What do you eat the morning before a race?

Hi y'all,
I'm trying to figure out what I should eat 30 minutes to an hour before my half marathon next week. I've been experimenting and so far it hasn't gone well let's just say. Last week I tried a tbsp of peanut butter on toast an hour before I ran 12 miles and around the 10 mile mark my stomach had some issues. What are some other things I could try? I bought a banana this week and made Rice Krispie treats, would either of those be too much sugar right before a run? Maybe oatmeal? I apologize for my ignorance... nutrition is not my strong point. Curious to see what others eat!
Thanks!
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Replies

  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,601 Member
    its highly individual - you just need to test out different things

    for me - i do sweet potatos and chicken about 2-3hrs prior; an hour prior i do a bagel with cream cheese and sip on a fruit smoothie (like a naked juice or bolthouse drink)
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    There is no such thing as a general "too much sugar" before a run, but it's certainly possible to have too much sugar *for you*. It's impossible for any of us to predict how it will impact you. That said, I know bananas are a very popular pre-race food.

    For me personally, if I eat before a race I try to keep it relatively low fat and a small volume of food. For me that would be a small lower fat muffin, a bagel with nothing on it (I prefer a sweet bagel if I do this, I don't want to be tasting garlic all morning), or a small handful of dried fruit (like 5 apricots).

    I have also done several half marathons without eating anything. If you had time I would recommend experimenting with a long run in a fasted state to see if that works better for you, but with a week I don't think you have time to do that. Generally speaking, our bodies are capable of running a couple of hours without eating first (individuals, of course, may vary).
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,772 Member
    I don't run, but I cycle...before an event I usually have a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.

    I don't think there's any such thing as too much sugar before or during a race. When I'm doing a 1/2 century or something I have dried fruit on me as well as jolly ranchers...I've also tried various gu, but I don't like them.
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,604 Member
    If I eat, it's usually a clif bar. Or, if I'm at a hotel with a free breakfast (and it's not too early for said breakfast to be open/available), sometimes a bagel or muffin.

    Anything less than a half I don't eat (works better for me). Halfs depend on how I'm feeling at the time. Longer than that and I try to eat.
  • MsArriabella
    MsArriabella Posts: 466 Member
    My first half marathon I had a bowl of frosted mini wheats about 2 hours before and it was fine. Since then I've switched to running fasted, mostly because I started running earlier and I don't want to get up even earlier to eat and let my stomach settle :) I got through my full marathon starting fasted and ingesting gu a few times during the race.
  • MichelleWithMoxie
    MichelleWithMoxie Posts: 1,819 Member
    Have you tried running fasted? I don’t eat before training runs or races, and never have GI issues.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    It's very individual. I can't do food any less than two hours before. My go-to used to be a granola bar + and almond butter packet (about 2 tbsp of almond butter), or a bagel if I were up more than that time (I'm staring at you, Disney, where you stage almost three hours before...). I'm now GF, so can't do the granola bar, and I'm trying to find a new GF bar that doesn't suck -- had a Larabar before my race on Sunday, and it felt too heavy.
  • Djproulx
    Djproulx Posts: 2,773 Member
    Nothing too unusual for me. On long race days (over 4 hr effort) , I try to eat 2.5-3hrs before gun time, so that I can digest and hit the porta potti before the gun goes off. I'll usually eat oatmeal, sometimes with an egg and often with half a banana, then a simple carb right before gun time. Another favorite option for me or half marathon length races is half a plain bagel with either jelly, honey or PB, eaten an hour before the race. That is a simple carb breakfast that is absorbed quickly. Others I have tried are cream of wheat/rice, since they are absorbed easily and don't upset my stomach, either. You'll have to keep experimenting to find what works for you.

    Best of luck in the race!
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,361 Member
    I eat breakfast 2 hours before the race - usually cereal and coffee, sometimes a bagel if I'm not at a local race. Then I'll have a banana about half an hour before. I usually drink less coffee than usual, because I get more jittery, but it does help clean out my system.

    I can't eat a lot of sugar before I run, any run, as it upsets my stomach. I have a friend who is a multiple marathoner (50+) who fuels on Krispy Kreme donuts and Mountain Dew before her races. YMMV
  • WJS_jeepster
    WJS_jeepster Posts: 224 Member
    Whatever you do, don't do something "new" race day. Never a good idea unless you just get lucky. I used to eat a clif bar that I was used to eating or something like that. If it was over a half marathon, I'd add a little peanut butter to it.
  • LiveInLeggings
    LiveInLeggings Posts: 222 Member
    If it's longer than a 5k I'll have 2 slices of sweet potato 'toast' with a very thin layer of almond butter and some coffee.
  • rodmelching
    rodmelching Posts: 69 Member
    edited October 2018
    Guess I'm weird . . I always run on an empty stomach. I usually run in the early mornings anyway. I’ve never went over the HM distance . . maybe with longer distances hunger would be an issue. Good luck on your race!
  • LiveInLeggings
    LiveInLeggings Posts: 222 Member
    Guess I'm weird . . I always run on an empty stomach. I usually run in the early mornings anyway. I’ve never went over the HM distance . . maybe with longer distances hunger would be an issue.

    I never eat before short runs either, but if I do a longer race and it's later in the morning/afternoon then I will have a little something.
  • rodmelching
    rodmelching Posts: 69 Member
    If it's longer than a 5k I'll have 2 slices of sweet potato 'toast' with a very thin layer of almond butter and some coffee.
    @LiveInLeggings . . never had sweet potato toast . . that sounds "really" good. I'll have to check that out.
  • LiveInLeggings
    LiveInLeggings Posts: 222 Member
    If it's longer than a 5k I'll have 2 slices of sweet potato 'toast' with a very thin layer of almond butter and some coffee.
    @LiveInLeggings . . never had sweet potato toast . . that sounds "really" good. I'll have to check that out.

    Lol! It's just slices of sweet potato that have been baked until they're almost soft, then you just pop them in the toaster like bread.
  • solieco1
    solieco1 Posts: 1,559 Member
    edited October 2018
    2-3 hrs before oatmeal with an egg, or rice and scrambled eggs and coffee. 15 mins before a small snack like1/2 banana, a serving of ucan, or a gu if you can tolerate them. This is usually my pre-tri go to.
  • FL_Hiker
    FL_Hiker Posts: 919 Member
    edited October 2018
    Thanks for all the great responses and ideas! I usually run fasted, but I've noticed as the distances get longer I tend to hit a wall around the 10 mile mark. I'm hypoglycemic which is why I was concerned a bit about sugar... i'm just finally getting a hang of basic nutrition so this is all new to me lol. I still don't quite understand it, but have noticed protein makes the feeling go away longer. I've been eating mostly high protein diet to combat the symptoms so I wasn't sure if that would work before a race.... I used to carbo load for swimming. I used to swim long distances and do triathlons but those movements never bothered my stomach and I could eat anything, for some reason with the running long distances my stomach just gets all in knots. I might try this one fasted, but next is a full marathon and i'm worried I won't be able to make it without breakfast.
  • rodmelching
    rodmelching Posts: 69 Member
    If it's longer than a 5k I'll have 2 slices of sweet potato 'toast' with a very thin layer of almond butter and some coffee.
    @LiveInLeggings . . never had sweet potato toast . . that sounds "really" good. I'll have to check that out.

    Lol! It's just slices of sweet potato that have been baked until they're almost soft, then you just pop them in the toaster like bread.
    @LiveInLeggings . . lol . . I thought it was a type of bread made from sweet potatoes. Hey . . new invention maybe, the fade diet of 2019 !!
  • LiveInLeggings
    LiveInLeggings Posts: 222 Member
    If it's longer than a 5k I'll have 2 slices of sweet potato 'toast' with a very thin layer of almond butter and some coffee.
    @LiveInLeggings . . never had sweet potato toast . . that sounds "really" good. I'll have to check that out.

    Lol! It's just slices of sweet potato that have been baked until they're almost soft, then you just pop them in the toaster like bread.
    @LiveInLeggings . . lol . . I thought it was a type of bread made from sweet potatoes. Hey . . new invention maybe, the fade diet of 2019 !!

    Make sure you give me some credit! Lol!