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Kristin Johnson of GRC: I typically eat pasta with some sort of protein the night before a big race. If I'm home I usually cook my mom's spaghetti and meatball recipe because it's one of my favorite foods.
Ryan Witters of GRC: I'll typically eat the standard runner-carbo-load dinner. Some form of pasta, preferably spaghetti with meat sauce. I wish I had a more interesting answer to give you. I did have a Kenyan teammate in college who would drink a glass of milk at dinner the night before every race. I've never tried it, but maybe he's on to something.
David Magida of Reebok Spartan Race Pro Team: The night before a big race I try to eat healthy. Nothing too big but something that will fuel my muscles and cells. Note that dinner the night before a race should be early so it’s digested and out of you before the race. A personal favorite of mine is Chicken Parmesan on a bed of spaghetti. Good carbs, protein, easy to digest. And delicious. The morning of the race I lean toward a bagel with peanut butter and jelly and a banana dipped in honey. I like to eat it about 2.5 to 3 hours before the race, again leaving me plenty of time to digest.
Katie Sheedy of Capital Area Runners: Pasta party! The night before I race I always eat pasta with tomato sauce chased down by lots of water and electrolytes- a routine I've followed since track meets in high school!
Susanna Sullivan of Capital Area Runners: I'm not very picky, but I like to have pasta or rice with protein and a vegetable.
Patrick Fernandez of Capital Area Runners: For me it depends on the distance. For a half marathon or marathon I'll usually have a carb heavy meal such as pasta, although just enough so that I feel full, since ideally the majority of my carb intake took place the few days leading up to the race. The meal the night before is just a little something to top off the tanks. For shorter races I usually eat a meal that is a little more balanced in terms of carbs vs proteins, something like a chicken teriyaki bowl with brown rice or a hearty Subway sandwich. I also try to eat a good amount of fruit throughout the day before a race as an additional healthy source of carbs.
Jeff Duyn of the MCRRC Competitive Master Team: In general, I eat very healthy food, and I don't deviate from that the night before a race. Main thing for me is to avoid large portions or eating too late in the evening. For marathon, I adjust my diet (carb deprivation/ carb loading) 4-5 days before the race. I also avoid coffee/alcohol during these days. I do drink coffee the morning of the race to jump start digestive tract in order to avoid bathroom breaks during race.
Randy Howard Smith of MCRRC Competitive Open Team: I would say I am more concerned about not eating anything to heavy then about what the specific meal is. That said a typical night before meal is Roasted Chicken and root vegetable medley. Of course I wash it all down with two beers!
Lisa Chilcote of MCRRC Competitive Master Team and co-coordinator: Protein and sweet potato.
Dionis Gauvin of MCRRC Competitive Open Team: I eat what I usually eat for dinner.
Christina Papoulias of MCRRC Competitive Open Team: Before a marathon, I’ll do the traditional carb loading dinner of pasta with some protein. Occasionally I’ll add in a beer for good luck (and added carbs!). For shorter distances, I don’t veer too far from what I’d eat for dinner any other night.
Kristi Markowicz of Pacers New Balance Team: "Usually pasta, but as I've gotten older, I'll eat almost anything. I have a large family to cook for (my husband and four kids), so it often depends on what's in the fridge and what I have on hand. I used to be very superstitious. Throughout high school and college, I had to have tortellini with a white sauce before big races. Now I don't take that part as seriously. As long as I have a nutritiously balanced meal, I'm happy!"