Breakfast first or after a run?

I do my runs first thing in the morning, I'm never sure whether its better to have breakfast before or after my run. I only have a light bowl of cereal and a glass of juice (no belly busting fry ups). I've tried running before and after breakfast but it doesn't seem to have any discernible effect on my run.

What do others do and how do you find it affects your run?

9 Replies

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  • For me a single banana or a hard boiled egg with a glass of water before the morning run (uninterrupted 30 to 60 minutes). Half an hour to an hour after the run I will have my usual breakfast.

  • I have nearly always run before breakfast with just a pint of fluid and half to whole banana, depending on distance. Always been fine up to about 12k.

    Last week, however, I had my bowl of muesli and banana, plus coffee an hour before setting out on a 17.5k run, refuelled only by dates en route and was a amazed at my staying power. So maybe I need a rethink, especially for longer runs.

    We are all different.

  • I have my usual breakfast of cereal, porridge or toast with a cup of tea and usually set off within an hour. Except on parkrun days, always a small bowl of cereal and a small cup of tea (because there are no toilets there!). We have been known to have a bacon butty after a parkrun!

  • Mmmm, bacon butty, now you're talking.

  • Thanks folks, I must admit I got a bit worried the other day when I could hear the contents of my stomach sloshing around as I ran. Lol. Trouble is I can't really get going in the morning without a bit of breakfast, I think I'll just keep it to the bare minimum and have more when I get back.

  • I do the same as RunaroundSue, light breakfast then leave about an hour later. Except when on holiday, when I go out first, then shower and have breakfast, by which time I'm ravenous! I can then justify a big breakfast though 😄

  • I have always run first thing in the morning. I spent the first two years or so of my running career "running on empty" without any problems. Having recent,y upped my running workload a lot (training for the 10 mile Great South Run), I have changed tack as I felt I would struggle on the longer distances without food. I now eat a smallish amount of high GI carb before I go out - either home mixed Bircher muesli or some wholemeal toast, washed down with a short strong espresso for the caffeine. When I get back I have some juice, banana and maybe yogurt.

  • My early morning runs are done on one or two mugs of builders tea with breakfast on my return. Last Sunday's run was done this way and I ran for 14.5k. I did have water with me, two small bottles on my belt. Whatever works for you is the best way.

  • It depends on how long the run will be. Up to 7k, nothing but water and coffee. Up to 10k, water, coffee and a slice of Leerdamer or Jarlsberg, or other slicey cheese! Over 10k, porridge in the winter, overnight oats in the summer :) I find it gives me energy towards the end of my run, when I get saggy! I have started to take fuel with me for around the 12k mark and I'm experimenting with dates, Cliff Shok Bloks, squidgy granola bars etc. I take water on longer runs now after a bit of a moment on a long sunny run.

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