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What to eat before 5k run?

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I'm am going to run my first 5k race next sunday. What should I eat the night before & before the race (small) ? Thanks!
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5k is short enough that it doesn't matter much what you eat the night before.  in the morning, i'd just have a protein shake or a bowl of cereal, then grab a normal brunch/lunch after the race.

what do you normally eat before a run?

I ran a charity 5k today.  Had a bowl of fresh oatmeal with some blueberries and scrambled egg whites.  About 30 mins before the race I ate a banana. Banana's are great carb/energy food! 5k is not a long distance but it can be to some, so just make sure you are hydrated BEFORE you start the run and mostly HAVE FUN!

Yeah, a 5k is long to me, as I just started running. I usually have a piece of fruit before I run, so I was thinking that I'd have an apple or banana. Are you sure I don't need more carbs (or anything) the night before?

I'm positive - just eat a healthy dinner and get lots of rest!

But, I'd go with the banana before the run - and hydrate before the run - if you need to drink anything while running, make them sips, don't gulp, to prevent cramping!

Best of luck to you!!!!!!!!

Original Post by goldengirl470:

Yeah, a 5k is long to me, as I just started running. I usually have a piece of fruit before I run, so I was thinking that I'd have an apple or banana. Are you sure I don't need more carbs (or anything) the night before?

don't get me wrong - i rarely run more than five myself, and i rarely do so in less than 35 minutes Wink

i just meant that it's not long enough that you're going to deplete yourself of anything in particular.

I just ran my first 5K yesterday (April 18). It was much shorter than I expected! I just had a banana on the way to the race. I was fine during the race then after a group of us went out for brunch. I didn't do anything special the night before. I didn't feel sick (well the uphill run/jog got to me but that is more about me being out of shape than about what I ate---the proof of that was once my heart rate returned to semi-normal the nausea went away).

I have a friend that does 1/2 or full marathons and he has a special diet that he sticks to days before a run, but he is running a minimum of 13 miles and it takes much longer to complete! Trust me, the 3.1 mile 5K will be over in less than an will be fine!

pgeorgian - I wasn't offended at all, you're right about it being short.

larienkoci - Thanks for the advice! What was your time? I think I'm going to do what you did and eat a banana before and go out to eat after.

2 Large helpings of spaghetti!


No.  Seriously, don't do that.

I am cursed with very short legs (I am 4'8" tall) and therefore take a few more steps to complete than my taller competetors ....all of that to make an excuse for the sucky time of 45 mintues 28 seconds. But it is my starting point, this is what I hope to improve! Good luck.

Does being short really make a difference? I'm 4'11" and I find it a lot harder to run fast than my taller friends despite having the cardio capacity - it's just my legs that give out.

I did a 5k in under 37 minutes yesterday (36:50) and it was the best I've ever done :)

I don't think being short makes as big of a difference as muscle condition.

Hey goldengirl - congrats on your impending first 5k! So exciting. :-)

I run a lot of short "fun runs" and timed races in Central Park, in NYC where I live, and I like something I can grab and go with on the subway there; I also, and this is a personal preference, don't like too much before a run, so I usually keep my pre-run "snack" to about 200 cals if the run is a 10k or shorter: a string cheese and a few almonds; a hard-boiled egg and a banana or apple; you get the picture.

Also, LOTS of pp have mentioned this, but I will say it again, because it's super-important: HYDRATE. You will probably be very excited during your 5k, and might even run faster than usual, as you'll be feeding off of the energy of everyone else; it's great, but water is ESSENTIAL. I did a 4-miler yesterday, and I was under-hydrated; it was a VERY long mile between the water stations for me!

Good luck! :-)

Eat what you would normally eat before a run, don't start changing things around on race day.

a 5k is so short, you really don't need to each much more..

I do a 5k run pretty much everyday in the morning, but usually more (about 10k)... I can run a 5k in about 25mins, so sometimes I can do it early before I even have breakfast... usually I'll eat breakfast if I plan on running more then 4 miles.

you really don't need to eat much more then a small meal (about 300cal) with complex carbs and protein... some fruit and yogurt, strawberries and cottage cheese, cereal and soy milk, or oatmeal and egg whites are some good examples

you don't want to eat too soon before your run, make sure you eat about an hour prior to running so that you don't get cramps or have that uncomfortable food weight in your stomach slosshing around

Great advice here.

I am running my first 5K tomorrow at the fabulous age of FIFTY! I ran a 2 miler Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and it wasn't bad at all.

I find that my energy level of the treadmill ebbs and flows, but am hoping the race adrenaline will kick in and make it an easier 3 miles vs a drag-butt day. I never know which kind I'm going to have and understand that most of it is nutrition- based. I will count on a wonder-banana~!

Someone told me what you ate as far back as four days ago can impact your performance. Frankly, I don't wanna have to think that hard about it!!!

My favorite pre-race breakfast is Krispy Kreme donuts...  I don't recommend it for the faint of heart :-)  Something at least two hours before your race that won't upset your stomach.

It's traditional to carbo load the night before a race, 5K or longer!  LOL...  Good choices are Italian or something that is light that won't bloat you up...

Just eat something balanced for dinner the (k)night before. Like grilled chicken over rice. Then, cereal or oatmeal in the morning, then about 15-30 minutes BEFORE you race, down 2 bananas. They're a GREAT energy source and will give an awesome boost.

you're a year and a half late, 'knight.

lol - never too late to know what to eat before a race, ay PG?

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