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JohnT

Breakfast for a Long Distance Runner

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Hi Folks, we have an ultra marathon in Cape Town each year on the Easter Saturday - 56 kilometres. I am not a runner or fitness guy but have a friend coming from up country to run the race for the first time next weekend, who is staying at my house. I have asked her what she wants for breakfast on the morning of the race and she just says she is not fussy as long as it is "light". As a bit of an extension to this, I have also "done the race" now 39 times - not on my feet but in my vehicle as a communications and medical official. So, we are up at 04:00 in the morning, have breakfast and depart by 05:00 as I have to drop her off by 05:45 at the start and then proceed to my sector of the course. This means that there is not much time to make breakfast and get on the road.

 

So, any thoughts of what "light" food can be offered? Dinner the night before has been set with "pasta - lots of pasta". Would a simple instant oats do? Or?????????? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

 

 

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The general guidelines for pre-exercise meals include low in fat and fibre while being high in carbohydrates and moderate protein.  Liquid is also important.

 

i would provide some clear juice such as apple or cranberry plus cold water.

Maybe give her the opinion of cereal such as corn flakes or rice crispiest OR white toast with honey or jelly.  Bananas might be welcome

Lowfat yogurt,  low fat cheese, low fat milk could provide some protein.

 

It sounds like she has only two hours before  start so she probably won’t eat a lot.  I would have juice available for dinner....it’s easier to drink some carbohydrates while chowing down on pasta.

 

The best thing would be to ask her to be a little more specific about what she usually eats on race day morning.  Most athletes have a routine they follow.

 

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3 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

The general guidelines for pre-exercise meals include low in fat and fibre while being high in carbohydrates and moderate protein.  Liquid is also important.

 

i would provide some clear juice such as apple or cranberry plus cold water.

Maybe give her the opinion of cereal such as corn flakes or rice crispiest OR white toast with honey or jelly.  Bananas might be welcome

Lowfat yogurt,  low fat cheese, low fat milk could provide some protein.

 

It sounds like she has only two hours before  start so she probably won’t eat a lot.  I would have juice available for dinner....it’s easier to drink some carbohydrates while chowing down on pasta.

 

The best thing would be to ask her to be a little more specific about what she usually eats on race day morning.  Most athletes have a routine they follow.

 

Thanks @Okanagancook I have sent my "athlete" a third email for guidance, but she is away and visiting a relative. Okay, I did not think of juice, which is good as it is now grape harvest and fresh grape juice is available and at low price. I will also get an assortment of yoghurt and she can help herself with cereal and milk. I do not eat oats as a breakfast, but will get a few packs of the instant oats - I can always bake some oats cookies if she does not eat any. We normally have a large selection of fruit, including bananas, so that appears to cover the offering for breakfast. Again, thanks for your reply.

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I envy your friend's non-fussiness for pre-marathon food! That being said, I'm rather surprised she isn't picky about what she can eat before a marathon. Generally, long distance racers follow a rule of "don't do anything new" - meaning, she would be eating the thing before a race as she would for her training runs.

 

Low fibre, easily digestible carbohydrate is best. Yogurt, berries, bananas, whole grain bread, peanut butter, bagels, smoothies, oatmeal, etc. Lots of water. Coffee or tea maybe, for the caffeine kick - some runners swear by it. Have some stuff that would be portable, like bananas or granola bars - some runners like to eat a bit closer to the start of the race, especially if they're standing around for a while. 

 

Also, you might ask her if there's anything she eats before bed the night before. Some runners like a light bedtime snack, especially if they're not eating much in the morning. 

 

For long distance races, I have pasta with tomato sauce & chicken for dinner, piece of toast & bit of cheese before bed, toast & peanut butter for breakfast. I carry a granola bar to the race and eat that maybe an hr before.

 

Good luck to your friend!

 

 

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Thanks Beebs. I had an email from her this evening saying that pasta with bolonaise sauce for dinner the night before is fine. She is also bringing her personal "stash" of snack food for pre start, during and for immediatly after the race. She will also bring her own mix of breakfast oats for the morning before we depart the house. I will supply fresh fruit, juice and yoghurt to accompany her breakfast (and the recovery after the marathon).

 

It is an ultra marathon of 56 kilometres. The race has 24 watering points which all supply water, energy drinks, Coke, bananas and some also supplying energy bars. There are also 9 medical tents, all also with massage sections. There are fixed and mobile communications stations and a fleet of 24 ambulances, 8 motorcycle paramedics, three fast response vehicles with doctors on board and two medical helicopters. There are also 8 mini-busses as sweeps for the walking wounded and those that just cannot continue or cannot make the cut-off points within the allocated time. This serves the needs of the 35,000 entrants who have all qualified, via previous races all over the world, to be elegable to enter the race. It is the 49th running of the race.

 

So, all appears to be sorted - I will most likely get more info when she arrives from Johannesburg on Thursday evening.

 

Thanks for those that have responded via PM as well. Looks like there are a few athletic members on the forum!

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Hope all goes well.

you have done your due diligence on the matter.

best wishes for good weather.


Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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