Fueling for Rio, by Alexi Pappas
August 11th, 2016: The night before my Olympic debut race.
Normally, I love trying new foods and eating adventurously, but before a big race like the Olympics, I always stick to my trusty fueling routine. Especially for the 10,000 meters—the longest Olympic event on the track—fueling for *long* term success is so important! For me, my routine begins the evening before the race, when I fuel with the following for prerace dinner:
-1.5-2 sweet potatoes: carbs are so important! I like dressing my potatoes in either ketchup or Wild Friends almond butter, depending on my mood.
-Lots of chicken
-Bread with Wild Friends almond butter or peanut butter—again, I select flavors based on my mood.
Before leaving for Rio, I knew to bring with me as much of my prerace supplies as possible: this included my Wild Friends nut butters but also a few raw sweet potatoes just in case they didn’t have them in the Olympic Village athlete dining hall! The evening before my race, I could be spotted walking around the dining hall with raw potatoes in my hands, nervously trying to find a microwave or other cooking device. All of the microwaves were broken! I was about to swap out my potatoes for pasta when suddenly a golden tray full of cooked sweet potatoes presented themselves to me. The dining hall was organized by region and I found my sweet potato gems in the kosher section. Victory! Dinner was excellent.
August 12th, 2016: Race Day!
Usually I’ll also snack on bread and nut butter before bed. Then, I try to sleep! But of course, this is always a challenge the night before a race. My dreams are overtaken with prerace nightmares, such as running through a giant tub of pudding or running with clown shoes instead of track spikes!
The next morning, I eat my prerace meal 3 hours before my competition. My pre-National-record-breaking-Olympic-race meal in Rio was the following:
-Café Mam Coffee
-Yogurt with Beet Boost beet powder and Generation UCAN carbohydrate fuel mixed in
-Sandwich with a liberal amount of Wild Friends Chocolate Almond Butter and bananas—my longer races such as this mean three slices of bread and extra nut butter.
-Water with EnduroPacks electrolytes mixed in
I’ll bring a banana and Wild Friends travel nut butter packet with me to my prerace warmup, just in case I need a snack before race time. In Rio, I opted for a little boost of Vanilla Espresso AB.