Perfect Pre-Race Day Meal Plan

It's the morning before your triathlon, and you've charted out the ideal schedule to ensure you're well-rested and prepared for your first Ironman 70.3 race.

You plan to organize your gear, take a short run around the neighborhood, pick up your race packet and then talk shop with some fellow triathlete friends.

This perfectly planned day could fall short if you ignore what you're putting in your body.

More: How to Avoid GI Distress on Race Day

Triathletes as well as marathoners and long-distance runners often focus on the meal the night before their big race.

One of the biggest myths in racing is that you need to carb load with a big pasta dinner the night before, says Jesse Kropelnicki, an elite-level triathlon coach who founded personal training company QT2 Systems and sports nutrition guide

More: 5 IM 70.3 Nutrition Mistakes to Avoid

What you eat throughout the day is equally important, if not more so.

Triathletes who want to be well-fueled and energized on race day should consider outlining a meal plan for the day before the race.?Check out?Kropelnicki's recommendations below?for a well-rounded pre-race meal plan that will fuel you up, without dragging you down.


Your most important meal is breakfast the day before the race. This breakfast should be big, says Kropelnicki. It should also be low-fiber, low-fat and focus on carbs, such as pancakes.

More: Your Most Important Pre-Race Meal

The perfect pre-race day breakfast might include two eggs, pancakes, two pieces of toast and even homefries.

Breakfast tip: Finish that breakfast before 9 a.m. the day before your race.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks

The rest of the day should consist of clean, easily digestible carbs that are low in fiber and fat. Shoot for your body weight in kilograms times 10 for grams of carbohydrates that you want to consume that day.

Snack tip: Bagels, fat-free fig newtons, pretzels are all examples of snacks to eat.

Late afternoon

You've picked up your race packet and maybe you've just returned from running errands or a light jog. It's time to refuel with something a bit more substantial than pretzels.

Kropelnicki suggests a power bar later in the day along with a performance sports drink.??


Say goodbye to that mammoth pasta dinner with salad and Texas toast. Dinner time is all about moderation. You can have your pasta, and eat it too. You just need to cut your typical portion in half.

For dinner eat only 60 to 80 grams of carbohydrates worth of plain pasta and about half of a chicken breast, says Kropelnicki.

Final tip: Stay away from nut butters, whole grains, fiberous fruits and veggies.

More: Your 10-Point Plan to Boost Nutrition

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About the Author

Kirsten Korosec

Kirsten Korosec is the tennis editor for When she's not on the court, she can be found hiking, rock climbing and participating in endurance events.
Kirsten Korosec is the tennis editor for When she's not on the court, she can be found hiking, rock climbing and participating in endurance events.

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