Breakfast like a champion

21 February

With just two months to go until the London Marathon, it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to fuel your body on the day. The first question is, do you treat yourself to a special breakfast? The answer is yes, BUT only if you have had it before.

Eggs and Avocado on toast with spinach

As with everything you do to prepare for the marathon, don’t try anything new on race day – unless, of course, it’s the race itself! No new trainers, new clothing, new warm-up routines and definitely no new foods. So, start planning now and maybe try out a few of our suggestions below and see if one will work for you.

The sole purpose of breakfast on race day is to provide you with energy. But, if you are food lover, it is important to enjoy it – it’ll give you that extra boost you’re going to need to get round the full course. Don’t go too heavy, though – a full English fry up would not be recommended. However, eggs are good as they are a great source of protein, which helps regulate the release of the carbohydrates that you’ll need for energy and, later, for repair and recovery.  If you have a sweet tooth, go for your life – for instance, pancakes with syrup and blueberries are a good option – but don’t eat so many that you feel too full.  And, you can never go wrong with good old porridge mixed with banana and honey, no matter what exercise you’re doing.

Here are some good breakfast ideas to try – make sure you test them several times before race day if you think they might be the breakfast for you. We’ve picked each one with the following thoughts in mind:

  • carbohydrates and sugar for ENERGY;
  • protein for regulating the release of ENERGY, making it last longer;
  • vitamins and minerals for using ENERGY and RECOVERY.

 

Poached eggs and crispy unsmoked bacon on buttered toast

Poached eggs and crispy unsmoked bacon on buttered toast

Why: eggs are high in protein, which helps a steady release of energy over a longer period of time. Toast provides good energy-giving carbs and bacon is great protein as well, although choose unsmoked as it is less salty and you don’t want to start the race thirsty. Poaching eggs is the most healthy way to cook them as they don’t go above 100°C, which means the process doesn’t ruin any part of the egg, or spoil its benefits.

Granola, berries, natural yoghurt and honey

Granola, berries, natural yoghurt and honey

Why: with all its grains and nuts, granola is rich in energy, providing the carbs to set you up pre-race.  Natural yoghurt is good protein for slow release of energy and keeps you fuller for longer, plus it provides you with essential calories for energy, as does the honey – good sugar for energy. The berries taste good and provide you with vitamins and minerals to boost the body before, during and after the race.

Delicious wholemeal pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup

Fluffy wholemeal pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup

Why: pancakes are light, so don’t make you feel bloated, plus they provide you with carbs that you need for energy, while the blueberries provide you with sugar, minerals and vitamins that are essential for energy and repair. The syrup again provides more energy and tastes great! If you want to add some protein to help slow down the release of carbs, unsmoked bacon would be nice with this.

Bagels and peanut butter

Why: bagels are a good way to carb load, as they are dense and provide a lot of energy. Peanut butter contains protein, which slows down the release of the carbs, meaning your energy should last for longer.

Porridge oats with milk, banana and honey

Porridge with banana and honey

Why: make your porridge with milk (if you eat dairy) as it will provide you with more calories. Porridge oats are possibly the best carbohydrate food out there, as they are relatively slow-releasing and full of vitamins and minerals. Bananas are an excellent source of energy and contain high levels of potassium, which helps reduce muscle cramps. The honey tastes great and provides more energy.

Avocado and halloumi with salad

Avocado and halloumi on rye bread

Why: avocados have a lot of healthy fats to help prevent any inflammation, and they are very high in potassium, which helps to reduce muscle cramps. Halloumi is high in protein and tastes delicious, especially with avocado.  Rye bread is a good alternative if regular wheat-based breads make you feel bloated, it also provides you with essential carbohydrates.

Have you run the marathon before? If so, share your favourite breakfast with us on Twitter @ProvizSports

Image Copyright: Eggs bacon, toast: Copyright: piyato / 123RF Stock Photo granola Copyright: peteers / 123RF Stock Photo Avocado Halloumi Copyright: piccia / 123RF Stock Photo Banana Oats Copyright: juliasudnitskaya / 123RF Stock Photo

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