What To Eat The Day Before
The day before a long run or race, it’s best to stick to foods that are low in fat and moderate in fibre. This will make them easy to digest and will help to lower the risk of stomach issues whilst you are running. Add in some foods that contain complex carbohydrates to fill your fuel tanks with slow-release energy for the run the next day; brown rice, wholemeal pasta and pulses are great for this.
Keeping hydrated is absolutely key, as hydration has a big impact on performance. Make sure your wee is straw coloured and no darker. Well-hydrated muscles perform far better; just 2% dehydration has a noticeable impact on running and recovery.
Some ideal meal ideas are below;
- Jacket potato – good filling ideas would be things like beans, tuna with sweetcorn, or chicken and coleslaw
- Pizza – thin crust, tomato base, vegetable toppings
- Pasta – wholewheat, tomato based sauces, vegetables, serve with salad. Use strong cheese to get flavour with less fat!
- Hot pots and casseroles with lean meat; chicken, bean and vegetable with rice or cous cous
- Grilled fish with veg, rice, noodles, salad, bulgar wheat
- Puddings; bread pudding, fruit crumble with greek yoghurt, rice pudding
- Sandwiches; wholemeal, chicken, turkey, eggs, salad
What To Eat The Morning Of Your Long Run
Complex carbohydrates, low in fat and low in fibre are great guidelines for your pre long run or race day breakfast. If your breakfast is more than two hours before your run, plan a snack to have 60-90 minutes before your run, to keep the energy stores topped up. This snack should contain more simple carbohydrates (i.e. be sweeter) as the fuel will be used up pretty quickly.
It’s worth bearing in mind that it’s best not to eat anything within the last 30-60 minutes before your run or race. There is a risk that eating can cause a drop in blood sugar, and this can impact your performance. It can also make you feel quite uncomfortable, and low on energy when you start running.
Some ideal snack ideas are below;
- Bananas on toast
- Yoghurt with raisins
- Pot of rice pudding
- Oatcakes with jam, cream cheese, nut butter
- Banana or yoghurt based smoothies
- Fresh fruit
- Cereal or energy bars