A guide to the perfect pre-marathon breakfast

Race day is almost here.

It’s likely that anyone taking part in the London Marathon will have been training for months. But there’s one final key piece of preparation before the event itself that’s crucial – a good breakfast.

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for regular folk, as it sets us up for the hours ahead. But – just like warming up and water – it’s an absolute necessity for athletes, as it provides them with the energy they need for any lengthy sporting event.

Get it wrong and runners could end up bloated or lacking energy, and get it right and it’ll help their bodies through the gruelling 26-mile race.

So what’s the recipe for success when planning a pre-marathon breakfast?

Personal trainer Max Leonard from Myprotein, says: ‘Simply put, there isn’t a “perfect breakfast” prior to a marathon because everyone has different things that work for them, however, we want to make sure we are properly fuelled.’

Max stresses that runners should be getting most of their race ‘fuel’ from carbohydrate-based foods two to four hours before they set off, while keeping fats restricted.

He adds: ‘We should be aiming for approximately 1g of carbs per pound of bodyweight because, during exercise, the body’s primary source of fuel (carbohydrates) is broken down to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) – the body’s energy molecule – providing the energy to the muscles required for us to keep running.’

Despite there being no miracle breakfast, most experts recommend porridge as one of the better options to have before a big race. 

Alex Parren, a personal trainer, running coach and nutritionist, says: ‘My ultimate pre-marathon breakfast is porridge with peanut butter. I always eat this before a long run so I know it doesn’t cause any gastrointestinal issues while I’m running.

‘This is hugely important when choosing your pre-marathon breakfast; make sure it’s something you eat regularly and never try something new on race day, just in case it doesn’t agree with you.

‘Oats are well known for their slow-release carbohydrate benefits and the addition of protein and fat combined within the peanut butter makes this an absolute winner. It’s not too heavy on my stomach and oats are a source of soluble fibre, which slows digestion and helps you absorb nutrients from food – as opposed to insoluble fibre which pretty much goes straight through.

‘This means I’m not left needing a thousand trips to the toilet before the race and can actually benefit from the nutrients within the meal.’

Nutiritionst Rob Hobson adds that carbohydrates are the key to a marathon breakfast – as opposed to anything too high in fibre, which could risk stomach distress. 

Rob says: ‘You should aim for 1-4g per kg body weight so if you weigh 65kg that is between 65g and 240g.

‘This can be quite a lot of carbohydrate to get in one sitting so you may want to split your intake up into smaller meals across the morning before the race, rather than eating a huge breakfast which could increase the risk of gut upset.’

Source: Read Full Article