When I first decided to run longer distances, 10 miles or more back in 2009, the thought of eating something before these early morning runs never occurred to me. After all, I had been going to the gym for years and running 5 miles a couple of hours before having any kind of food. I remember my first attempt at 12 miles on a stomach full of NOTHING. An epic failure. I was very careful working myself up to running that distance without getting injured although paid no attention to an equally important aspect of endurance which is nutrition. Now, after 16 marathons, a key part of my training is tweaking the nutrition.
For shorter and easy training runs, I will try to minimize my carbohydrate intake, teaching my body to utilize energy stores as much as possible as well as getting used to running on low carbohydrate availability. For longer and harder workouts, I will pay close attention to my pre-workout meal, trying to find out what my stomach and overall body will use to perform its best.
Here is what I’ve found:
1. Oatmeal seems to go right through me on a long run.
2. One whole bagel with a mere tablespoon of peanut butter weighs me down.
3. This training cycle, it seems Clif Bars are working best for me. *Oatmeal Raisin Peanut is my favorite.
4. If I take caffeine by way of a 5-Hour Energy drink 1 hour before a long workout, it puts me in line for the toilet within 45 minutes. *Good to know for race day!
5. About 3/4 of a medium banana about 1/2 hour after a Clif Bar worked well for me in my last marathon.
It’s an on going experiment and so for Boston, although similar to my last marathon, I will tweak the pre race fuel a bit since the race is not an early start, we’re talking 10:50 am. Right now, my plan is to eat 1/2 a medium bagel when I get up. About 2 1/2 to 3 hours before my start time, I will eat a Clif Bar followed by as much of a banana as I can stomach on a nervous tummy. I’ll chug down that 5 Hour Energy shot at least 1 hour before leaving for my corral at Athletes Village. Lastly, the day before the race I will drink a lot of water coupled with an electrolyte drink so I don’t wash out those important electrolytes come race morning.
Do you eat before exercise?
What do you eat before you have a hard workout?
What have you tried to eat that didn’t work for you?
An Oatmeal Cookie for Breakfast OR Before Exercise
This recipe is based on an article found on yahoo “At Last A Cookie You Can Eat for Breakfast”. I changed the recipe to reduce the fat and substituted minced dried apricots for the chocolate chips. Just can’t wrap my head around chocolate for breakfast. Guess I’m not that much of a choco-holic.
Makes 2 dozen delicious cookies
- 1 large over ripe banana, peeled and mashed
- 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 TBS orange blossom honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (the real stuff)
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup minced or chopped very small dried apricots *Dried fruit is a healthy alternative to refined sugar and they help to satisfy sweet cravings. to get additional nutrients and vitamins. Watch for added sugar to certain dried fruits.
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl add the banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Stir into the wet mix and once that is blended, stir in the dried fruits.
Drop by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet, flatten slightly and bake for 14 minutes.
About 2 to 3 are a good portion for breakfast.
What’s your favorite dried fruit to snack on or use in baking?
- •1 large over ripe banana, peeled and mashed
- •3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- •2 TBS orange blossom honey
- •1 tsp vanilla extract (the real stuff)
- •3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- •1 tsp baking powder
- •1/4 tsp cinnamon
- •1/4 tsp salt
- •1/4 cup minced or chopped very small dried apricots *Dried fruit is a healthy alternative to refined sugar and they help to satisfy sweet cravings. to get additional nutrients and vitamins. Watch for added sugar to certain dried fruits.
- •1/2 cup dried blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl add the banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Stir into the wet mix and once that is blended, stir in the dried fruits.
- Drop by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet, flatten slightly and bake for 14 minutes.