Athlete Food: Pre-Race Breakfast - Ancient Grain Oatmeal

I just plunked down $800 to buy an Ironman pro license and signed up for my first race of 2014: An Ironman 70.3 in February. So, yeah, I’m doing a 180 from not-a-care-in-the-world vacation mode of the last few weeks to I-have-to race-in-44 days panic. Well, it isn’t that extreme, but I do have to start focusing on the work to be done over the next month…and maybe stop eating so much chocolate.

I finished off last season with two half Ironmans, so longer distance racing is starting to become familiar. The mid-race nutrition is an unsolved mystery for me, but I feel confident about my pre-race nutrition: a strong coffee and a large bowl of oatmeal with lots of nuts, fruit and seeds.

This is not a typical bowl of sad instant oatmeal, thanks to purely elizabeth’s Ancient Grain Oatmeal. This new product from Elizabeth Stein’s granola company is a mix of oats, chia, amaranth and quinoa. To make it a calorie and protein rich pre-race meal, I doctor it up with extras like maple sugar, almonds and a banana.

I like to measure out portions in separate Ziploc baggies so there’s no thinking involved on the morning of the race. All I have to do is dump the contents of the bag in a bowl and add hot water. This way there’s no guessing about how much to eat: I know I have to eat the whole bowl, even if I have no appetite at 4 am or if my stomach is doing nervous flips. 

It’s also a good idea to pack your own travel-safe bowl (like the collapsible rubber one above that I found at MUJI and to double bag your oat mix for traveling in a reusuable snack pouch like this cute one I got for Christmas, from snackaby

--Bec

Pre-Race Ancient Grain Oatmeal

2/3 cup purely elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal with organic cranberries and pumpkin seeds (available at Whole Foods nationally or FOR FREE by entering this contest)

1 teaspoon maple sugar

1 pinch sea salt flakes

¼  cup raisins

¼ cup almonds

1 banana, sliced (snag one from the hotel breakfast the day before the race)

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a Ziploc bag.

Pour contents of Ziploc bag into a bowl. Pour with hot water over oat mix and stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir again and top with sliced banana.