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It’s race day. You’ve trained for weeks and carb-loaded. But your stomach’s in a knot or you woke up too late to eat. Skipping breakfast won’t hurt, right? After all, you did eat a huge bowl of spaghetti last night. And the night before that. And maybe the night before that.


Skipping breakfast is a major mistake on race morning. Even though you’ve loaded up on carbs previously, your body needs breakfast to top-off your glycogen tank. No breakfast can mean insufficient energy to complete any distance you’re running. No one wants mid-race dizzy spells or bonking.

But don’t wait till right before your race to eat. Take in carbs and some protein 2-3 hours before your race so your body has time to digest and store the energy. For long distance races, you can eat something small about an hour before start time. But delay eating too long and you might experience that dreaded puking sensation. Or worse, actual puking. Besides the fact that your body won’t have the energy it needs when it needs it.

At this point, you probably know what breakfast option works well for you. But toast with peanut butter or jelly or a banana with peanut butter are good options. Oatmeal can work, but it’s higher in fiber. Maybe try cream of wheat instead. But go with an option you know works well for your body.

Check out this Runners’ World video for more breakfast ideas:

Also, check out this Runners’ World for tips on pre-race hydration, mid-race fueling, gels, and post-race beers:


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