Happy Friday, everyone! I got it in my head to do a Five Things Friday this week with a roundup of five of my favorite recipes for pre-run snacks, in honor of National Running Day. They’re all on my Recipes page, but it’s fun to collect them all in a neat little array and share why I enjoy particular ones before different runs. Especially since the importance of running fuel is something I did not fully appreciate until the past year – when I ran my first half marathon, I did so with just a few sips of water along the way and no fuel at all for about 12 hours before the race start (after an early dinner the prior evening, around 6pm, the next food I got was my post-race apple at 10:30 and I had a temper tantrum for more food by noon when it took awhile to be seated at post-race brunch!) Now, I typically don’t fuel much for weekday morning runs that I start really early (6:30am or earlier) but if I’m not getting out the door until after 7, I at least grab a little muffin or a handful of cereal for a shorter run. And for longer runs, any of these treats is the perfect fuel to stave off hunger and keep me going!
1. Anything PB&J: I find that a little peanut butter and jelly is the perfect mix of fuel to get me ready to run in the morning. For a typical 5-6 miler at an easy pace, just a rice cake or two smeared with some of the good stuff does the trick. For a longer jaunt, a PB&J Oatmeal Cake is the perfect fuel.
2. For a batch of make-ahead pre-run snacks, go for muffins. Muffins are the perfect morsels when you want something ready to go before middle-distance morning runs. Each one is good for several solid bites of delicious energy, and they are made from lots of good-for-you running fuel like bananas, apples, flaxseed, gluten free oats, and/or Greek yogurt. Some great muffin recipes are my Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffin Bites, Banana Oat Muffins, and Pumpkin Muffins.
3. For a longer run when you’re short on time to fuel, whip up a Peanut Butter Puff-in-a-Mug. This is great for a quick weekday pre-run snack, when you need something with more staying power but need to get out the door. It only takes two minutes to mix and microwave and is a warming treat especially great for cooler weather. As a bonus, you’re basically eating cake for breakfast, but it’s healthy!
4. For a long weekend morning jaunt when you have some time to prepare, my gluten free baked oatmeal cakes are perfect for a more substantial breakfast. I love making these in winter, especially the tummy-warming Pumpkin Spice, Banana Bread, and Apple Cinnamon, to prepare for 9-10 mile treks through the snow, but they’re also great in summery versions like Blueberry Muffin and Blackberry Bramble paired with hydrating fruit to send me on my way!
5. And finally, some good old-fashioned dry cereal paired with apple and banana slices and a smear of peanut butter. Maybe not the most exciting, but always good in a pinch! I prefer Corn Chex or gluten free rice crispies.
What are your favorite pre-run snacks?
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