Dash and dine – what to eat after the race

Now that you're done, what do you eat? (AJC file photo)

Now that you're done, what do you eat? (AJC file photo)

All those calories burned running a race; they don’t stay gone for very long. After running a race, especially if I run well, I like to enjoy a nice breakfast. My favorite two options are Chick-fil-A (most days I am not up early enough for a chicken biscuit) or Waffle House, my vote for second-best AJC Peachtree Road Race sponsor following my employer.

After running a 5K on Thursday (388 Calories burned according to my watch), I went straight for a chicken biscuit combo. As always, it was good. Looking at the Chick-fil-A website, the biscuit, hash browns and coffee contained almost double the Calories I burned running (740). At least I woke up early and made the 7 a.m. race, right? That has to be worth something, even if I’m not taking full advantage of the health benefits.

My all-time most memorable post-race meal followed my final high school cross country race. Imagine being at a Waffle House after running a hard race in the late morning. You’re not sure if it’s breakfast or lunch time and you’re hungry, so you decide to have both. That meal featured a waffle to go along with a melt (chicken or Patty) and hash browns. Hopefully, I finished it off with a slice of chocolate pie. Sorry details are a little fuzzy and I don’t remember that.

Following the AJC Peachtree Road Race in recent years, the food setup has included Cokes and Powerades plus ice cream, peaches and other assorted snacks. Not bad for a big race having to feed 55,000 hot, tired runners plus all the family and fans that show up at Piedmont Park. But unfortunately there are no chicken biscuits and it’s not the Waffle House (although there was a Waffle House trailer one year).

How do you refuel after a race, after water and maybe a gel? Do you splurge like me or keep it healthy? What’s your favorite thing to grab in Piedmont Park and what one thing would you love to see after running your 10 kilometers on July 4?

11 comments Add your comment

Gen Neyland

June 17th, 2011
10:56 pm

I’ll grab refreshments at all races but usually only go out after the PRR. If you’ve never hit the Varsity post PRR, do so. There is a bunch of us there. It’s like a family reunion. Not a knock on the Waffle House, but I reserve that experience for other times…


June 18th, 2011
2:10 pm

Varsity post-race sounds great.


June 18th, 2011
2:26 pm

A group of us always walk a few 100 yards from the park to a little shopping center village where there’s a restaurant called F.R.O.G.S (no idea what it stands for). Nothing like a pitcher of beer and an order of nachos to get us going!

Red Lobster

June 18th, 2011
4:39 pm

We always crave Red Lobster because of their cheese biscuits!


June 18th, 2011
9:28 pm

I pick up a dozen “FRESH HOT NOW” Krispy Kreme’s on the way home to share with the family. I am pretty sure the caloric intake is more than the calories burned during the PRR!!!


June 19th, 2011
10:57 pm

Taco Mac, corner of 10th and Peachtree. Beer and wings for breakfast after the Peachtree = the only way to go.


June 19th, 2011
11:07 pm

Hey everyone — love the blogs on the AJC this summer, seeing the variety of answers from people about different running topics. I have two questions (for Matt or anyone else) –

First, where can I find a watch like Matt’s that shows calories burned? i’m kinda getting back into running after a few years away doing other things, and I’d like to get a watch to time myself… what are the best kinds (and/or most affordable) watches that maybe include stopwatch functions, a pedometer, and/or a calorie counter?

Second, what is the best website to find road races around metro Atlanta each year? I would like to do some this fall.

Finally, I’m up to a little over 2 miles at a time, about 3 or 4 times a week… the body is feeling good and i’m doing around 8:45-9:00 miles. What’s the best way to push through and break that 3-mile barrier, which I probably haven’t done competitively since high school 20 years ago? I don’t want to kill my body, I want to gradually work up to doing a 5-K, and I also want to keep my time up so I could finish in the 27-28 minute range when I finally DO race.

Thanks, any suggestions would be most appreciated…. oh, and after a run, I think any place with “comfort food” is a good reward, whether it’s beer and wings or Cracker Barrell or a good pizza place or a hearty meat-and-three.

Happy racing everyone!


June 20th, 2011
12:19 pm

J.M. I have a Garmin 410 and I love it. It tracks milage, calories, splits, and keeps the history and i can view it on the website. It does have a stopwatch function and I am sure a bunch of other things that i don’t use. It does have a heart rate monitor if you buy the accessory, but i prefer to listen to my body myself rather than what some monitor is telling me.
The best way I know to push that 3 mile barrier is to just do it. Map it out and keep trying until you get there. It may take you a few tries before you actually get there, but it is mostly mental, and once you break it once you know you can do it anytime. Although some days will be easier than others.
Good luck!


June 20th, 2011
1:43 pm

@Matt – I have always liked plain Bagels after a race, but the V does sound good.
@J.M. – I use the Nike+ system which is cheaper than the GPS watches, but a little less accurate.


June 20th, 2011
5:04 pm

JM: A garmin watch has every function you’ll ever need – pace, distance, calories burned, heart rate etc. etc. I read reviews and ended up getting the forerunner 305. Check out their site and amazon.com reviews to figure out which one you would like the best.

I find most of my races on active.com. Also, Atlanta Track Club has an event calendar.

The rule of thumb for increases is 10% per week.


June 21st, 2011
1:19 pm

Beer, beer, and more beer. Followed by some smoked ribs, bratwurst, and a 24oz porterhouse