What do you eat be­fore a race?

– JAMES, RANDBURG

Runner's World South Africa - - Human Race - Ryan San­des

I eat break­fast two to three hours be­fore a race that starts in the morn­ing, so that I don’t wind up feel­ing ‘ heavy’. I find two slices of toast with nut but­ter, sliced ba­nana and honey easy to eat – and when paired with a good cup of cof­fee, it gives me lots of en­ergy.

If the race starts in the af­ter­noon or the evening, I fol­low my usual diet: a sim­ple, carb- heavy meal, like av­o­cado on rye toast driz­zled with olive oil and sprin­kled with salt.

In the past, I made the mis­take of overeat­ing be­fore a race, and then spent the first few hours feel­ing un­com­fort­able, as my body strug­gled to di­gest the food. These days, I’d rather start a race hav­ing eaten less. I carry nu­tri­tion with me, so hunger is never an is­sue. To en­sure I’m well hy­drated, I also con­sume an elec­trolyte drink in the two to three hours lead­ing up to the race.

I travel to most race des­ti­na­tions with my moka pot, and I even take my own cof­fee beans with me; I guess I’m a cof­fee snob. But you can’t beat a good cuppa in the morn­ing!

Ryan San­des, a. k. a. ‘ Hedgie’, is the 2017 Western States 100- Miler cham­pion.

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