What to Eat Before You Run

Quads, calves and abs are muscles we spend a lot of time training in preparation for a marathon,

But are you training your gut?

Finding the right fuel for any runner is a process of trial and error.  Even the most experienced runners struggle to find what works best for their bodies. For any workout over an hour or a particularly intense run, it’s important to be taking in a few hundred calories for fuel.  Without it, you risk feeling tired, fatigued, and even nauseous.   With the right Pre, Mid, and Post fuel you can increase your running performance plus work out some of the digestive kinks before race day.  Select easily digestible foods, toast with peanut butter, oatmeal, a banana, or an energy bar are all good options. Once you find what works for you, make it part of your daily routine.  Consistency is the key.

Here’s what I do.

First, I mix a Vitamin C packet into a half liter of water.  Next, I eat my Pre-workout Blueberry Maca Muffin from www.runonveg.com with a little of Justin's almond butter.  I have to buy it in the packets or I eat a jar a day.  Then, I eat a Medjool date.  They are a sweet, great pre-run food because they're full of potassium.  Not all dates are created equal but Costco usually carries Medjool dates in bulk for $8.  Last, is the Redbull (sigh) it's a little bit of an addiction but at 4:30 am-girl needs some caffeine.

First, I mix a Vitamin C packet into a half liter of water. Next, I eat my Pre-workout Blueberry Maca Muffin from www.runonveg.com with a little of Justin’s almond butter. I have to buy it in the packets or I eat a jar a day. Then, I eat a Medjool date. They are a sweet, great pre-run food because they’re full of potassium. Not all dates are created equal but Costco usually carries Medjool dates in bulk for $8. Last, is the Redbull (sigh) it’s a little bit of an addiction but at 4:30 am-girl needs some caffeine.

 

My local grocery store stopped carrying Honeystinger products.  Not cool Harmons, but the St. George Running Center keeps me fueled.  I have tried a lot of products but these work the best for.  Cherry Blossom is my fave but Grapefruit was good too.  If I'm running longer than 6 miles I always bring fuel with me.  I like the chews and usually eat 2 or 3 every 4 miles.

My local grocery store stopped carrying Honeystinger products (not cool Harmons). But the St. George Running Center keeps me fueled. I have tried a lot of products but these work the best for me. All of the flavors are great but Cherry Blossom is my favorite. This one is Grapefruit, but my eyes just saw pink. If I’m running longer than 6 miles I always bring fuel with me. I like the chews and usually eat 2 or 3 every four miles.

WTF-Where's The FOOD?  This is me after every run.  I have to bring something in my car to eat right away.  Otherwise, I go home and shift into hungry, hungry, hippo mode but instead of eating marbles, I'm eating anything that resembles a carb.  Water first, followed by a banana, and then my Running Power Energy muffin.

WTF-Where’s The FOOD? This is me after every run. I have to bring something in my car to eat right away. Otherwise, I go home and shift into Hungry, Hungry, Hippo mode but instead of eating marbles, I’m eating anything that resembles a carb. Water first, followed by a banana, and then my Running Power Energy muffin.

Yes-this looks like a lot of food-but remember it’s not about calories it’s about fuel and ENERGY.  Train your gut with the right fuel and stay consistent.  It’s an important part of running our lives-one step at a time.

*What’s your favorite pre, mid, and post fuel?

 

 

7 thoughts on “What to Eat Before You Run

  1. Ashley says:

    Sorry to comment on such an old post, but I’m so curious what’s the recipe for the power energy muffin? What is s normal day of eating like for you? I want to transition to vegetarian but not sure how to get enough calories to fuel my runs!

    • Katie Guisinger says:

      Hi Ashley! I’m so glad you commented! Thank you for reading this! I can email you the recipe, just email me at katie@runningourlives.com I should do a post about a normal day of eating. Really quickly, most days I eat oatmeal in the mornings, a green smoothie and an apple with peanut butter, and a beet salad with a sweet potato for dinner. Then throughout the day I snack on nuts, Honeystinger waffles, Honeynut Cheerios and lots of other food. I’ve never really tracked my calories, I just try to eat intuitively, trying to eat when I’m hungry. Transitioning to plant based, whole foods was pretty easy for me. I read a lot of books on Vegan athletes like Rich Roll, Brendan Brazier, and Scott Jurek. I also follow some great bloggers like Kneadtocook and runningonveggies they have great and simple recipes for plant based, whole foods. Please let me know if I can help in any other way! -Katie

      • Ashley says:

        Thank you sooo much for replying! That is so helpful and I’ll definitely check out those books! I tried sending an email but it keeps getting sent back to me! Is there any way you could email the recipe to me?

        • Katie Guisinger says:

          Oh no! I’m sorry about that and thank you for bringing it to my attention. Try me at kguisinger@gmail.com and I’ll send it to you. I hope you like that reading, it really helped me. Happy running! -Katie

  2. Marcie says:

    I used dates last year as pre run fuel too, loved them! I need to try those muffins. I love runningonveggies IG and website.

  3. Brooke says:

    Great post! I’m pretty terrible about fueling. I never eat (or even *gasp* drink) anything before my morning runs. Bad! And I never bring fuel with me, even on my long runs (double bad!). My post-run is usually eggs & a green smoothie, so I guess I scored 1 outta 3. :-/

    • Katie Guisinger says:

      Ha ha-no gasping at all. It’s all about what works for you. I wish my body didn’t require copious amounts of caffeine that early in the morning.

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