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  • April 04, 2019 2 min read

    Endurance running events of all kinds can be tricky for every participant to take part in and find their own way of preparing for a race. Whether you are taking part in a marathon, triathlon, or a half marathon, 5k or 10k you should follow a few simple rules regarding breakfast prior to the race. The one constant most runners agree on is that race day is not the time to experiment with new ideas or options for breakfast as this could spell disaster.

    Breakfast is important

    It is important to wake up between three and four hours before a race and eat a breakfast made up of carbs and protein which will release slowly into the bloodstream. Eating three to four hours before a race of between marathon and 5k lengths is important as you do not want to feel sluggish or hungry when the race begins and you need to feel focused. 

    What to eat

    The decision about what to eat for your race day breakfast is important but is the choice you will have to make knowing how your body feels and reacts at different times of the day. Between three and four hours before the race begins you should look to consume a healthy, balanced meal containing slow-releasing carbs and protein such as toast with peanut butter or eggs. Eating a balanced, healthy breakfast means your blood sugar remains steady throughout the day and does not leave you feeling jittery and unfocused at the start of the race.

    A race day breakfast can take many forms including some half marathon runners who feel they are best served with a simple combination of a sports bar and fruit. Others look to cereals and peanut butter on toast to provide the sustained release of energy needed to give a good performance during a race. Oatmeal is a popular choice on a race day because of the perceived slow release of sugar into the body, but instant oatmeal does not have the same long-lasting effects of traditional oats.

    What to drink

    There are many different options open to a 10K or longer runner on race day but the majority of experts believe sticking with your daily routine when it comes to coffee and caffeine. Not partaking in your usual coffee routine can leave you feeling jittery and unhappy prior to the start of your endurance race. One thing it is important to remember when you are looking to understand how to remain at your best when you are involved in an endurance race is to make sure you drink the correct amount of water on the morning of your race. The first step is to consume between 15 and 20 ounces of water three to four hours before the race begins. If a balanced breakfast is consumed prior to the race beginning you will not need to consume the sugar and caffeine-rich sports drink before the race begins as you will feel the uncomfortable sloshy stomach sensation.