It can be challenging to fuel your body properly before and after a race. This is especially true when you are visiting Walt Disney World for a runDisney race. Sometimes how you eat and drink before a race can make or break it.  Ultimately you need to BE SMART!!!  You know your body better than anyone else.  Do what makes you comfortable.  If you don’t like to leave things to chance then plan ahead, which you probably already have done for the most part. Keep it simple!!!

I ran my very first marathon at Disney.  I have a very sensitive tummy so I was very particular of what I ate the 2 days before the race.  Not only did I choose a smaller park to visit the day before but I scoped out the menus of our restaurants we had reservations to. There was also a strategy of where we ate and when.  Now the more I have run long distance races, the more comfortable I’ve gotten leaving my comfortable food box.  So lets get to some ideas.

Pre-Race

Fueling runDisney raceLunch the day before the race is actually the most important meal I’ve found.  The pre race nerves haven’t set in yet.  Plus your body will have a tendency to digest that better than dinner.  My favorite parks are Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  They are small and I tend to go at a much more leisurely pace.  Plus when you visit Animal Kingdom you are more inclined to go back to your resort after the part closes. But these are a few of my personal choices.

Magic Kingdom:

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe serves my absolutely most dependable easily digestible meal…Rotisserie Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans.  Yes I know what you are thinking.  Well stop and give it a chance.

Animal Kingdom: 

Harambe Market has the most delectable grilled chicken skewer. Frankly I could do that for dinner and something heavier for dinner from say Yak and Yeti. If you like fish and are eating at Yak and Yeti Restaurant then the Salmon with rice is so great. It’s light and flavorful and won’t weigh down your body for the run.

Oh and HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!!! Any place that is a counter service can give you a glass of water for free.  So no sense becoming dehydrated on your run. Oh! Save those celebratory adult beverages till after your race!!!  What a nice reward.

Race Morning:

I’m a huge fan of packing your own food for the morning of. But planing ahead is key because it will be really really early in the morning when you wake up.  Check your race guide and your resort to see if they have any open the morning of the race.  You never know and it never hurts to ask.

Post Race10924774_10152724896543429_8284975410314398280_n

runDisney provides you with a box of yummies after you walk through the finisher’s shoot.  It’s contents change every race I’ve done, but can have anything from crackers to yummies to cheese.  Of course grab yourself a couple of waters and powerade before you walk away.  You’re going to need that as you head back to your resort.  It’s really important to replenish all that fuel your burned and water you lost.  Central Florida can get hot and humid it is vital to stay on top of your hydration.  When you get back to your room you should have some sort of protein/carb balanced snack to nosh on.  I tend to snack on nuts and cheese/crackers.

Favorite runDisney Post Race Snacks

  1. Dole Whip
  2. Pickle
  3. Ghirardelli Ice Cream
  4. Mickey Bar
  5. Turkey Leg
  6. Grand Marnier Slushi from France
  7. Via Napoli Pizza
  8. Pot Roast Mac n Cheese

There you have it. Some ideas on how to fuel properly while on vacation in Disney World for your runDisney race.  Really it is a matter of being prepared and be smart.

What are your favorite places to eat before a race in Disney World?  How about a treat after the run?

Want to continue this conversation?  Please join us on this topic and all things Disney in our Facebook group: Disney Express Lane

photo credit: Jeff Krause Photography Animal Kingdom- Yak & Yeti Blues via photopin (license)


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Kristin Sullins Deaton

Kristin is a full-time optometrist and Mom of twin boys. As if that didn't keep her busy enough, she also love all things running (road, trail, ultras), triathlons and, you guessed it, Disney! Want to know anything about runDisney? Kristin is your go-to guru! Her dream is to one-day attend the Disney Business Institute but until then, (hey, guess what, she did!) she'll be taking care of her patients, visiting the happiest place on Earth as much as possible, and sharing her Disney experiences right here at Walt Express!
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