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Youth sprinters

Answered By Kate O'Neil


My son is 11. What should he eat before the 200, 100 or 400 meter dash?


As a distance runner, I usually try to eat something nutritious that won't upset my stomach. Your son and I run very different events, but I think the same rules apply. Try to eat something with carbohydrates, some fat, and some protein. I would stick to some basics - a bagel with peanut butter, a bowl of cereal, or a turkey sandwich. It is sometimes hard to find foods like these at track meets so bring food with you if you are going to be at a meet for a few hours before your son's race. Also make sure you bring plenty of water with you. What he eats after his races is probably just as important as what he eats before. He could re-fuel with similar foods. When I was 11, I'm sure that I would have wanted an ice cream cone of Snickers bar. He certainly deserves some kind of treat, but make sure he mixes that with something healthy.