Running Mistake and Picnic Pasta with Pine Nuts

by Joanne on July 2, 2013

My running speed sessions typically fall on a Tuesday and early in the morning as all my training runs typically do.  If you keep up with good training habits, you know that eating just a little something about 30 to 60 minutes before heading out is a healthy habit.  This is especially important if running for over an hour, in hot weather, AND doing a hard workout.

Tuesday morning’s tempo run was ASTRONOMICALLY tough. Why? I ran for 65 minutes on 1/2 a cup of water and it was hot with high humidity. Bad, bad, bad.

Talking more about Pre Run fuel

Morning runners haven’t eaten since either their last snack at 9pm or 10pm or (even worse) at dinner between 5 to 7 pm.  That’s a long time without food.  Here’s a suggestion since running early in the morning doesn’t allow you to eat a good healthy bowl of oats 3 hours before.

1.  You run for an hour or less:  Water is a must! If it’s hot and you have a hard workout, take some quick energy gel or chomps or beans.  The energy gels will get right into your system within 15 minutes and help fuel your workout.

2.  If you run for an hour or more:  Water is a must, MUST! A high carb, low fiber and easy digestible food should be on the counter waiting for you as you enter the kitchen first thing.  You might opt for a little protein and fat which helps regulate blood sugar, but note the “little”.  Protein will heat you up (it’s harder to digest) and fat may trigger GI problems.  But just a little shouldn’t prove problematic.  Experiment. 

Suggestions:   Half a banana with 1 1/2 teaspoons natural peanut butter.  If doing a longer run, harder workout (and depending on your size), eat the full banana and more PB.   Someone also mentioned that Fig Newtons or a small energy bar would be good options. Be aware that foods like banana’s, breads (bagels), oats, really should be eaten at least 30 minutes in advance of your workout (60 minutes is even better) because as the body initially begins the digestive process, it uses energy. That energy is important for your workout but your body is too busy digesting and you might find that you initially feel sluggish.

What is your “rule of thumb” when eating for a training run?

Any suggestions for good pre workout snacks?

Picnic Pasta with Pine Nuts

Pasta dishes that are just as good served room temperature as they are served hot are a picnic favorite.  This recipe uses fresh ingredients and is super simple to put together for a bring–along dish to share. 

Make sure to add the toasted pine nuts. They add both a delightful texture and nuttiness to the dish.

Picnic Pasta with Pine Nuts1

Picnic Pasta with Pine Nuts6

For 6 – 8 servings (based on a recipe in Bon Appetit, Grilling Issue)

Picnic Pasta with Pine Nuts2

  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • 2 lbs., about 9 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 1 TBS chopped black olives
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (and maybe a TBS of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes.)
  • 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper – or to taste
  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta – cooked according to box directions
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts – toasted

Rub the garlic halves around the inside of a large pasta bowl then toss away.

Mix the Roma tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and fresh basil.  Cover with the oil and don’t be afraid to add a TBS of that sun dried tomato oil for added flavor.

Season with salt and pepper and allow the flavors to come together for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta, drain then, when ready, add to the tomato, mozzarella mixture.  Toss to combine.

When ready to serve, toast the pine nuts and sprinkle on top of the pasta.

Picnic Pasta with Pine Nuts3

Fresh, flavorful, delicious!

Picnic Pasta with Pine Nuts4

What’s your favorite recipe using Pine Nuts?


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • At 2013.07.02 23:34, Mary @ Fit and FedF said:

    This definitely looks like a dish we would have at our house. I love pine nuts, I use them a lot, and toasted is even better. On salads, on pasta, even blended with a few other things to make a vegan ‘cheese.’ As far as eating before a workout, I always eat before I skate, even if it means a bowl of cereal at an absurdly early hour in the morning. Since I have to drive to the rink and get on my skates there’s always at least a half an hour to spare and sometimes more, I agree that an hour is really better.

    • At 2013.07.03 14:15, Tina@GottaRunNow said:

      I like to eat at least an hour before I run. Cold cereal works for me! When I have them, I like fig newtons, too. Your pasta dish looks delicious!

      • At 2013.07.03 14:47, Lori said:

        I like to have dried pineapple before a workout. It’s good fast carbs without bulking up in the stomach.

        Pine nuts to me always = pesto!

        • At 2013.07.06 00:08, CCU said:

          Those are really good tips for running my friend, I usually do sprints so water is my life!
          Lovely looking pasta, I love the flavours in them 😀
          And pine nuts are my weakness!

          Choc Chip Uru

          Previous post:

          Next post: