Fuel for parkrun

It's a double this weekend - NYE and NYD. Can I ask what people do for fuelling up beforehand? I've done 5 parkruns now and don't have anything only a smooth espresso Zipvit gel about an hour before the race. I know it's nothing like fuelling for distance but I am interested in what people do and what works for them. I can't really face breakfast even if I wanted to - I still get a little anxious even now.... pathetic really!! :-D


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12 Replies

  • Hi there, parkrun is fab isn't it, I like the non-race atmosphere of it, so inclusive for all abilities.........ours is doing the double this weekend too, I'm volunteering and running at both, will have normal breakfast of porridge and a cup of tea about an hour before, and that'll be it. Really looking forward to it, it's going to be a lot of fun. That's not much help if you never eat breakfast! 😄

    Sometimes I go for a run on just water early in the morning - less so at the moment as I have the luxury of going a bit later in the day. I prefer to have some fuel on board, especially if it's a longer run, and stick to something like porridge, banana to start with and would use a gel as top up, only if I was going to be out for over an hour/hour and a half.

    Hope you find something that suits, have a great parkrunning weekend!


  • Small bowl of porridge and half banana by 7.30!

  • I don't have anything to eat before parkrun, just a drink of water. I really look forward to the cooked brunch I have after 😀.

  • Parkrun is a bit late for me, Hence the porridge. I like to run earlier on just water as a rule.

  • Yeah, I wish parkruns were earlier.

  • Gosh, I struggle to get up in time! I'm up at 6am during the week so love my lie in to 7:30 on Saturdays 😂

  • I am usually up at 6-6.30 so just automatically wake up that time at weekends. I just can't lay in - the mornings are best part of the day. Last week people were still parking up at 9 when we're all ready on the start line :-( it will be the same this morning. Wonder if we'll break last week's record of 388 runners :-)

  • How you fuel the night before can make the greatest difference to how you perform on the day, regardless of whether you're running 5K, 10K or a half-marathon.

    By ensuring that a carbohydrate rich meal is eaten (such as brown rice or pasta), you'll ensure that the muscles have sufficient glycogen stored within them to see you round the respective courses on both days.

    On the morning of each race, simply opt for something light, such as a banana, or a portion of yoghurt with a handful or raisins mixed in (for quick release of energy). Adequate hydration and consumption of whey powder (mixed with water) before heading out the door should also be considered.

    Equally, whey powder should also be considered after you run tomorrow, since the amino acids will aid with recovery of the muscle fibres, so that the legs don't ache as severely on New Years' Day. If you possess compression leggings, ensure they're worn both during and after each race, since they'll help to reduce stiffness in the muscles.

    On both days, ensure that your warm-up gradually takes exercising heart-rate into it anaerobic zone, with dynamic stretching also included (as opposed to static stretches).

    By ensuring that your warm-up routine exercises the anaerobic zone (think jumping jacks & mountain-climbers), when it comes to 'toe-ing' off, you should hopefully find that breathing regulates a little sooner, allowing you to settle into both races feeling confident, since the muscles are nicely warm and primed.

  • I've been stuffing my face all over Christmas so I have more than enough 'fuel', but I don't eat before running. If I were doing real distance I might but not while it's 5Kish. I do enjoy my breakfast afterwards though!

  • Most running sites say that you don't need to ramp up carbs before a 5K. I have tried both - eating a half a banana half an hour before to eating zero the morning of the Parkrun (some say that is the best for weight loss) and to be honest didn't notice much of a difference in energy - of pushed I would say that maybe the banana seemed to give me a wee bit of an extra boost.

  • I tend to just have a glass of water and a handful of dry cereal about an hour before parkrun. Any more than that and I feel sick. And I try not to have too big or too late a meal on Friday evening.

  • Porridge made with milk, and served with fat free creme fraiche and demerara sugar...

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