Q&A post 6: Music while running? What to eat for pre-race meal?

power-barWell Sir, I thank you for joining in on the fun with this Q&A post. Your question has been a topic of thought for hours upon hours for me as I learned more about running and race preparation.  At the present time, pretty much all races that are sanctioned by USA Track & Field require that the racers do not wear ipods, head phones, etc.  It is a safety issue for them.  This is a serious issue of debate and some marathons refuse to abide by the rule (Portland Marathon being one of them).  Most people who listen to music during races hide it somehow anyway.  Now to your questions:

“Do you listen to music while you train and/or in a race and if so, what do you listen to. Second: What do you recommend eating the night before a race, specifically a 5k, and the morning of.”

  • I listen to music quite a bit when I do my weekday runs.  It helps me to get going, get excited, and stay at it.  It breaks up any boredom that may attack my runs.  I only listen to music sometimes when I do my long runs on the weekend.  These runs are from 3-6 hours long.  I try not to bring music on these so that I train myself to just get into the rhythm of running where you are almost like a machine.  I listen to a wide variety of music on my ipod.  I have a lot of 80’s stuff, I like Led Zep. and Pink Floyd a lot when I run.  Also, 311 is a great band for me when I run.  I never listen to music in my races.  I just take in the brute reality of running the race.  A lot of people do though.
  • What I ate the night before and the hours prior to a race was something I worked really hard at perfecting.  I think I got it just right for how my body works.  Honestly, there are many theories and ideas out there, but I think that there is ONE TRUTH TO STAND BY FOR YOUR PRE-RACE MEAL (Night before).  Don’t change a thing.  Never, ever, ever change your normal routine for a race.  You know what you like to eat at night, you know how it makes you feel, and you know how you will react to it.  At marathons there is always a big spaghetti dinner the night before, and in the morning you see people throwing up because that changed their routine for the race.  Do your normal thing.  You are smart and healthy, you know what works.  As for just prior to a race, I always ate the power bar that you see in the pic. around one hour before.  It was a mild snack of about 200 calories, but it hard both complex and simple carbs.  One hour prior worked best for me, but I have read that around 3 hours prior is optimal and that the meal/snack should be around 300 calories.  One thing about a 5K is that in the amount of time it would take you to finish, you would be fine not eating anything just prior.  As the races get longer, fueling prior and during becomes more important.  For your 5K though, eating a nice healthy snack that won’t upset your stomach and that you have tried before training runs would be perfect.

2 Responses to “Q&A post 6: Music while running? What to eat for pre-race meal?”

  1. 1 gplongwood
    January 5, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Awesome. Thanks for all your advice. I will heed your warnings and not change any routines. It makes a lot of since. Thanks

    P.S. I listen the almost the same music, especially the 80’s. What can I say, I Love the 80’s.

    • 2 run4change
      January 5, 2009 at 6:50 am

      Hey, I might get a bit embarrased at times about the 80’s music, but I love the heck out of it. I llike a lot of music, but that stuff just seams to be so fun and positive. If it can make me smile after 5 hrs of running, it’s pretty dang good stuff 🙂

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