Granola in the morning followed by bananas then recover after the race/ride with protein from nuts, more bananas and electrolyte fortified Smart Water or equivalent. This diet has allowed me to continue to lose weight and have enough energy to ride without bonking.
I don't do anything special ahead of time. For long rides, I usually pack a peanut butter & jam sandwich on whole-wheat bread (the jam & the bread are homemade) and energy gel. I make my own energy gel - so much cheaper! (I really like Hammer's espresso flavor, and my homemade stuff is similar.)
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I only race on foot. If it's 10 miles or less, I stick with my usual: cold cereal or oatmeal. Pancakes are my go-to for longer races and long bike rides. Of course, I have to eat them far enough ahead of the race/ride so they're not sitting in my stomach like a rock.
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I usually have 2 slices (now) home-made whole grain bread with 1 Tablespoon Smuckers natural peanut butter and 1/2 a banana, before a long ride. I keep handy Sports Beans and Hammer Gel or a bar to take as needed.
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