Expert Tips: What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Eat Leading Up to a Big Race

Listen up, soon-to-be Blue Cross Broad Street Run runners: this year’s race is right around the corner! (Is it just me, or do you wish we had an extra week … or 10?) Although your workout load has lightened as you taper your way through these final days, taking a relaxed approach to your entire training plan (ahem, what you eat) could sabotage the progress you’ve worked so hard to make since scoring your Broad Street bib.

Registered dietitian and sports nutritionist Jenna Stranzl knows that what you put into your body is as crucial as what you do with it. So, loosen the exercise reigns, let your legs wind down, and devour these fueling tips for the ultimate pre-race cuisine routine.

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What You Should (And Shouldn’t!) Eat Before Long Runs, According to a Philly Dietitian

My mother makes the best lasagna. (I know you think your mom does, but I’m here to tell you that this stuff is heaven in a Pyrex pan.) A few summers ago, I visited home while training for the Philly Marathon. Mom felt particularly adventurous one afternoon and decided to whip up a double-ricotta version of her lasagna. I had a post-dinner training run planned, but hey – how much harm can an ooey-gooey plate of pre-run pasta actually cause?

Answer: Somewhere out there is a porta potty that hasn’t been the same since 2014.

My parents’ house sits atop a steep hill, so the first mile or so was business as usual. However, the second my sneakers hit level ground, all the saucy business inside my gut began to bubble, toil, and create allll kinds of trouble. I had to pull the plug at mile three, and the walk home was (literally) an uphill battle.

I consider it my duty to save other stomachs from this now-proven recipe for disaster. Fortunately, Philly-based registered dietitian and sports nutritionist Jenna Stranzl feels the same way. Read on for her breakdown of the best and worst foods to feast on in the hours leading up to your next long run.

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Run These: 9 Really Fun Philly-Area Summer Races

ODDysey Half Marathon | Photo via Facebook

ODDysey Half Marathon | Photo via Facebook

Fantastic summer races may feel as though they’re few and far between, but fear not! Our city and boasts a whole slew of one-of-a-kind running events in the warmer months. From a jazzy mainstay, to a little bit of yoga and a bright sea of bubbles (don’t worry — they supply the soap!), you’ve got more than enough opportunities to shape up (and sweat your buns off) throughout summer. Read on to find your perfect (very sweaty) race.

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