Running: Pre-race breakfast

Eating before a race is an integral part of the running experience, if you don’t eat correctly it could mess up your entire race, eat too much and you will feel sluggish and heavy. You need to eat correctly to get the best out of your run. Luckily I have experimented with this and have a few thoughts on the following! Enjoy!


Fasted run?

No, no, no, no… I used to do this and still do this for training runs as sometimes. I have no idea why I do it, I think it is because I always had worries about needing to go to the loo during the race or run and then that would cost me a good 5 minutes in the race and I would lose all momentum as I would have stopped and my legs will have realised what they are doing…

I decided after the first marathon I tried fasted that I would never do it again as I lost all energy 19 miles in. This wasn’t the wall, my energy levels just dropped. I had nothing left in me, but mentally I was okay. I felt sick my stomach was in pain. But with 5k, 10k and maybe a half marathon I am okay with doing it again as glycogen lasts in your body for up to 2 hours.

But never again during a marathon. Though I have read that if you sufficiently carb loaded or ate the day before then you would perform well during the race. I simply didn’t think it was good for me. But everyone’s bodies react differently. I feel that you will do more damage than it is worth, so, eat! But what should you eat?

Smoothie to go?

I have tried this for a couple of half marathons and it was great. I threw in a little protein and I felt full, but not enough to ruin my day. I was sustained and I knew by the time I got to the start line that I would feel great. I kept it simple with a banana and strawberry concoction as I wanted to get that slow carb release from the banana and the nice amount of sugars from the strawberries. It may be the wrong approach, but it was great for me! Scott approved! (Please note that “Scott approved!” is not a thing and you should not take my advice, go to a proper runner or dietitian)

Porridge for the win?

I will be honest, I am not a porridge or oatmeal guy and have yet to try this, but I think I might during the next marathon. Why? Well, my friends, it is because it is the go-to option in almost every article about pre-race running. Not only is it recommended by those authors, runners and articles. You will notice that you will get a little pack of oatmeal or porridge in your welcome pack, so the organisers want you to eat it as well. To be fair they could be sponsored to do so… But I digress.

I think I always tried to stay away from porridge or oatmeal because it just seemed so boring. But then stupid Scott ran away and less stupid Scott came back and said, “hey, add something nice to it”. Honey and jam. Sorted. That will do the trick to get some extra taste into the meal.

Baked goods

Second on the list is always a bagel. I haven’t done this either but I have had a nice little croissant with some jam and I felt good about it. It was light and tasty and I performed very well during that run and have steadily gotten better during these when I have started to time it better. I wouldn’t go mental on it and eat a thousand baked goods. I might add a quick round of toast an hour or so before the race just to give it a little boost.

Sports drink for a snack?

I know a lot of people who go for the banana snack right before the race to get your body nice and comfortable. But I have been reading a lot about people taking a certain amount of a sports energy drink, but not one that just has an abundance of electrolytes, but one that also contains a decent amount of carbs too. It is similar to the smoothie, it is nice and easy to drink. Having the normal breakfast, but having the energy drink as a little boost pre-race.

When I first started my marathons and running life, I would have a running pack to store a drinking bladder to keep me hydrated, as I was wary in case I needed more than what the drinks stations had. But one or two times I thought it would be a good idea to fill that bladder with a sports bladder… To this day I have no idea why I did this. I know it must not have helped my performance. One day I will look into what positive or negative affects that this would have had.

Well that is that, what are your go to options pre race? Is there anything you would never do again? Get back to me in the comments!

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