Let's talk realistically about how to plan your workouts and fueling if you are an early morning runner! You may be thinking, "I don't have to eat because I'm not hungry." However it is especially important to fuel for your long run or hard workout because it sets you up to not be overly hungry later. When you are overly hungry you tend to overeat.
So what is considered a long run or a hard workout?
Any run over 60 minutes is considered a long run and definitely a good idea to have some fuel before you head out the door. Also if it's longer than 75 minutes I would recommend even mid-workout fueling as well. Hard workouts are: speed workouts, a hill workout, a tempo run or lifting weights. You will want some kind of fuel beforehand. Fueling before your workouts will make you a better athlete because when you have fuel in your system then you are able to lift heavier, run faster, hit your paces and go longer! This is setting you up to get a better workout in!
So when should you have your early AM workout snack?
Ideally you should have your pre-workout snack 1-2 hours before you workout but I understand that is not realistic when you are waking up at 5am to do your workout. So what you want to do is get something into your body that is easily digested and absorbed as soon as possible! I tell my clients to have a snack 15-30 minutes before their workout, so while you are getting dressed go ahead and eat your snack so you have at least 15 minutes to get it into your bloodstream.
Here are some ideas of food you can have before your early morning workout:
- a handful of raisins or dried fruit
- a sweetened applesauce packet
- a gel (one of your training gels that you may use for your mid workout fuel)
- banana and pairing that with a sports beverage (like a Skratch nutrition drink)
All of these are easy to digest and should not cause any GI issues during your workout!
If you want some more tips then tune into our FREE podcast, Food Peace Please on Itunes or by clicking here.