Build Your Own Perfect Pre-Race Meal
Confused about exactly how to construct the ideal meal or snack for a long run, interval session or race? Try our step-by-step tips to find your ideal fuel.
If you’re standing in your kitchen wondering precisely what to eat to fuel your next run, you need a guide to get you started. Here’s a handy cheat-sheet of carbs, protein and fats so you can start to understand the meals and snacks that work best… for you!
Choose A Carbohydrate Food
It’s important to combine both simple (fast, sugary) carbs and complex (slower-digesting) carbs to fuel a long run or race.
1 slice bread: around 15g carbs
50g (dry weight) basmati rice: around 48g carbs
1 whole plain bagel: around 50g carbs
1 sachet (27g) instant oats, plain: around 16g carbs
50g (dry weight) whole plain oats: around 31g carbs
200g (raw weight) sweet potato: around 40g carbs
200ml semi-skimmed milk: around 10g carbs
150g fat-free Greek yoghurt: around 6g carbs
Add Some Protein
Protein is important for runners, too. Not only is it a source of energy (4 calories per gram, just like carbohydrates) but it helps your muscles recover and repair.
150g fat-free Greek yoghurt: around 17g protein
20g peanut butter: around 5g protein
50g natural hummus: around 4g protein
120g (raw weight) chicken breast: around 30g protein
60g tinned tuna: around 30g protein
1 whole egg: around 6g protein
Adding some faster-acting, sugary carbs to your pre-run meal will give you the energy you need to support your run from beginning to end. Try these sweet treats to keep it natural.
1 large medjool date: around 18g carbs
100g banana: around 23g carbs
50g raisins (just watch the fibre content!): around 40g carbs
What’s your favourite pre-run meal, or your go-to breakfast and snack on race day morning? We’d love you to share ideas with the running4women online community.