Welcome to The Endurance Dietitian! If you’re like me, and define a large portion of your life with training plans, run clubs, “long-run-Sundays,” and chasing PRs, you’re in the right place. It seems daily we’re reading about the next best ingredient or trend we should be including into our running lifestyle. I’m here to share my passion for sports nutrition by breaking down the technical jargon of the current trends, weeding through the research and explaining what you need to know. Think of this as our runner girl talk (don’t worry—boys can still eavesdrop).
For some of us, sleeping in our own bed and being at home with our familiar routine is preferred the night before a marathon, so we sign up for races near our house or a short drive away. Others of us aren’t as lucky to have major marathons in close proximity to where we live. And many of us actually choose a marathon based on the race and or location. Pick a race in a fun new city, spend a few extra days post run and you have an instant mini-vacation with family and friends. That said, traveling to a race means being a bit flexible with your running routine and rituals.
While there are many variables that come with travel I think the biggest concern for most runners is food. While it can feel somewhat easy to find a simple dinner the night before the race, it’s that early morning wake up that can make finding an adequate pre-run breakfast feel a bit more of a challenge. Not to mention you likely (hopefully) have a breakfast (or two) that you know works for you before a big run, which you are 100% certain you need to have on the big day or else your race will totally blow up.
I’m here to tell you that you can spend your energy worrying about other things (like timing bathroom trips the morning of), because your away-from-home pre-run breakfast is actually the easiest thing to cover. I always recommend traveling runners pack their breakfast. Most breakfasts that are ideal for before a long run can be eaten at room temperature. You can also easily make oatmeal by running hot water through the coffee pot that’s usually in the hotel room. Bring your favorite staples from home, or stop at a grocery store when you arrive to buy the essentials. Today you can purchase many foods in single serving pouches, such as nut butters, oats and dried fruit, which cuts down on packing space and eliminates leftovers.
Here are my favorite simple breakfast staples that will assemble well for your pre-race morning noshing:
- Sprouted bread
- Nut butter, in the single-serving squeeze packs
- Jam or honey
- Vega Sport Endurance Gel
- Rolled oats
- Raisins (or any dried fruit)
- Vega Sport Performance Protein
- Coconut water
I recommend eating your breakfast around 2 hours before the race so you have time to digest and then top off your stores 20 to 30 minutes before takeoff.
The Endurance Dietitian’s 3 Go-To Pre-Run Breakfast Eats
- 2 hours before: 1 large banana sliced on top of a piece of sprouted bread. Topped with 1 packet of nut butter and 1 packet raisins
- 20 minutes before:Vega Sport Endurance Gel or Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer
- 2 hours before: ½ cup or 1 packet of rolled oats topped with 1 pack of nut butter and 1 pack Vega Sport Endurance Gel squeezed in like jam
- 20 minutes before: 1 medium banana
- 2 hours before: 1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein mixed with coconut water. 1 pack rolled oats with 1 banana mashed and stirred in
- 20 minutes before: Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer
And as always, practice what you eat! If you know you’re going to be eating a hotel breakfast, plan ahead and try it before. Choose a meal that you think will work well and make it for at least two of your Long Slow Distance Runs before the race.
What’s your favorite pre-race breakfast to #FuelYourBetter?