The Nutrition Mission

It’s no secret if you read my blog regularly that the last couple of run’s i’ve attempted haven’t been particularly good ones. I’ve struggled since the Christmas period to get back into running and eating right. It’s been hard to kick the cravings that resulted from all the delicious things I ate at Christmas. I’ve been particularly bad at it and have found myself snacking more regularly than before Christmas – a habit which I had somewhat managed to kick last year.

So i’m on a mission now to fix my nutrition – in the hope that it’ll help both me and my training run’s feel more comfortable! I need to get back into the mindset of thinking about what I eat before a longer length run, so that my body isn’t bloated and full of rubbish when it’s time to lace up. I haven’t eaten the best meals before the last two bad runs (the sausage butty being a case in point), i’m hoping an improvement in nutrition will result in an improvement in runs.

What’s worked in the past:

The night before – Chicken and rice seems to be the best dish for me the night before a run. Plenty of carbs and protein, but doesn’t make me bloat as much as pasta can. We tend to get some marinated chicken breasts from the market and then cook them with rice covered in soy sauce along with green beans and sweetcorn. YumYum!

Breakfast fuel – if i’m doing an early run toast with strawberry jam has usually worked for me. The bread gives me enough fuel and the jam gives me a little sugary kick to wake me up and get me started!

Light lunch – If i’m planning on going out late in the afternoon for my run i’ve found that a poached egg and avocado on toast works well. It’s enough at lunch that I don’t start feeling hungry again until dinner time and therefore don’t need an afternoon snack which could mess up my digestive system during the run. If I am in need of a snack…..

Snack – BANANA!! Definitely the best quick pre-run snack. If I eat it about 30 minutes before I run I definitely feel like I have more energy, and it stops my stomach rumbling whilst running which I hate (as it makes me want to quit).

What doesn’t work:

The night before – A BIG FAT PIZZA. We made the mistake of having a big fat pizza the night before our first ever 5k race. I still felt ridiculously full and bloated in the morning and it did not make for a nice pre-race experience. Thankfully when we finally started running the adrenaline made me forget about it, but in a training run which I probably don’t really 100% want to do anyway I can see it putting me in a real grump!

Breakfast fuel – Porridge. I know some people really like oats/porridge before they run, but for me it just feels like theres a stodgy mess rolling around in my tummy! Traditional milky porridge is just to heavy for me.

Light lunch – Sausage butty, or anything greasy for that matter. I love it when I eat it, but when I have to go for a run that sausage butty makes me feel about 5lb’s heavier!

Snack – Big bar o chocolate…. it’s just better saved for after – like a delicious chocolatey reward for your hard work!!

So those are my personal go to and no-no meals for before running. What are some of yours?? Let us know in the comments!


4 thoughts on “The Nutrition Mission

  1. Thanks for sharing what’s worked for you! It’s tough getting back out there! I always find that the winter period is tough. We’d love to hear how running has influenced your life (See the forums page and members and events page). We’ve created a website that brings together former and current athletes and provides a supportive and non-judgmental space for individuals to share their athletic triumphs and struggles. Thanks so much for your consideration! Margaret

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  2. The night before a run, I’m pretty good with anything that’s carbohydrate rich, whether it’s potatoes (including chips!), rice or pasta.

    Breakfast is usually something bread-y with something sweet like Nutella, jam or honey. A coffee also works wonders to help wake me up.

    Lunch is normally a sandwich.

    Like you, my go-to snack is a banana, though I have to leave at least 90 minutes between eating one and running to avoid a stitch!

    The only food I try and avoid if I have a run planned is anything that’s rich in meat like steak, a fry-up etc. I’ve been slowly downsizing the amount of meat I eat, which has lead to my tolerance for meat diminishing!

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  3. Thanks for sharing what works for you.
    I’m finding it hard to get back on track with exercise and nutrition following Christmas. However, I’m getting there, slowly.
    I have found that I’m OK with whatever I eat the night before, even fish and chips! However, whether or not I have breakfast depends on how far I’m running and how much time I have before the start of the run – I like my sleep! Before parkrun on a Saturday, I usually just have my Aloe Vera Gel and a pint of water. I’ve found that if I eat even a banana I get a stitch about half way round because I’ve run too soon after eating. If we are doing a 10K, or longer, event I’ll either have a shake or jam on toast. For a light lunch, I’ll either have a shake or a ham and cheese spread sandwich depending on how long I’ve got before exercise/running. For snacks, you can’t beat a banana. I’ve also found jelly babies are awesome during longer runs, especially where hills are involved 😉

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    1. I also like my sleep! It makes getting up in time to go to parkrun quite a challenge (one which i’m yet to be successful in lol!)


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