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2440 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Aug 21, 2009 5:09 AM by pixey
chermoni Pro 61 posts since
Aug 6, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 10, 2009 4:03 PM

What can I eat before a run?

Hi, I just started week 3 of the couch to 5k program.  I go for my run first thing in the morning and by the time I get home I feel like I'm starving.  I can't eat a lot when I first wake up and I'm afraid to run on a full stomach.  I'm also on a gluten free diet and cannot tolerate dairy or soy.  I don't even know what type of food I should eat before doing only 3 miles.  A carb of somesort?  Protein?  I tried eating a small bowl of cereal beforehand today and while it solved the problem of starving, I felt more sluggish than usual, started to get a side stitch, and just generally didn't enjoy my exercise as much as I normally do.  I also have another idea, what if I threw a protein shake in my car to drink immediately after my run to quelch the starving feeling until after I get home and can eat a proper breakfast.  Any ideas, advice, or anything else you can give me will be much appreciated.

Finished C25K on October 2, 2009!

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Valentines Day Dash 5K - February 13, 2010  35:25

St. Patrick's Day Dash 3.8 miles - March 14, 2010  47:33

Seahawks Run 5K - April 11, 2010

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Thinking about doing my first half on September 6, 2010

  • coreena Amateur 20 posts since
    Jun 22, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 11, 2009 8:56 AM (in response to chermoni)
    Re: What can I eat before a run?


    Hi Chermoni!



    I'm on the C25K program as well and ran into the same problem once I got into my longer runs (I'm now on W7). If I had tried to eat something, I would end up with side-stitches. Not eating anything would cause me to run out of steam during my runs.



    I have found that using energy gels are EXACTLY what I needed in order to get through my morning runs. I use GU Energy gel. One packet with a couple sips of water 15 minutes before my run and I'm good to go. It's just enough nutrition to carry me through my run, yet it isn't enough 'substance' to make me feel sluggish or cause side-stitches.



    There are many different kinds of energy gels out there. You can most likely get them at your closest sporting goods or running store. GU was the first product I tried and it works so I'm sticking with it.



    Good luck!






  • TaintedMeat Amateur 15 posts since
    Aug 13, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 15, 2009 8:10 PM (in response to chermoni)
    Re: What can I eat before a run?

    Make a smoothie before you run. Just get a bag of mixed frozen fruit from the store, your favorite juice and throw it all in the blender. You can also add a banana to it if you like. It only takes a minute to make and it seems to stave off that hunger for the run without making you "full".


    October 24, 2009 - Knobstone Trail Mini Marathon - Martinsville, IN 2:12:50

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Aug 15, 2009 11:54 PM (in response to chermoni)
    Re: What can I eat before a run?

    It's not essential to eat before a relatively short run. Your body has plenty of stored glycogen (readily available energy source), more than enough to get through a lot more than 3 miles. Having a snack (ideally a mixture of protein and carbohydrate) in your car after your run is a good alternative that will also help with post-run recovery. If you do want to eat before you run, it should be easily digestible carbohydrate, low protein and low fat.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

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  • spicegeek Community Moderator 2,563 posts since
    Jan 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 16, 2009 6:44 PM (in response to chermoni)
    Re: What can I eat before a run?


    I have a small protien shake and banana before running in the morning






    If I run later in the day I just have a granola bar






    the shake before or after the run is a good idea



    NYC Marathon          Nov 1 2009     -   4:03:13 ( 9:17 mm )

    NYC Half Marathon   Aug 16 2009   -   1:55:38 ( 8:49 mm )

    1 mile -  7:07                             10K     - 52:58 ( 8:32 mm)

    4 mile - 31:35 ( 7:53 mm)          8K      - 42:28 ( 8:32 mm)

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  • pixey Amateur 28 posts since
    Aug 18, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Aug 21, 2009 5:09 AM (in response to chermoni)
    Re: What can I eat before a run?


    As a long time runner, I have actually struggled with this issue for years (because having to eat and then wait to run can seriously interfere with the rest of your life/schedule).  My husband runs without food every morning.  But I really cannot run on an empty stomach.  I do not have the same intensity or even enjoyment.  So I have always had breakfast, then worked for an hour or two, then went for a run, but I've to do major juggling with my schedule.  Just recently, I read an article by Nancy Clark (well known sports nutrionist) who said to eat carbs (no mention of any protein) . . . and just enough to get you through the effort, like a banana or a portion of a bagel. She said that you do not have to wait to run if you eat something easily digestible (reason for the carbs).



    I've tried bananas and apples.  They don't seem to give me quite enough energy.  After reading her article, I decided to try one slice of whole grain toast (very low processed variety, but that's just me) with some raw honey spread on top (no butter).  For a longer run (8+ miles), I also drink one cup of soy milk.  This has been the perfect breakfast for me.  I can run immediately after eating this mini-meal.



    Afterwards, I sitll eat the breakfast that I used to eat (yogurt, blueberries, whole grain cereal, wheat germ, flax seed & soy milk).  I just eat a smaller portion.



    This has worked really well for me, after about 10 years of trying to find the right answer.  Good luck.  



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