Runners are all different. Our bodies and stomachs all handle things differently. The only thing I can say with CERTAINTY is that you without a doubt NEED to eat breakfast the morning of a marathon. I do not eat breakfast before any long runs, yet I would NEVER skip a morning meal race day.
There is a HUGE difference between 20 miles and 26.2 miles. Your body needs to be fueled prior to the starting line in order for you to make it to the finish line strong.
I have found that the magic combination for me race morning is Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, toasted with peanut butter on top. I drizzle it with honey for some natural sugar and some yummy sweetness. This breakfast is great for me because it combines, natural fats, protein, natural sugar, and carbohydrates – no gluten and no dairy. I do not eat any fruit before the race because I do not want the extra bit of fiber race morning.
I typically aim to eat my breakfast at least 3 to occasionally 4 hours before the race start. For a 7:30 race start this is VERY early. What I used to do prior to finding out I had a gluten sensitivity was set an alarm for 4 hours before the race and roll over and eat a granola bar I had set next to my bed the night before, when the alarm went off. A bagel with peanut butter on it would be another great bedside option. I then would go back to sleep and eat the rest of my breakfast when I got up.
I also start drinking water and nuun right away when I wake up. I stop drinking water at least 1:30 prior to the race start so my kidney’s have time to get rid of all the excess water/etc. I do not want to enter the race with a full bladder – I’ve made that mistake before and let me tell you it’s not fun when you already feel like you need to GO in mile 1.
Lastly remember that you need to be HYDRATING this week. Do not start this process on Saturday – if you have not yet started – start now. Seriously…..go get a glass of water now!
What do you typically eat marathon morning? Would you recommend it to others?