Breakfast is my jam. Eggs, toast, cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, you name it. All breakfast foods are loved equally in my heart. But race day brekkies are a whole different ball game. Make the slightest mistake and you’ll be racing for the toilet instead of for gold. Fortunately, since I’ve been running for over ten years, and I’ve consumed, oh I don’t know, a gazillion pre-race meals, I’ve learned a thing or two about which foods will fuel me for a rockstar finish.
So I’m sharing my five favorite breakfasts that I like to chow down on before a big ticket distance race or even just a Saturday morning long run. ***But belly beware: what works for my tummy might not agree with yours.*** So always remember to to give a new meal combo a spin before you trust it the morning of a big race. (Ain’t nobody got time for a potty break at mile 4…)
Warning: what you are about to read will totally make you drool all over yourself…
1. Protein Waffle + PB + Banana + Honey
Peanut butter has pretty much been a pre-workout staple since the beginning of time. That’s because it’s nutrient-rich, calorie-dense, and mouth-watering. So pair that powerhouse with a banana, a Van’s Power Grains waffle, and a bit of honey, then you have yourself a breakfast that will give you a reason to wake up early in the morning.
2. Granola + Almond Milk + Banana
Each morning I routinely face an internal struggle of whether or not I should stuff my face with 3 bowls of Lucky Charms. Sadly, the adult in me always wins, and Lucky the Leprechaun never gets to dance around on my kitchen table. But only because I make a winning compromise with myself: I turn to a bowl of Kind granola with a sliced banana in unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead.
As much as I love cow’s milk, I substitute it for almond milk the morning of a race. That’s because lactose is a one-way ticket to tummy probz. In fact, it’s probably best to avoid dairy for up to 24 hours before your big day. Food, or um, drink for thought..
3. Egg + Turkey Bacon Burrito
This 3-ingredient, 3-minute breakfast has been my go-to lately. Mostly because I’m always in a hurry in the mornings, but also because it makes my whole apartment smell like IHOP.
To kick things off, instead of using oil to cook the egg with, I toss in a bit of ghee into the pan, which is a flavorful, healthier alternative to butter. I usually add 1-2 eggs and either scramble or cook them over easy. Then, since I’m super lazy in the kitchen, I microwave my turkey bacon until it’s just crispy enough (usually for about 1-1.5 minutes). Finally, I plop the egg(s) and the bacon into the center of a whole wheat tortilla, and voilà!
(Oh, and I dare you to sprinkle some of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning into the mix and try to not daydream about it for the next 24 hours…)
4. Belvita Bar
I was first turned on to Belvita Bars when I interviewed renowned sports nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield about What You Should Eat the Week Before A Race. And since then, I’ve grown quite the obsession for these handy cookies. See, they have a special slow-release grain which helps sustain your energy levels for up to four hours. So they’re a quick and easy solution for those last-minute mornings when your alarm clock isn’t on your side. My favorite? The dark chocolate creme-filled sandwich ones.
5. Proats + Berries
Contrary to popular belief, proats aren’t gross. With the right oatmeal + protein powder combo, they can actually be quite tasty. Throw some fresh berries into the mix, and you might even call them a dessert! (Maybe that’s pushing it…) But proats really are a great go-to because they pack the ideal protein-to-carbohydrate ratio. My favorite protein powder of the moment is the SFH Fuel Protein in Coconut, and I usually just stick with unflavored, instant oats.
Calling all my running buddies: what are some of y’all’s favorite race day breakfasts? Please comment them below because I can never get enough foodspiration!