Having an afternoon or evening race needs a completely different approach to it, than an early 8am competition. Nutrition, sleep and hydration becomes priority. We can see nearly all major athletic events held at the late hours of the day, to improve on TV views and to fill up the stadiums.
While it is great for business, it is not so easily manageable for the athlete. You wake up in the morning, drink a coffee, a couple of medjool dates and amnio acids, go to toilet 1-2-3 times and boom you are ready.
First of all, you are the lightest at the morning time of the day. Second your stomach is empty, so getting it upset is lot less risky. Third you are just after a great sleep. Even if your total sleep hours were a bit off, you are just after bedtime, you are fresh as a daisy.
There are benefits too of evening runs. Mobility and joint readiness and hydration status. Normally at the evening after a full day of easy movements we are the most flexible and most mobile and also if we live well, we are the most hydrated. Injury risk are a kind of lower.
The most important factor to manage is energy levels. What to eat, when, how often, how far out from the race.
Health, fat burning, digestive efficacy, lifestyle all come to the picture. The more dialled in you are, the easier it will be to manage. There are extremely efficient and healthy athletes, who even if they were for instance fasted all day long, would be performing as nothing has happened.
If you were dependent on calories and without them, you are having always an afternoon crash, well, you can of course do tricks, but overall, you should improve your health and lifestyle as priority, instead of looking for any immediate solutions.
1 simple meal, hydration and amino acids
What I do and what I recommend to do, is very efficacious for the healthy athlete. Wake up in the morning, have your hydration going on first of all. I have an 8dl jar, I fill it up, add a hypertonic solution and drink it.
Then I have a hot beverage. It changes always, depending how I feel. A quality coffee, tea or any handpicked herbal infusion. I might even mix it up. Maybe green tea, with fresh ginger and curcuma. A stinging nettle infusion with mint. Black coffee.
It is also the time to take around 10grams of EAAs + 1g of creatine.
That is all done by 8am.
Then at around 11:30 I eat a porridge for instance. Little portion as I add fruits. I make my porridge with frozen berries and add a banana and half a yellow melon. Sprinkle cane sugar and cinnamon on it.
At the afternoon I have a nap. That is with no alarm. I don’t care if my nap was 15minutes or 2 hours. I let my body have it. Afterwards I again take 10grams of EAAs + 1g of creatine.
20minutes before the race, I also have 5 to 10grams of EAAs. I use a brand with no filling and no coating. It is just pure white powder pressed hard together and with little ease, you could crush them if needed.
That is it. No complications needed. I drink my 2 to 3litres of water with the Quinton solution. I might do 2 yoga/pilates session and a 5k jog. I might go ahead with 2mobility sessions on the roller and the massage ball, followed by some joint and muscle activation. All of these finished with a cord aided dynamic stretching.
- AM: Water + Coffee + EAA + Creatine + Yoga + Stretching
- 11:30: Mobility + Stretching + Breakfast of light foods
- 2pm: Pilates + mobility + stretching + Nap + EAA + Creatine
- 4pm: mobility + stretching
- Pre race: warm up + dynamic activation + 5g EAA (No water 1h to the race, just a little with the EAA caps) + Maybe 1 cup of green tea an hour before