Fueling For a Night Race

Helloooo! This morning I ran 1.5 miles to the gym, messed around with the weights and then ran back.


Breakfast was a veggie omelet with a flatout spread with Laughing Cow cheese. I also had a scoop of sunflower seed butter while cooking because I cannot go without it.

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Happy Holidays!

I got this Rosemary tree from Trader Joe’s yesterday and am tempted to just use this for our Christmas tree. I LOVE Christmas, but I’m pretty busy this week, out of town this weekend and am not sure if it’s worth it to drag out the decorations next week since we are spending the actual holiday in Florida. Would it be tragic if I didn’t decorate (beyond this tree with one ornament)?

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I have run the Rock N’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon the last two years. But, last year they changed the race to start in the evening. The Half Marathon starts at 4:30pm (it’s not late, but is dark by the time you’re done so you run the “strip at night”).

strip at night

Last year I was super worried about what to eat before the race. I am a morning runner and pretty much always have coffee and AB on toast before a long run or race. Running after lunch presents a big problem because you need to fuel, but you don’t want to eat too much or too little before a 13 mile run!

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, so you have to run, eat and repeat in a way that works for you. Here is what worked for me…

What I Eat Before an Evening Race or Run:

1. I had a ‘normal’ breakfast – eggs and toast with jam

omlette and toast

2. I didn’t drink alcohol on the day of the race even though I was in Vegas and it’s the right thing to do. Sad face happy belly.

3. I had a few bites of Ben’s Chinese food and a salad for lunch ( a lot of people can’t handle veggies before a race – so be careful on this one if you have a sensitive stomach).

And pre-race I had a big ol’ salty pretzel about 2 hours before the race. <- I am a huge proponent of salty carbs before a race so this worked perfectly!

salty pretzel

Running the race? Check out my recaps here:

RnR Las Vegas 2011 Race Recap


RnR Las Vegas 2010 Race Recap

rnr las vegas race

Question: Do you workout or run in the evening? What do you eat before??


  1. says

    I’m a morning workout person as well. I did run Ragnar Las Vegas this year and fueling was a big issue for me. With NO sleep and constant eating I didn’t know how to do it. I ate too little before my second run and too much before my third! I’m going to have to keep experimenting!

  2. Shannon in Tustin says

    I often run in the evenings on weeknights (4-6 miles). I just hydrate all day but cut myself off 2 hours prior. I try to eat lightly all day (400 calorie meals) and eat nothing two hours prior. If I’m feeling super rumbly for any reason, I’ll have a banana or a piece of bread with light butter.

    Running the strip at night sounds kinda fun, but I’m generally not a LV fan at all. If I never go again, it’ll be too soon.

  3. says

    I very much want to run the Vegas Rock & Roll Half! I’m still training for my first half (Tinkerbell in January), so I’m not ready to go this weekend. But I was talking to someone in the running club I just joined and he said the RnR Vegas run is awful! It’s too crowded and the aid is minimal. I was so bummed when I heard that, because I’d already put it on my running wish list for next year. But now I’m happy to hear that you’ve run it twice and loved it! I’m a morning and evening runner (depending on the day). I have a small handful of almonds in the morning before I run (anything more in my stomach makes me totally nauseous). If I run in the evening, I have a very very light lunch (a sandwich usually. Sometimes tuna salad with veggies), and I make sure there’s at least 6 hours between my meal and my run.

  4. says

    I do my long runs (12+) first thing in the morning usually on an empty stomach (marathons are an exception) since I tend to eat more carbs the night before. The rest of my runs are done in the early evening. For my mid-week longish run of 7 or 8 miles I eat a ClifBar two hours beforehand. For runs 6 miles or less, I eat a Greek yogurt, some sort of fruit or a granola bar about 1 1/2 hours beforehand.

  5. Deb says

    I’m an evening workout girl. In fact, I have a hard time getting up and running in the morning – so, I have a harder time figuring out how/what to eat before my morning races. I eat “normal” all day, and make sure I eat something like a banana about an hour before my run. If I’m still hungry I’ve often eaten a snack size candy bar. Coffee (1/2 cup) before an evening run works well for me also – not much more than that tho! I like the idea of the giant pretzel – too bad they don’t have them here were I work! Have a good race – can’t wait to hear about it.

  6. says

    If given the option I would choose night running every time!! I just eat normal and try to hydrate.

    I know how you feel about Christmas…I am not decorating this year at all. We are going to Belize from 12/24-12/31 and I only like real trees so it would be silly to decorate. I am sad and not sad at the same time…i mean how can i be sad with a trip to Belize?

  7. says

    RnR Las Vegas- BOOOOOOOO! Okay, I’m done with that.

    I had a really, really hard time deciding what to eat last year when I ran it too. I generally work out at night, but when I was doing long runs they’re always first thing in the morning. I also knew that I should stay off my feet and take it easy, but it’s so hard when you’re in Vegas!

  8. Jenn says

    This is soooo helpful! Thanks for sharing. I’m running the full 26.2 at Vegas this year. Flying out from DC tomorrow to spend a few days there. Any recommendations for two gals, first time in Vegas? Planning on a day trip to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, etc. Any suggestions are really appreciated :)

    • says

      I don’t normally do the sightseeing thing in Vegas – but did go to the Grand Canyon with Ben one year! We went to that cool look out with the glass bottom and it was amazing. I normally do the dancing thing in Vegas :)

      • Jenn says

        Hahah, I hear you. I’ve always lived on the East coast and I know what you mean; I don’t sightsee in cities here either. But since I’ve never been to LV, I’m launching into tourist mode a bit. Thanks for the tip! :)

  9. Breanna says

    I have to exercise first thing when I wake up or I’m lost. I did a Color Run with some friends for fun and our start was at 1:30. I was so confused about eating! I have an extremely sensitive stomach when it comes to eating/running so it definitely was not my best run. Good thing Color Runs are purely for fun and not timed! (;

  10. Terri says

    I’m running my very first half marathon this weekend in Vegas!! Good luck to everyone running :) it should be a great weekend!

  11. Suzanne says

    I would do the exact same thing. Filling breakfast that I know doesn’t bother my stomach, then a lunch that is more carb based and without cheese or dairy. For example, a turkey sandwich on a roll. I might also throw a pretzel in because they are the best!

    I would drink water all day long but stop at least 1 hour, maybe 2 hours, before the race so I wouldn’t have to pee in the middle of it.

    I would also stress all day long that my stomach would bother me during the run despite being careful, but that’s just me…

  12. says

    I run/work out in the evenings because I get off work right at 5 every day so it’s easy for me to get to the gym and get a good work out in before 6:30ish when the husband gets home!

    I just eat normal throughout the day and I feel much more energized during my workouts than when I run and/or workout in the mornings. For some reason I have to eat very very little before a race or a morning workout/run otherwise I get horrible heartburn and it upsets my stomach. Not fun!

  13. says

    I’ve never done an evening race, but due to my CRAZY schedule… I sometimes have to run in the evening. I usually eat greek yogurt with fruit and cereal about an hour and a half before the run. Dairy is another tricky one for some… but it works for me :)

    Or… You could always sleep until about noon, and eat breakfast for lunch!!! That would be my vote :)

  14. says

    I usually run in the morning, so if I go in the afternoon I’m at a loss of what to eat as well. If I can’t go in the morning, I just try to run mid afternoon so lunch is still in me for fuel. Otherwise, I’ll snack on something smaller and give myself some time to digest a bit.

  15. says

    I’m a mid-afternoon exerciser…I usually eat lunch around 12:30 and hit the gym around 2:30. It’s taken a bit of practice and training, but I’ve got stomach to the point where it can handle it. I used to have the most sensitive stomach ever when it came to working out and food, but it seems to have come around for the most part!

  16. says

    I have not done an evening race, but some friends and I are considering doing a 5k on New Year’s Eve evening. This is something I have often pondered. Chances are we will run on New Year’s Day, so I will be more concerned about rehydrating after the evening before. Who knows, maybe all those hops will translate into a PR.

  17. Colleen says

    I am a full time aerobic instructor/personal trainer/dietician so I teach/train early-am, mid-am, and evening. I’m muchhhh stronger in the morning, but since my job depends on it I have to be strong in the evenings, too. I have an extremely sensitive stomach and can’t eat for hours before I exercise. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what works best for my body. I do a lot of marathons and adventure races, but I make sure they are in the morning When I’m at my prime!

  18. says

    I’ve ran in the evenings quite a bit since I’m not a morning person. I will eat normal all day and just try and make sure I don’t eat too much an hour or so before I go. My stomach is way more sensitive in the morning.

  19. says

    I’ve been wanting to do that race, but I’ve heard it’s brutal, logistically! The 2 RnR’s I’ve done have been here in San Diego and they’re so well organized that I’m afraid to try another one. Did you like it?

  20. says

    I prefer running in the morning, and eat breakfast about an hour before I go out. I usually eat PB&J on toast, cereal, or oatmeal, and a big mug of coffee.
    However, now that it is getting colder, I tend to run in the afternoons during the warmest part of the day. I’m a wimp and dragging myself out of my warm bed into the freezing temperatures just fills be with dread. I don’t prefer working out in the afternoon, since I feel more sluggish, and I get thirsty a lot more easily for some reason. Also, if I’m feeling hungry, I’ll eat an energy bar, PB&J, or fruit or something to perk up my blood sugar.

  21. says

    Morning and I cant have anything in my tummy before a workout or run; sometimes even liquids like coffee will have me throwing up mid workout or run.

  22. Denise P. says

    Or you could get food poisoning 2 nights before the race and not eat anything the whole weekend! That’s what happened to me in Vegas last year. I literally had some tea and maybe a couple donut holes the day of – that probably contributed to my worst half time ever, but I finished it.

    I’m registered for a night race in OC this weekend – its only a 5k so I won’t worry about eating any differently. I am luck to not have runner stomach issues most of the time.

  23. says

    I workout at night because I want all the sleep I can fit in in the morning. Before I run and go to CrossFit I usually have 1/4 cup of almonds, and apple with almond butter or a 100 calorie pouch of edamame. I can see how running at night might screw you up but it looks like it was a good time!

  24. says

    I always work out at night. I am so not a morning person! I just eat a normal dinner and make sure to wait at least an hour before working out. Then I always promise myself a small treat when I’m done. :)

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