Racing and Vacationing? Don’t Let Nutrition Slide (Too Much)

If you're planning on running a race during your next vacation, prepare ahead of time to balance food indulgences with good fueling.

Packing for your next runcation (definition: a trip that includes running a race)? Sure, you are bringing your favorite shoes, socks, and gear, but don’t forget to PACK for your nutrition as well. A few eating tips can make your race and your vacation a win-win:

Plan ahead—You can’t afford to be under-fueled leading into a race, so be sure to fill your travel bag with protein bars, whole grains, nuts, and nut butters. Healthy snacks are essential to keep your energy levels up.

Add in produce—By default, many vacations are void of produce because people are on-the-go and eating out. However, adding fruits and veggies to your runcation can provide you with vitamins, minerals, and hydration, as well as help you stay regular. Many people have trouble with daily bowel movements when traveling and that can be a big negative on race day. So, be sure to fill up on produce throughout your trip.

Choose Wisely—All vacations, including runcations, should have some fun meals where you just let go and enjoy foods that may not be on the training plan. However, if you are leading up to a race, don’t go overboard. Indulge here and there, but be mindful of your choices. A few delicious bites with a nutrient-rich meal never hurt anyone.

Kickstart your race—Start your race prep nutrition 24–36 hours in advance. Adding some extra carbohydrate, fluid, and sodium to each meal and snack the day before your race can help you maximize your energy stores so that you’re ready to go on race morning.