggers involved. Take a look at what they have been up to lately on their blogs / sites.


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