Pre-race anxiety poo - aka Nutrition thread

My usual race routine is to get super anxious about starting, and then not feel like eating anything, racing hard, blowing up, and inevitably wishing I approached it better.

Or, if I do force myself to eat, I hate the taste of everything I’m eating and have to choke it down. Then it seems like it sits in my belly where it’s of no use to me and halfway through the race I’m burping it back up.

So what are your nutrition tips? How do you prepare? How do you recover? How should you feel the next day?

Liquid calories instead?

I don’t race, but I never feel like eating early in the morning before an all-day ride or hike. My solution is to get it over with quickly with two Ensures (the 350-calorie kind). I buy it in bulk from Amazon.

Then stuff myself at the lunch stop.

My last real food needs to be at least 2.5 hours before warming up. I should have as little stress as possible while eating (i.e. not while rushing to leave the house or while traveling and worrying if I’ll make it on time). After that, I’d consume some trash calories (soda, mikshake, something that wouldn’t hang around in my stomach). Gels and gummies agree with me pretty well and I’m not averse to eating more than one in the hour before a race.

This would be if I actually cared. If it’s just a cross race where I’m not competitive, I’ll eat a big breakfast and pick up a Subway sandwich on the way. Eat half before the race and half after with beers to wash it down. Sometimes I’ll make a PB+J with eggo waffles instead of bread. That’s usually not too offensive to my stomach either before or after.

When I was in the 5s and 4s I was fast, but now I’m at the back of the 3s. Last year I was concerned about moving up, but this year I’m trying to settle in with an attitude for fun more than placing, but I find I’m still obsessive about performance, which in turn makes me not wanna eat, which in turn hurts my performance.

Maybe the key is finding ways to de-stress, and then eat better. I do like the Ensure idea, though…

I have the same appetite loss when I get anxious. As said above, gels and liquids can be easier to get down. I’m also of the opinion that nutrition isn’t very influential on cycling performance. As long as you can get enough calories from carbs without seriously disrupting your digestion, you’ll be ok imho. (though i had to give up Roti before crits)

I think reducing your stress level is probably a good idea. The best way to do this, in my experience has been to race at every opportunity you get. I still get down to race weight before every start, but eating solid food isn’t really a problem anymore.

As a bonus, doing lots of bike racing is really the best way to become better at bike racing.