It’s 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Three hours from now you’ll be lining up at the start of a cyclocross race, readying for 45 minutes of full-throttle action. By now you’ve put the training in, but what about fuel? What does your body need for this mammoth, heart-pounding effort?
“Stick to foods that are easy on the stomach, but are tasty and will fill you up,” explains Allen Lim, a sports physiologist and Ph.D., who’s worked with numerous professional cyclists and teams, and is co-author of The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes.
Among Lim’s favorite race-morning meals is Biju’s Oatmeal, a favorite recipe of Feed Zone co-author and master chef Biju Thomas. “It leaves you satisfied and it’s delicious,” says Lim. “Add in a couple of eggs cooked whatever style you like, plus some freshly squeezed juice and tea or coffee, and you’ll be ready to go.”
If your race happens to be later in the day, say 2 or 3 p.m., you’ll need to add in a second meal says Lim. “For instance, if you’re racing at 2, have your regular breakfast at 8 a.m., do an easy pre-warm-up spin at 10:30 a.m., and then have an early lunch around 11:30.”
Lim suggests mixing eggs with pasta or rice, which are two of the many great lunchtime recipes in The Feed Zone Cookbook.
“Then around 1 p.m. you’ll want to begin your primary warm up,” he continues. “This is also when you’ll want to top off hydration utilizing a product such as Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix. And if you’re hungry have a small snack such as a muffin or a homemade rice cake.”
Now that the fuel is in, the rest is up to you.
The Feed Zone Cookbook offers 150 athlete-friendly recipes that are simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.