The only way to reach your goals is to control the controllable. Know the difference between what is in your control and what things you can’t change. Don’t beat yourself up over things that are out of your control. If you went out drinking after your last workout of the week before your race and then had a bad race, that is one-hundred percent in your control and that would be why your race didn’t go as planned. You can’t control how other people train or how others are going to race. So if your goal is to beat someone then that isn’t a very good goal. You need specific goals leading up to race day that can help you become better to beat that person. Some specific goals that can help you place high in races would involve sleep, nutrition, enough rest days between long runs and workouts, strength training and etc.
Your body needs a lot of water and rest after your long runs and your workouts in order to repair itself making you stronger and faster. One of my biggest goals that I pay attention the most to is getting enough sleep the night before the race as well as the nights prior. Make sure you are taking good care of your body since you will be putting it through a lot of stress and pain, the goal is to get better not to injure yourself.
As for food, everyone’s body reacts differently to what they consume right before they race. The only way that I have found to be helpful to avoid the stomach aches is by treating your long runs and workouts like a race. Go through the same routine that you have on race day except experiment a little bit to see which foods and drinks give you more energy and which ones make you feel like crap. It’s not as easy as it sounds, it will take time for you to figure out what is your “perfect” meal. I’ve been running and racing for many years and at times I still struggle with consuming the right foods and drinks prior to race time. And if you’re a runner you know how painful and annoying it is when you have a bad stomach ache during a run because of food, which is something that is under your control and it should motivate you more to figure out what works for you. When you run you want to be able to solely focus on pushing your body and focusing on your form not holding in the chocolate chip cookie you consumed 15 minutes before you started running. For me, I have to stop eating all foods at least 1.5-2 hours before I race and I eat my last small meal about 3 hours before my scheduled race time. As for the types of foods I consume, I stay away from anything acidic, especially apples, they do not sit well before a race. And that is exactly what I do before my workouts to help prepare my body for race day, which is what really matters.