My Go-To Pre Race Breakfast
|February 6, 2015|
One question I always get from new runners is “what should I eat for breakfast on race day?” So I wanted to share my go-to pre-race breakfast with you: PB&J toast + banana + hydration
Technically speaking, I eat an AB&J (almond butter and jelly). And I guess if you want to get even more technical. I don’t own a toaster oven so I don’t actually eat toast unless I want to turn on the oven.
On average, one slice of whole wheat bread is around 12 grams of carbs. You can choose whatever bread you like but my favorites are the earthy nutty breads like Ezekiel bread. Adding the almond butter and jelly aid in flavor as well as providing a little bit of protein for muscle repair and extra sugar for additional carbs.
A banana is a good fruit option pre and post race because it’s a good source of potassium, B6, and magnesium. Potassium for me is very important. I am very prone to muscle cramps, especially in my toes due to my flat feet. With proper shoes, socks, and stretching I’ve been able to alleviate most of the problems I’ve come across during races, but I still struggle with the cramps from time to time and potassium is known to help prevent cramping. B6 is involved in transporting oxygen to the cells. This is vital for any athlete. Finally, magnesium helps to maintain healthy bones. With the prolonged pounding on your joints from running, magnesium is important if you plan to continue running through your 60s.
Last but not least, hydrate. If it’s race morning and you didn’t hydrate enough the past 2 weeks, this is not the time to make up for slacking off on your hydration routine. You don’t want a tidal wave swooshing in your stomach as you run. I like to drink about 1 bottle of water before the race depending on how much time I have from the moment I get up to the race start. I also like to add Nuun to my water. I’m a sucker for any flavored drink since I gave up soda and Nuun has added electrolytes – great for an athlete! Then I rely on the aid stations to provide my water along the course.
One big mistake you don’t want to make is trying something new on race day. What I shared with you above is what I personally do. But everyone is different and I am not a nutritionist. You’re training plan should have some long runs scheduled in. Plan to do your long runs at the same time of day that your race will start, that way you can get to know your own body and what it craves early in the morning.
… But let’s be honest. My race breakfast does NOT look like the photos above. It looks more like this. Packed the night before in a ziplock bag and a banana on the side.
It was freezing outside so I ate in my car with the heater at full blast until it was time to head to the start. This was before the Citrus Heritage Half Marathon. I did it last year for the inaugural event and had to come back for the 2nd annual race. It’s a beautiful run through the historic orange groves in Riverside and the sunrise was breathtaking! As I ran, I could smell the sweet citrus growing along the course.