What to eat before a run or race is one of the most popular topics that every beginner, intermediate, or advanced runner has to tackle.
As someone who personally doesn’t enjoy breakfast, but likes to run early in the morning I turned to the experts for some inspiration.
Below you’ll find 10 different tips from 10 different styles of runners, from sprinters to marathoners, from running bloggers to professional runners.
Ask Lauren Fleshman
Here is her pre-race go to breakfast and snack:
Last minute snack: Half a Picky Bar 60 minutes before, or a gel 15 minutes before.”
Gelcys, also known as “the scoliosis runner,” was told at the age of 14 she would never run again. And has an absolutely amazing story of overcoming obstacles to become a marathoner.
She recommends eating about 4 hours prior to a race, but my favorite tip is her advice for people running within the next 30 minutes that haven’t had a chance to eat properly ahead of time.
Black Girls Run
Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks-Rocha are the co-founded Black Girls Run to help combat the epidemic of obesity among the African-American community.
You can check out a couple of their maple syrup centric recipes here.
Runners Love Yoga
Ann built Runners Love Yoga to show all runners the power of yoga and the internal focus that can carry over into the sport and hobby of running.
Her pre-race go to is probably going to be a fan favorite:
Personal Best Nutrition
Brian Shea is the Owner and CEO of Personal Best Nutrition and a certified triathlon coach through U.S.A. Triathlon. Mr. Shea is also an accomplished endurance athlete himself having competed in over 100 triathlons and marathons.
He’s big on hydration as dehydration can often be the most influential negative impact during your run.
Be sure to check out some more of his articles on endurance nutrition and training.
Jonathan Thompson runs the blog at Johnson Fit, and he covers this topic by talking about some of the myths of what to eat prior to a common 5k.
His advice conflicts with some advice above, but we’re here to get all sides of the story so runners can make the best decision possible.
Jesica blogs about everything running because it’s always been part of her life and also to carry on the legacy of her father.
She’s a fan of eating Paleo and one of her tips has to do with one of my favorite foods.
No Meat Athlete
Matt Frazier founded No Meat Athlete back in 2009 after becoming a vegetarian. Since then he has run several marathons (including the Boston Marathon) and ultra-marathons each year.
While he offers some very traditional advice, I really liked his input on the use of what he calls “superfoods.”
One Green Planet
One Green Planet was founded by Nil Zacharias and Preeta Sinha. Their site isn’t specifically about running, but they are experts on “eating green,” which is definitely something I wanted to cover.
Here’s what they have to say:
Eat one or two of the following plant-based foods before your run. They’re easy to digest, rich in fiber and natural sugars, and incredibly energizing all own their own.
- Brown Rice
- Chia Seeds
- Cacao Powder
- Leafy Greens
Last, but certainly not least is one of the most popular running sites on the internet. Their biggest tip is to focus on high-carbohydrate foods to ensure you get at least 1 gram of carbs for every 1 pound of body weight. So, a 200 lb runner would need 100 g of carbs.
That does it for your pre-race nutritional advice.
If you think we left something off, or agree/disagree with the advice above then be sure to let us know in the comments below.