Race Nutrition Strategies While Traveling

Race Nutrition Strategies While Traveling

Race Nutrition Strategies While Traveling

  • by
  • July 7, 2017

Recently I headed home for a vacation in Newfoundland after racing the Vancouver Spartan weekend. It was great break, along with getting a chance to relax, I kept myself active by hiking and trail running daily.

Like anytime you travel, when in transit, nutrition choices can be difficult. Especially if you don't have the same availability of food you have at home.

Some staple choices I pack with me include the following:
Quest bars, Lara bars, Macro bars, Cliff Nut Butter bars, Daily Greens, BCAA's and Vega One packages.

This certainly help's with temptations when my only option is a gas station on the side of the road. Or, if who I'm visiting has baked goods lying around.

When I first headed out we camped for 3 days. Food selection was actually really good and I have plenty of carb healthy options to fuel my activity.

For the second part of the trip we headed to my parents house. Like most good mothers they want to make sure there is enough food around to feed an army. I did pick up some of my own groceries which included a variety of veggies, bread of choice, eggs, and mixed nuts.

We had lots of great seafood as well, however, there was usually a couple of treats a day thrown into the mix. Not a bad thing, however with a week leading up to a race on a tapered program I like to keep watch over that and reduce consumption to no more than once per day. Much easier to do when you are in your own house and you don't have temptations lying around.

Where the wheels really fell off was two days out of Toronto.

I traveled into St. John's on the Thursday to take the plane out the next day.

I did pack my usual bars and a large tray of raw veggies. This held me over, but I was in desperate need of a meal by lunch. Of course on the road this can be issue and as a result had to choose a fast food option.

Then later that night I had a family dinner that night where I ended up eating too much.

The next day I had my own breakfast which I prepared ahead of time. It included half an avocado, 2 boiled eggs and a bowl of oatmeal.

For lunch I met a friend. I was hoping for something simple like fish, rice and veggies however the place had more complicated menu options then expected. As a result I settle for the most natural non fried option I could find, which, believe it or not was Beef tartar and seafood soup with sourdough bread. I'd like to say this sat well, but it didn't. I do not usually recommend red meat, heavy bread consumption or non-homemade soups the day before a race.

On the way to the airport I picked up some snacks. Unfortunately selection at the store I went to was limited and ended up with a small salad and larabar bites. After eating all of that I was relatively unsatisfied, and there was nothing at the small airport to make up for the lack of food I wanted for dinner.

When I got into Toronto it was late, I had an hour drive to my hotel and I had the choice between an airport kiosk sandwich, subway and Tim Horton's. I chose Tim Hortons. I typically try to stop eating around 8pm. So this was not normal for me.

There was no grocery stores open that night in the area I was staying, so all I had pre race was tap water, caffeine pills and a larabar. Tap water is not the worst thing, however when traveling to a new location and you are not used to the pathology, its best to go the bottled route and glass if possible.

Energy was certainly lacking and not to sound like a diva but I wished I planned out my final couple days leading up to the race better.

This is something we commonly face when we travel for races, and I can't stress enough how much better you'll feel if you plan ahead and prepare meals and snacks in containers. Provided there is no liquid you can bring these items with you in your carry on.

The following day was the sprint. I actually felt much better for this race mentally and physically.

Here's what my day looked like after the race on Saturday:

I drank a litre of water, ate 2 banana's and had a whey shake.

On the way back to the hotel I grabbed another shake from Jugo juice that had spinach, kale, blueberries, banana, whey protein, vanilla yogurt, turmeric and flax seeds.

For lunch I had a large tray of sushi. I just used one pack of soy sauce.

For dinner I had a chicken curry with rice and veggies, light on spice.

I consumed an additional 2 litres throughout the day in combination with what I had pre, during, and post race.

Also that afternoon I did 2 hours of mobility and e-stim.

Sunday morning pre race I did the following:

500ml of pure beat juice I picked up the day before, along with 8 grams of BCAA's, a larabar, half a banana, and about 300mg of caffiene. This is ussally standard for me. Depending on the length of the race I may have more. I like the idea of oatmeal, but it can sit heavy with me when in a race. Same goes for bread with butter and jam.

I also dislike having a lot of powders pre race. During the Montana Beast I threw up in the first barbwire because of this. Oh, and I had a bagel with peanut butter as well :p. I typically just do BCAA's now and avoid any other protein sources pre-race.

My favorite options days leading up to a race is oatmeal, eggs, fish or chicken with steamed veggies and either basmati white rice, sweet potatoes or pasta. When I arrange this, I feel my best.

I also don't think its a good idea to vacation before a race. Race then vacation. It's better your nervous system is more stimulated then relaxed before an event. Vacations no matter how active, can make us feel less competitive.

Best time to experiment with pre race meals is before early morning workouts on the weekend or during the week if you workout before work. You can also experiment here with caffeine levels, nitrate consumption and anything else you feel may benefit you.

Live and learn. You train so hard for your races don't let nutrition slow you down. If you are competitive take notes and continue to improve your game. Any inch you can give yourself in a race to perform at your best is worth it.

For more tips on race nutrition be sure to check out my book: https://payhip.com/b/wLWR

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Josh Stryde B.Kin (Hons), CSNN Holistic Nutrition Consultantâ„¢, Precision Nutrition Level 1, PTS

Josh has been working and educating in the fitness Industry for over 10 years. He has seen his greatest success by arming his clients with knowledge and allowing them to active role when working towards their goals. Without knowing why you are eating the way you are eating, or why you are following a particular workout routine it becomes difficult to stay consistent.

Spartan Team Canada 2017
Team PVL 2017/2018
20+ OCR podium finishes


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