In addition to the lovely racing weather @ RTP, another huge running variable came through for me big time that day: my nutrition plan. I will preface this by saying that I made the mother of all no-nos that day–I tried something new the morning of the race. I know, I know, I can hear the gasps from the crowd. However, I constantly struggle with the perfect pre-run / pre-race meal and was desperate to give something else a shot. The virgin ingredient debuting just hours before the race? Coconut water. See, that’s not so shocking. Of all the nutritional curveballs I could have thrown, that one was pretty mild. Lucky for me, it all turned out alright. Perfect even.
A fan of protein shakes post-run, I was curious how they would serve me pre-run as well. I have a pretty unreliable stomach when I run hard, so the idea of an easily digestible breakfast a couple hours before gun time sounded like the perfect Rx. The problem? I like a milk-based shake and something told me my sensitive stomach would not appreciate that 3/4 cup of dairy around mile 9. In walks coconut water. As neutral on my tummy as regular H20, but with serious hydrating benefits to boot. My new secret weapon:
12 oz coconut water
1 scoop chocolate whey protein
1 frozen banana
2 oz tart cherry juice
What to do with it all? Blend. Enjoy. Run your ass off. How easy was that?