Pre-run fueling

Finding the right nutrition for a long morning run can be challenging. Everyone is different, some people can eat a full breakfast, others can barely stomach any solid food.

Finding the right pre-run fueling strategy that works best for your body can be a constant struggle. Nutrition needs are different for each individual, as it is a very personal thing. Some people can eat a bowl of oatmeal, for others it can cause some GI problems. The best way to find the perfect strategy is by practicing and experimenting with different options when training. You want to make sure that you have it all sorted out before any race.

When running early in the morning, you first have to plan your nutrition according to your distance and intensity. For example, for any run under 60 mins, all you need is water. For longer runs or intense speedwork, you have to include some pre-run fueling with 200-300 calories, otherwise you will start to feel tired, sluggish or even nauseous during your training. Figuring out the type of food that will provide the right amount of energy that is easily digestible is key. Solid foods for people with sensitive stomachs can be difficult to have before an early morning run as you will need a couple of hours to digest. Some runners rely on light natural foods and others on sports drinks, gels etc… Finding the right fuel is a matter of trial and error. Once you figure it out, it will simply become part of your daily routine.

Natural and easily digestible foods for pre-run fueling:

– Banana (1/2 or whole)
– Almond butter
– Peanut butter with some slices of banana
– Bread with honey
– Bread with honey and nut butter
– Healthy muffins
– Healthy granola bars (homemade)
– Healthy protein pancakes
– Banana + energy bar
– Banana oatmeal breakfast cookie
– Bread with coconut butter
– Banana + handful of trail mix
– Smoothies with chia seeds, flax seeds, green superfoods etc…
– Baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon and Greek yoghurt.

Try to avoid commercial sports drinks for pre-run fueling, as it may cause early drop of sugar levels and energy.

Focusing on your body’s needs and training plan will help you figure out the perfect pre-run nutrition plan.

Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!