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Pre-Run Nutrition

Consume a snack 1 to 2 hours before your run. If you’re running at sunrise, aim for a light snack before your run, like a banana, and then enjoy a complete breakfast afterward.

For runs lasting up to 1 hour, a pre-run snack of 100-300 calories is sufficient.

Examples of Small Pre-Run Snacks:

  • Banana
  • Smoothie
  • Energy gel with water
  • Energy bar (natural or otherwise)

For longer runs or later runs in the day, aim for a pre-run intake of 300-500 calories 1 to 2 hours before exercise. Opt for breakfast options rich in complex carbohydrates, with moderate protein and healthy fats.

Examples of Larger Pre-Run Snacks or Breakfast:

  • Oats porridge with semi-skimmed milk and fruit compote
  • Muesli with Greek yogurt
  • Toast with peanut butter and banana

Foods to Avoid Before Running:

While pre-run foods should be carbohydrate-rich, avoid those that leave you feeling overly full or heavy. Especially in the 2 to 4 hours before your run, steer clear of foods known to cause gastrointestinal discomfort:

  • High-fiber foods
  • Excessively fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Alcohol

Remember, your recovery window lasts up to 30 minutes after exercise; refueling promptly after a run promotes faster recovery!

After your run, consume a small snack or meal with a balanced carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. Carbohydrates replenish your glycogen stores for your next workout, while protein supports muscle repair and recovery.

Aim for a recovery ratio of 3:1 carbohydrate to protein.

Post-Run Recovery

Chocolate milk or milkshake

Natural yoghurt based smoothie

Toast with peanut (or almond) butter

Muesli with Greek yoghurt and mixed berries

A good diet is just as important in training as it is in competition. It’s important to ensure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet so that you efficiently recover from training sessions and reduce the risk of injury.


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