What do you eat before an early morning run?

Last week I had a bowl of porridge an hour and a half before my Sunday run and really struggled, it felt like a stone in my stomach! I prefer to run early morning and sometimes I don't even have time to allow an hour after eating, so I go out on an empty stomach. I guess I may not be able to do this as the distance I run increases! Everyone says have a banana but I can't digest them at all, even the tiniest bit of a banana makes me violently sick. Please don't tell me to get up earlier - I also have to walk my dog so 6am is plenty early enough thank you!

I just wondered what everyone else does for food before an early morning run?


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19 Replies

  • I always go on empty - usually just water, or hot water and lemon. I don't think you'll need to take on anything for the C25K runs, energy-wise. As distance increases to 10km and above, perhaps - at least I haven't found out yet! ;)

    Your body probably won't be able to digest very much before the run, depending what it is and how long you leave it. It might be the case that it's unlikely you'll actually be getting more energy from what you take on?? Sugary energy gels/drinks will absorb much more quickly, but the spike in your blood sugar and insulin production isn't good for you, and I don't think they're the best thing for you endurance.

    Try a light museli snack bar, or something? Digestion starts with saliva, so chew well. I've been looking into homemade chia seed gels, but that's something else.

  • I usually eat a portion of porridge with fresh raspberries/blueberries, or a portion of muesli. It's only light and I found I was struggling if I went out on empty once I got to week 3.

    I measure it out on the scales though otherwise I'd probably end up eating too much and feeling sick :)

  • I have a banana and a cup of tea plus glass of water.

  • I run on empty, except for two glasses of water. When I'm going for over an hour I'll drink a glass of smoothie in place of one of the glasses of water. For longer runs, I eat a small bowl of cereal (weetabix) and wait about 2 hours before running. I have porridge before cycling, but not running.

  • Oh cup of tea only, just could not have anything else.

  • Is that before a 10k?

  • Not yet! Although I aiming for that in the summer. :)

  • I like to run on empty, so only some water for me before I go out.

  • I run on empty (cup of tea and glass of water) unless I can get a good two hour gap between breakfast and run

  • Hi, i don't eat anything, just have a glass of water, mind you i've got plenty of reserves to keep me going!

  • i cant eat 3 hrs b4 i if im running over 5 mile start burping you could try having some pasta the night night b4 or have half your porridge toast with peanut butter or jam or honey soup works for me hope this help s good luck

  • I struggled with this for quite a while - I can't run on empty but can't run either on porridge or toast as they just sit in my stomach like concrete. What works for me now is making sure I eat sensibly the night before (enough protein) and then eating one slice of cheese such as Emmental or Jarlsberg - plus the obligatory coffee, of course! Having said that, I'm usually out first thing in the morning and rarely for longer than 40 minutes, so if you're doing longer runs or you're out later this might not be enough for you. Hope you get it sorted - happy running :)

  • Thanks everyone, it seems I am not alone in running best on an empty stomach for shorter runs. I guess I will worry about the longer runs when I get there. I'm just about to do Week 5, Run 3 so I have a way to go yet!

  • I never eat breakfast (or lunch on fasting days) so always run on empty with no problems at all. I just take water with me if, say, I'm running to the cinema two miles away, watching a film and running home again!

  • I also run on empty except for a cup and tea or coffee beforehand. Today I had a yoghurt about 20 mins before and that was ok.

  • I normally get up, have my clothes by the door, grab a glass of water and go! if I think too much I wouldn't go so for me its an empty stomach, I come back, have another glass of water, a shower and then I sit relaxed and enjoy my breakfast, I'm sure everyone's different but I couldn't run after eating. If you feel you need something, try a digestive biscuit and then eat a proper breakfast after.

  • I have muesli with berries and coconut yogurt (which is lush), or porridge which is cooked properly for 3 - 5 minutes (undercooked porridge can give you indigestion) I run an hour or 90 minutes afterwards.

  • Just saw this post. If you can't eat bananas try a handful of raisins. They also release their energy very quickly. Useful little energy snack to take with you on longer runs too.

  • Good idea ChrisL, I love raisins!

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