Race day breakfast?


Hudson Valley Girl
It seems as though I had a tad more endurance this past Sunday at Rumble. Tommy and I had breakfast at IHOP, I had 3 scrambled eggs, toast and was full. I was wondering what some of the other racers here have for their race day breakfast. Does filling the belly help more than eating lightly for endurance/strength?

RC ... :)


Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
There are a lot of different perspectives on this. Everyone will have their own personal experience.

I went through a lot of iterations trying different things. It wasn't until I started to get the rest of my eating habits in line that I was able to get a better boost from any specific breakfast. Basically, I was eating too little protein through the day. When I finally balanced that out, I found that the standard big breakfast heavy on carbs gave me more of a boost on race day.

On Sunday, I ate a whole bagel with a *little* bit of butter. Then I had a full bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch with Soymilk. About 2 hours before the race I had a Carnation Instant Breakfast. Then for the race I had 2 bottles. I drank half of the first one while warming up, then 1 whole bottle during the race.

Essentially, there are 168 hours in a week. If you ride 10 hours a week, that gives you 158 hours of week to get your eating habits in line. The more I dial in the *rest* of my life, the more I find that what I eat while riding/racing matters less and less. I think I could get through a race with only one bottle of water now and be fine.

As always though, YMMV. Here are threads here and here that may help as well.


Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
It probably has nothing to do with anything, but I had 2 scrambled egg and cheese on english muffin sandwichs from Dunkin Donuts. I foreshadowed a late start and ate them both at 10am, exactly 3 hours before. Does it matter? More than likely not. As Norm says, getting it right during the week and replacing your glycogen stores after hard rides will make much bigger a difference than anything you can do day-of.



New Member
Beginner Class Banquet...

6am - two bowls of Cheerios with lowfat milk
7am - bananna and start drinking small bottle of water
8am - Kashi bar
8:45 - GU energy gel and finish off small bottle of water
9am - race time

I have been trying to learn about proper daily nutrition on my own with little success. good fat v. bad fat, complex v. simply carbs, etc. The problem is that I work in NYC and rarely eat at home (breakfast, lunch and dinner) so reading labels for me is impossible. Any recommendation of a book that talks about food items/whole meals would be helpful. I read the Abs Diet from the editor of Mens Health but yearn for more...


Well-Known Member
Books have been written about the topic. As norm wrote, it is all very personal.

A couple of my golden rules for a typical MTB race.

-Eat only enough to finish the race.
-Time the pre-race meal so that it is out of the stomach (and into the intestines) by race time. Digestion is pretty low on the body's priority list when you are exercising at your limit. Regular food will just sit in the stomach. The more you eat, the more time you have to allow before the race. The exception is gels and drink mixes. They are basically pre-digested meals. The are engineered to be digested while exercising.
-Pre-hydrate with one bottle while warming up for the event.
-Master the Pre-Race Dump (PRD). I'm one of the few people willing to bring this up. I intentionally eat early the night before an early race to promote the PRD. Yesterday morning, I intentionally withheld the PRD until an hour before race time. Then I relaxed and let loose. The PRD can make or break a race for me. Go to early or pinch it off and you'll have to go again as you get ready to start. It's guaranteed. :rofl:


Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Thank you Norm and Jim V, what is the best way for replacing your glycogen?

RC ... :)

I do it the easy, non-thinking way, either with Taco Bell Fresco Bean Burritos or, if a Taco Bell is too far away, with Dedicated Athlete's recovery mix, Rapid Recharge. Of course the latter is much more effective, but the prior is more fun:D I also usually drink a Nalgene bottle or 5 with Nuun to rehydrate, and it's yummy.



Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
No gimics. No BS. It changed the way I think about food.

I have not read the book Ben linked, or even clicked the link. But if you really want to get serious his first 2 sentences are all you need.

1. no gimmicks
2. no BS

I have gone from about 285 down to 182, and now back up to the upper 180s. One guy I used to hang out with asked me how I did it. I thought about it, and answered, "Don't put anything in your mouth you know you shouldn't eat."

A few months later he took that advice and lost 40 pounds himself. It's really simple, yet terribly hard in some respects.

Another way to approach it is to never put anything in your mouth that doesn't have some nutritional value. No empty carbs or bad fats. But the reality is that life is terribly boring if you live that way. So we all cheat on that, some more than others, even BakNBen.

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
I have dropped 15 lbs by simply watching the amount I eat at one sitting. I have also cut out a lot of meat and have replaced the protien with a whey mix. I still drink a good beer or two or three every weekend. Wow the loss of weight makes a HUGE difference for me on the trail:D


race day breakfast usually is one or two eggs with a little meat to make it taste yummy, on a bagel and some milk in the morning
Top Bottom