Today is the day! You guys all know that we were at training camp for cross country last week, and this past week has been try-out week. Every year, try outs for the Western Mustangs Cross Country Team end in the intrasquad race around Gibbons Park here in London. It’s a 4k race for the girls and a 6k race for the boys, each with a specific time standard that they have to meet. Not going to lie, it’s kind of weird running a “race” against your own teammates.
Anyways, we thought this would be the perfect time for us to share with you the foods that we find do and don’t work for us on race day!
Dairy of any kind
Sounds exciting, right? But we do have one saving grace on race morning, and that is oatmeal!
Slow cooker oatmeal is the perfect thing on race day morning. It turns out thick and creamy with no dairy required! Slow cooker oatmeal is also great because it fits the other requirement for race day: it’s easy, quick and stress-free. We wake up in the morning, and it’s ready, no waiting (patience is not at it’s best the morning of a race) and no worries. Minimizing stress is key!
We would like to point out that these are the foods that work for us, not necessarily everyone. People are different and their bodies handle foods differently. We know a girl who has to have eggs on race morning, whereas neither of us would dare to touch them! We’ve also known people who can eat anything – foot-long subs, burgers, hot dogs – and not have a problem. Definitely not us!
Obviously, often when we’re racing we’ve traveled somewhere and are staying in a hotel the night before, so slow-cooker oatmeal isn’t an option. On these mornings, we revert to bagels or pitas with peanut butter and jam or honey, or bring along with us packets of instant oatmeal, which works just as well. Continental breakfasts usually have all of the above mentioned items as well. 🙂
The important thing to remember is that you have to figure out what works for you, a process that can really only be done through trial and error. Rule of thumb: if you can’t eat it before a training run or workout, don’t do it. Also, if you’ve never tried it before, do not try it the morning of a race!
Lastly, remember to relax and have fun! Racing is what all those grueling training sessions are for, so enjoy it! If you have a bad race, the sun is still going to rise the next morning, and your friends and family aren’t going to disown you. A bad race is a bad race, not a death sentence. Pick yourself up, learn from it, and use that as fuel during your next workout and race!
Oh, and give this oatmeal a try, even if its not race morning, because its really yummy! 🙂
Slow Cooker Oatmeal
Prep: 5 min
Cook Time: 8 hours or overnight
1/2 c. steel cut oats
2 1/4 c. water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. raisins
2 tbsp walnuts
Optional: peanut butter and jam for swirling (not optional for us!)
The night before, combine the first four ingredients (we don’t like putting the walnuts in the night before because we like them to stay crunchy) in the slow cooker and stir. Place the lid on top, and cook on low for 8 hours or overnight.
In the morning, stir in the walnuts and divide evenly between two bowls. Into each bowl, stir in a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and a tablespoon or two of jam, if desired, or try adding in any other tasty mix-ins that you would like!
What is your “game day” food? Are there any foods that you cannot eat the morning of a competition or a big event?