by Brittany Torres
(Tennessee )

I am a high school track&field athlete. I love to run, and I am alright at it. I run the 200 meter dash. What should i do about my diet for pre-season and regular season. I'm not sure what to eat or when to eat. Say for instance, right before a meet, or the night before one, or even the week preparing for a meet.

I'd also like to know what I can do to help my lungs out more. I have asthma and it gets hard for me to breathe sometimes.

Hello Brittany,

First let's look at diet in general. I have one simple statement for what to eat and this can apply to pretty much everyone. You should eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat less of everything else. It really is that simple. In the past year or so, I have really tried to adhere to this strategy, and everything I have read about food and how it relates to your health works with this philosophy.

As for what to eat the day before a race, and then the day of the race, I can give you much more specific advice. The day before you should eat something that has a lot of carbohydrates. One of the staples of distance runners is pasta parties the night before a race. This is always good, but stay away from too much meat. Don't have a couple noodles and 15 meatballs. That won't help you out.

The day of the race, you should eat things that are easy on your stomach. Some simple things would be a bagel and some grape juice or water. Things you should avoid as they don't digest fast enough would be meat, dairy products, and even apples and pears. Another thing to avoid drinking would be citrus juices (orange, lime, lemon). This is because they can upset your stomach easily from the acidic content.

Finally, your asthma. I can't help you out much with that. Take your medication is the best advice I have for that. Ask your doctor if you can do some distance running, because I think that can help you with your lungs so long as you don't run too hard or too far.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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