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Energy Eats

Energy Eats

On the eve of her record-setting win of the 1978 NYC Marathon, Grete Waitz feasted on a three-course meal at Tavern on the Green complete with shrimp cocktail, steak, ice cream and red wine. When she crossed the finish line the following morning, she did indeed set a new world record, but she also hurled her shoes at her husband, mad at how horrible she felt. “I’ll never do this stupid thing again!” she yelled.

Despite the richness of her pre-marathon meal, Grete didn’t completely buck experts’ advice on diet: all agree racers should eat normally the night before a big event (and if a three-course meal is your normal, well…).

With the Pole, Pedal, Paddle on Saturday, we present ways for Jackson athletes to make the most of their spring relay (and the sub of Nordic striding with runners’ sprinting).

  •  Don’t introduce a new food or drink. Continue your training diet and eat things you know you digest well. The addition of anxiety messes with your digestive tract as is; no need to fan the flame.
  •  Pair protein (chicken, fish, turkey) with some healthy fat (avocado, nuts, olives) and carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, grains, beans). Think avocado on a Persephone baguette sprinkled with sunflower seeds or our kale salad with sweet potato and quinoa, topped with grilled chicken.
  • Everything in moderation, including hydration: Don’t flood your system with anything, including water (which dilutes your electrolytes). Drink fluids as you normally would, from water and sports drinks to tea and juice, even coffee. Arnold Palmers a plenty!
  • Don’t skip breakfast, even if your nerves are clouding your appetite. Breakfast reduces the chance of bonking. Eat slowly, chewing each bite, or blend a smoothie of bananas, fruit juice and milk. Even our granola parfait, savored slowly, would make a good start to race day.


If this pre-PPP strategy sounds boring, just remember there’s a café-full of Persephone pastries waiting for you after the finish line!