If you are running longer than an hour or doing an intense workout, eating a small meal of 300-400 calories an hour and a half prior to your run would be ideal. That pre-workout meal should consist of carbohydrates. Some examples include: banana and energy bar, small bowl of cereal with milk, toast with peanut butter, or yogurt. Avoid slow-to-digest fatty and high-fiber foods. Or, try a liquid source like a meal-replacement drink or a fruit smoothie. Though you can get away with not eating, you'll have a stronger run if you eat something before. If your stomach really gets upset from eating prior to your run or you don’t have the luxury of having that hour and a half time-frame to eat, try eating something small like an energy gel about 30 minutes into your run. For any run over an hour you use up your carbohydrates stored, so remember to carry some kind of fuel (something small and easy such as gel or shot blocks) with you if you are going past one hour.
- Dr. Anita LeBlanc