what do you eat before a morning long run?

say if you're set to meet up with others at 9am what do you have for breakfast before a long run? usually i just get up 2 hours before and have some granola or something but wondering on others' ideas. usually it's porridge for breakfast every morning but can't stomach it just before a long run....i'd have to leave it at least 2.5+ hours really.

i'm a pretty decent runner (within reason! sub 36min 10k) and doing around 40 miles/week at the moment but lately my "long runs" have only been 10-12 miles steady (7:30/mile) but i've been entered for a leg in a relay which is a very hilly 12.6 miles so tomorrow and the weekend after i'll be doing 14-16 mile runs just to get some extra time on my feet. 

so come on....inspire me image just something that isn't going to feel all "sloshy" in the stomach but still provides sustained energy for a long run. i'll probably take 2 gels for the run tomorrow....i can do 12-13 without any fluids/gels but any further it's a bit unwise really.



  • Greek style full fat youghurt with chopped dried fruit and nuts - not too much fibre to upset stomach and not as substantial as porridge, but has a good combo of carbs/protein/fat
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Nothing. I eat it all the night before. 4-6 mugs of full caffeine loaded coffee though.
  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Ditto on the nothing. But I'll pass on the coffee.

  • Ross Fripp- it's such a personal thing. You just have to work out what's best for you as we are all so different. I'm a great believer in fuelling up for long runs adequately the day and evening before and then just topping up in the morning. Before a 6 mile run to work I don't need to eat apart from a couple of cups of tea. However I make sure I do eat a proper breakfast as soon as I get to work- porridge/ cheese on toast etc.  For long training runs and marathons I only eat a bagel with peanut butter or honey in the morning. If I don't feel hungry I will only have half a bagel. I do believe it's partly psychological and our bodies can cope pretty well on just a little bit of fuel- up to a certain point that is! But I would rather do a long run feeling my tummy is relatively empty rather than full.


  • Nothing whatsoever and certainly nothing during the run.

  • i won't be eating anything during the run, no way, maybe a couple of gels. but not sure about running 16 hilly miles on an empty stomach.

    as i said, i'm certainly used to running and what usually works for me but i was just wondering what other runners do and whether i could pinch an idea or 2 image


  • Nessie73Nessie73 ✭✭✭

    I always have shredded wheat with a handful of berries and skimmed milk.

  • 2 slices of toast or French bread with jam and marmalade! Tomorrow I'm going to be experimenting with onion bagels!

    It's very rare for me to get stomach problems though, guts of steel image
  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    2 gels for a 14-16 mile run? Really? If you were really slow maybe but sub 36 10k you will be out less than 2 hrs. Just have your normal breakfast and you'll be fine. I'll do 20+ or up to 3 hours on a normal breakfast. More important to refuel after correctly.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Depends how long. If run is > 10 miles I'll have some porridge, add a banana to that if  > 20 miles. Any shorter I usually just have a cup of tea, although saying that going for a 6 to 8 mile run this morning but now have to wait till hot cross bun goes down as couldn't resist one!


  • Two weetabix or a bowl of super-sweet syrup porridge stuff*, for me. With a cup of tea. I leave it as late as possible so as to maximise time in bed. Like Touie I have guts of steel, but seriously lacking in getting out of bed will power.

    *i should add that my Dad, who is Scottish, would certainly not describe it as porridge. If I'm visiting him, it's only weetabix on offer as the 'fake' porridge is banished...
  • Usually just 2 slices of toast then porridge with chopped banana when I get back if its a long slow run.  If I'm racing then usually porridge and banana.

  • Mine's two pieces of wholemeal toast with spread for a normal run but if it's over 12 miles then probably porridge (cup of tea with both).  For more than 12 miles then I'll take gels and for more than 18 or so then possibly a seed / nutty bar to munch on as my tummy starts to ask for more food.

    I'm fairly lucky and can eat anything right up to the minute I lace up my shoes so there's no worries about what time I have to get up to eat.  xx

  • ready brek

  • When marathon training I had a small bowl of porridge followed by one slice of marmite on toast to take away the taste of the porridge (as I don't actually like it, but found it worked for me so forced myself!).I also can eat half an hour before a long run so didn't have to get up early.

    I don't know if it's psychological but I feel awful even on a shortish run if I don't eat beforehand.

  • JeremyG wrote (see)

    2 gels for a 14-16 mile run? Really? If you were really slow maybe but sub 36 10k you will be out less than 2 hrs. Just have your normal breakfast and you'll be fine. I'll do 20+ or up to 3 hours on a normal breakfast. More important to refuel after correctly.

    whilst i aree i shouldn't really need gels for a 14-16 mile run.....this one had over 550m of climb in it.....image i thought it better be safe than sorry. it was 15.1 miles in the end but we still managed sub 2 hours and wasn't really pushing it on too hard but some of the later steep hills did get really annoying. the first hill was a 310m elevation gain and was just over 3.5 miles constant climbing! lovely run though image

    thanks for all the ideas guys

  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭
    Big bowl of porrige an hour before 'powers' me through a 22miler. Unless I practice race conditions I feel no need for gels on a long run. What I had the day before plus the porrige will see me through 3 hrs? I'm guessing the porrige is barely digested by the time I get back - i just don't like running on an empty stomach
  • how on earth can you eat a bowl of porridge just 1 hour before a run? i generally find if the session is going to be a quick one (e.g. training around 5min/mile pace) then i have to leave it longer for food than on my steady runs which are typically 7:30/mile pace depending on the terrain....but even then if i have a decen breakfast it's got to be at least 2 hours.

  • Also-ranAlso-ran ✭✭✭
    I don't do LSR's at 5 min mile pace - I'd leave it another 5 mins before going out running! Seriously though, I'm only talking about long runs (and running 5 min/mile would have me heaving my breakfast into the gutter)

    I guess I'm lucky with my constitution - porrige is an all time favorite of mine. Doing a long run at 7:30 / 8:00 pace is no problem after 45mins to an hour after eating. I must be blessed
  • Expresso and a bannana

  • Soreen. Munch a bar of that an you're good for miles and miles!

  • I ran a marathon (on nowhere near enough training, in a foreign country and after a hard week at work) and was worried about stomach problems.

    For breakfast I had 2 glasses of chocolate milk (the thin stuff not Frijj thick stuff).  I did have to force them down but I did not have my usual pre triathlon 'go to the toilet until you are empty' moments.

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