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Eating before ?

Hi All

Sorry to keep pestering you all for advice, but I have my first event in a couple of weeks in the form of the CastleCoombe Chilly Duathlon and I was wondering what you guys eat for breakfast before an event and how long before the start would you need to digest any food or energy or carbo bars / gels ?




  • I would go for porridge or museli for breakfast before a race as it is slow release energy. But I wouldnt just eat this for the first time before a race if you don't ususally eat it - try it for a week or so to see how well you stomach it includin.g during training sessions. As far as main meals I try and leave 3hrs before an event and snack up to 2hrs before, I know this isnt always practical but if you eat well the night before you should be okay.

    The Castle Combe series is great to get you started, no traffic, good roads and good competition....might see you there.


  • Processed carbohydrates (i.e. sugars or high GI foods) take 20-45 minutes to process as sugar in your system, depending on your metabolism, levels of activity and other stomach contents. So, the breakfast of porridge works well because oats are more complex and burn slower (as long as you're not piling sugar on top of it). Snacking throughout the morning on complex carbs (oat bars with not a lot of sugar, wholewheat bread, some specialist drinks) can keep you on a slow burn for a couple of hours. But, always try it out in "real life" first, before your race day. Some foods will affect your stomach, bowels and bladder in different ways, which may be more demanding than simple questions of carbohydrate and energy levels.
  • GraemeGraeme Posts: 48
    thanks guys

  • Hi Guys

    I'm also doing my first triathlon next year and appreciate all the advice being given. Tomroom mentions about eating well the night before a race. What would you recommend as 'eating well' the evening/night before?


  • Ive only just started training, but have been advised by athlete type friends that porridge is great, but with a handfull of raisins too, due to the slow release nature. In terms of time, like has been said, at least 2.5 - 3hours.
  • There are 2 schools of thought that I have come across, on eating the night before. School 1 (my marathon and triathlon friends, older and wiser than myself) says that you should totally carb out - pasta, risotto, bread, etc. School 2 (which works well for me, but what do I know?) says that you should just eat a good, sensible, well-balanced meal (protein, vegetables, not too much fat, some carbs, no alcohol, lots of water) and get a good night's sleep. You see, the problem with School 1's thinking is that carbs (especially processed carbs like white rice, white bread or non-wholemeal pasta) are going to get metabolised the night before and not really be available to you as a quick energy source the next morning when you do the race (indeed, most of the unused carbs will be stored in your body as fat). So, going nuts on the carbs doesn't metabolically or nutritionally make sense.

    Then, there is School 3, which says that the night before you should do whatever "gets you psyched" for the big event the next day. Whatever your ritual is that makes you psychologically feel prepared for the event the next has definite benefits, too.
  • My main worry about carb loading, would be the unloading side of things in the morning. I think for my first events, im going to have a decent steak, some steamed veg and a bit of bread. Followed by porridge and snacks in the morning.
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