What To Eat Before A Run

I am meeting up with Bobbi today for a long-ish run. I think she wants to do about 9-10 miles so I needed to fuel up before hand. This is the two of us before our Fun Run in December. monica and bobbi bloggers

What Should I Eat Before Running?

Normally before a run of 3-7 miles I will eat a handful of cereal or a few bites of something random. A lot of people ask what I eat before mid-week runs since it usually gets undocumented on RER, but it’s nothing exciting…handful of cereal

I don’t usually wake up hungry because I’m a night eater so it’s not very substantial.

Before weekend long runs of 8 miles or more I do toast with peanut butter and iced coffee. IMG_0377 (683x1024)

This is what I also eat before races. It’s super easy to pack and my body is already uses to it from training. Oh, and I totally love eating it too Smile (This picture was taken in my hotel room before RnR Phoenix.)pre run fuel

But today I was supposed to meet Bobbi at 10am. That meant the time between eating and running would be a longer than normal. Plus, I wasn’t really craving PB toast.

So, I decided to try and eat PB Toast soaked in egg before my run, AKA – French Toast Winking smile

French Toast

Puddle of syrup

I prefer syrup

I hope the addition of egg and sf syrup does jack up my stomach. God help me if it does since I don’t think there are any bathrooms on the route we’re doing! I love putting PB on something warm so it gets all drippy…IMG_8637 (800x533)

Now I’m enjoying some iced coffee while reading blogs. I should get going though…iced coffee

See ya in a bit!

Question: Can you eat anything before exercising? Or is your stomach sensitive and can handle only specific things?


  1. says

    My stomach is REALLY sensitive, and I have a tough time eating much of anything before I exercise. I eat a banana with a tiny bit of peanut butter before I swim and spin or bike in the morning, and I typically do oatmeal with an apple about two hours before a morning long run. Good luck trying something new!

  2. says

    Before short weekday runs I don’t eat anything, but before longer runs I’ll have a granola bar. I’m sure most people would say it’s “not enough” but it’s what works best for my sensitive stomach.

    That French Toast looks amazing and is something I’d definitely crave post-workout!

  3. Jessica says

    I wished I could eat before working out but I just can’t. I’m so jealous of you (and all the other fit bloggers I follow for being able to fuel up properly and eating delicious things before a run). My stomach has to literally be empty when I work out or else I get the worse side cramps ever. It feels like I have a ball of lead in my stomach at times. And I won’t even mention the nausea.

    this looks tasty though! You inspired me last week as I had some sandwich thins. I made french toast three days in a row. OMG, so yummy!

      • Jessica says

        Yea, I’ve tried just about everything under the sun. Even eating only half of a piece of toast or half of a small fiber bar or half a banana, etc. No matter what I eat or hot much of it, it just sits in my tummy like a brick and just makes me so nauseous.

        When I run on an empty stomach, I don’t have that problem. But I know it is hindering me from getting faster and fueling me properly.

  4. says

    Different activities require different food for me. With running a piece of toast with peanut butter, a banana with peanut butter, or an Atkin’s Protein Shake was enough food beforehand. I couldn’t eat tons and then run, and then after running I’d need some time before I ate real food. I’d usually have chocolate milk after.

    But with swimming I have to eat a pretty decent sized meal before and I need to eat IMMEDIATELY after. If I don’t I get the serious shakes, dizzy, irritable, hunger…

  5. says

    I have a pretty strong stomach, but tend to eat the same thing as you do pre long run. If I run 6 miles or more, I like to have something to eat beforehand, but 5 or less I usually just go first thing in the morning, power through, and then have something wonderful afterwards.

  6. says

    My stomach is SENSITIVE. Like, so sensitive that I usually get sick during or after races and often have to stop mid runs. It’s not good.
    I have had 2 races where my stomach felt perfect. Tried to replicate what I ate, and it still didn’t work. I haven’t found the balance.

  7. says

    My stomach is actually pretty sensitive so once I figured out what I could eat before a run, I haven’t changed it. Typically it’s a banana and peanut butter on wheat bagel. I used to get side stitches before I figured out what worked for me and now I just cruise thru any early morning runs. If I run after work I don’t usually eat before, I will eat dinner after I am done.

  8. says

    This has been an interesting topic for me lately. I have been on a (very strict) homeopathic hormone therapy diet, so if my runs are 6 miles or less I won’t eat anything beforehand, but any runs 8 miles or longer I eat 2-3 scrambled eggs and a slice of Sarah Lee 45 calorie toast (pre-run). I ran a half marathon this past Saturday and paired the toast with three eggs sprinkled in chia seed, and proceeded to set a PR by over 8 minutes!

    The idea of eating eggs before a long run is gross in my mind, but it has been working for my body!

  9. says

    I’m so impressed that you’re doing a long run on a Monday 😉
    Good luck!
    Before I run I usually focus on smaller portions of foods that are high in fat and protein like a scoop of nut butter on half a banana or handful of pretzels. Works like a charm :)

  10. says

    My stomach is SUPER sensitive, so I usually have my morning bowl of oatmeal and then wait an hour. But this is bad for my schedule! I usually get into work and can’t stop to run grrrr. Ideally, I would run mid-afternoon (way after lunch but before my afternoon snack), but again, I’m usually working!

  11. says

    My stomach is pretty strong. I’m a teacher, so I usually don’t get to run in the mornings and therefore eat all day before coming home to run in the afternoon. However, if I have the choice on weekend runs, I’ll eat a small bowl of cereal or some toast and green tea before heading out.

  12. says

    This is the age old question isnt it!!?? To eat or not to eat!! I have had some challgenges since giving up gluten- I am no long as full in the morning as I used to be- So I have had to eat- now I eat a banana with PB on it. Last weekend before my 30 km race I got my breaky ready and left the house- without it. My dog loved it and a friend gave me a banana but no PB!

  13. says

    The only thing that I am sensitive to before working out is dairy or fruits or veggies. That normally isn’t a problem since I work out before lunch, but if I do workout after lunch I have to be careful.
    Before I work out though, I love to have some toast or oatmeal. I can’t workout on an empty stomach.

  14. says

    a handful of cereal and cup of coffee is ok. But an entire box and full pot is a lot better. So if I’m going to eat something, that will be about the absolute minimum. Anything less and it’s like, Why bother?

  15. says

    I have to eat FIRST thing in the morning and it has to be substantial. So I tend to not be able to exercise for at least 2.5-3 hours after waking. I gotta get everything *ahem* moving before exerting myself otherwise I get really bad stomach cramps and it’s just not worth it!

  16. says

    When I first started running I never ate a thing before I went, and really never wanted to. But I always snag a little something on my way out the door. If I am running long or racing, it is bread with PB and banana slices. If just a normal day, I might snag a quarter of a banana or a few almonds as I run out the door.

  17. Jesse says

    I don’t eat before I work out in the morning…just coffee! I just eat afterwards, and save those calories burned for booze :) Not every day, but that thought does cross my mind :)

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