One of the crucial decisions on race morning is what to eat for breakfast. Ideally, you want to give yourself about 4 hours between breakfast and racing (to allow food to digest and store the energy from the breakfast). While this may be ideal, realistically many races start so early in the morning that you are left with more like 2 to 3 hours to work with.
When I race, I usually try to make sure I have eaten my breakfast about 3 hours prior. I am superstitious so I ALWAYS have the same breakfast on race day – a bagel and cream cheese. You want to make sure that your body takes in carbohydrates and that your meal is easily digested so you don’t run into GI issues during the race. Another note, if you drink coffee, make sure you do so with plenty of time to spare.
Since you can sometimes
be as superstitious as me and get stuck in a pre-race breakfast rut, I thought I would offer up some great pre-race breakfast ideas:
- Cinnamon raisin bagel with some peanut butter and sliced banana on top.
- A nice warm bowl of oatmeal with sliced banana (bananas are relatively low in fiber, which is a good thing on race day- trust me!) or a little fruit preserves mixed in.
- A breakfast smoothie or shake can also be a good idea–provided that it is low in protein, fat, and fiber. You want about 80% of your pre-race calories to come from carbohydrates. Protein and fat take longer to digest, and fiber–well, you know the deal with that one!
- Your favorite energy bar– most of these will fit the above nutritional requirements.
- The banana– an old favorite and great nutritional choice!