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21st February
written by John

After logging the miles for months preparing for a marathon or a 5k, you want to make sure that your body is fueled properly for race day. Many people have asked me what I eat before a race or workout. First, you want to remember the day before is when you should be focusing on what you are eating. Running any race especially the marathon, you want to make sure you consume foods that are enriched with carbohydrates. Foods like pasta, breads and rice should be on your dinner plate. Make sure you don’t over eat and have that bloated feeling. Try to treat it like any other meal. Also, drinking a lot of water is important. Most of my meals I drink water, because I want to constantly hydrate myself. This will help with your performance if you are consistent.

The morning of the race I wake up about three hours before the race and eat my breakfast. Give your body some time to digest the food so it can be used in your race. If I am running a race distance of 10k or shorter I drink a cup of water and a couple pieces of toast with jelly. Eating fruit, pancakes or anything else that is easy to digest would be great. Stay away from things that have a lot of fat and protein, because it does not digest as well. If I am running a distance longer than a 10k I will wake four to five hours before and have a full breakfast of pancakes, toast and water. The key is eating enough to keep the grum belly away, but not overdoing it either. Practice this routine in other races leading up to your peak race to find out what best works for you. To learn more you can go to diet and nutrition for runners.

Here is a small portion of the Running DVD I created. The video includes 15 stretches that are geared for runners. The Running Video also includes running tips I have learned through the years that have help my development.

Click here to order the DVD.

My own running the past three weeks has gone through a bad patch. I have kept my volume up to around 60, but I have not been able to get in any quality runs. Today I ran my second 5k for the indoor season and ran 16:04 at Kent State University . Overall, I happy about performance after going through these tough three weeks. I will back off the racing and increase my mileage the next few weeks. If you live in Northeast Ohio and you want to improve your running I highly recommend Matt Woods. He works with people of all ability levels and he has been training me for a while. His web address is SportsLab of Real Fitness.

If you have any questions or topics you would like for me to talk about Email them. Until next time, have a Great Run. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips.
Marathon Pace Chart


  1. erin

    i have to run 300m and relay at school and don’t know what to do i can’t run very well either and i have to run in front of the whole school and i need help on what to eat, it’s too late to start training it’s in 2 days!

  2. 06/07/2010

    I would try to stick with fruits like bananas and strawberries, because they digest fast. Good Luck.

  3. Dee

    Hi! My daughter runs cross country and has competition on school nights. My question is, what kind of snacks should I pack for her to eat after school while riding on the bus? There is no time to come home, the event is an hour away, and she will also have to wait for her event for at least an hour.

  4. 25/08/2010

    I suggest that your daughter eat fruits. I normally eat a banana or some strawberries before a race. They are easy to digest and are quickly digested. Good Luck to your daughter.

  5. Thomas

    I have a very importance cross country race this weekend and i wanted to know what would be some easy food to digest before the race?

  6. 17/09/2010

    I normally eat fruits like bananas and strawberries. Good Luck this weekend.


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