11 Tweaks to Make to Your Nutrition when Training for a Spartan Race

Super Spartan HLF - 11 Tweaks to make when preparing for a Spartan Race.

Heritage LifeFit Fitness classes Hard Corps and the CrossX Rebels have been rigorously training for a Spartan Super at Lake Elsinore on January 28th.

As the big day approaches, here are some things you can do now to make sure your body is in peak condition for racing! Since we haven’t been doing a full nutrition plan yet, I don’t want to drastically change anything before the race and upset your body’s current system.  So, many of these will be ‘tweaks’ rather than an overhaul!


  1. Start by removing any low-quality junk foods such as: refined grains (pasta, cookies, etc.), artificial chemicals, sugar and fried foods.  
  2. Focus on increasing the quality of your diet.  High-quality foods such as vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, lean meats and fish, and starchy vegetables, like yams or sweet potato are the best choices.
  3. Increase the amount of anti-inflammatory foods you’re eating, such as Tumeric, Omega 3’s from salmon or supplements, and Bromelain from pineapples and cinnamon.  This will help you recover from workouts leading up to race day.
  4. Make sure you’re getting enough protein to rebuild your muscles.  Eating plenty of lean meats and fish is ideal.
  5. As training intensifies, slightly increase your healthy carbohydrates for muscle energy.  (Yams, sweet potato, plantains). Just remember, don’t go crazy overboard here; you’re not trying to bulk up before the race either!
  6. Eat lots of dark green vegetables to make sure you’re getting high antioxidants and nutrients your body needs like vitamins C, E, K and minerals.
  7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! You cannot drink enough clean fresh WATER!  Start hydrating now so you don’t have to play catch-up on race day.  
  8. For extra electrolytes, you may consider adding trace minerals to your water or drinking some unflavored coconut water.
  9. DO NOT pasta/carbo load!! This is an old myth!  If you overload on refined carbs, you may end up feeling more bloated and sluggish on race day!
  10. Drink a little beet juice before your race. Beet juice is packed with dietary nitrates, which help blood vessels dilate, increasing blood flow to muscles during exercise. Studies have shown that drinking beet juice two to three hours before running can enhance performance (always makes sure to do a test run before race day).
  11. Which leads to my last tip:  NEVER experiment with nutrition for the first time before a big race!!  You may end up regretting that in the port-a-pot bathrooms later!  


Laura Conley is a nutritionist at HLF Fitness. During her twelve years as a private fitness and wellness coach, she specialized in functional fitness, sports performance and holistic nutrition. Laura strongly believes that by incorporating the body, mind, and spirit we can all truly transform and thrive.