Even though the distance is only 3.1 miles, your body still needs fuel before running a morning 5K.
What and when you eat before your race should be based on what you ate the night before and how early you wake up. You can eat one to two hours before the race or right before.
For example, if you ate a well-balanced dinner containing carbohydrates the night before, eating something small—and carbohydrate-focused—30 minutes before the race would be adequate. If you didn't eat much the night before, consider eating something more substantial—that includes fat and/or protein—two hours before the gun goes off.
The more time there is before the race, the more calories you should eat. Remember: The body takes longer to metabolize fat and protein than it does carbohydrates. If you each too much fat or protein right before the race, digestion will still be taking place when you start to run.
Consider the following breakfast options for your next 5K.
Two Hours Before Your Race
- Trail mix with dried fruit and candy
- Bagel with peanut butter or cream cheese
- Bowl (more than a single serving) of cereal with milk
- Almond butter, honey, banana roll up
More: 10 Foods to Fuel a 5K
30 Minutes Before Your Race
- One cup of grapes
- Granola bar
- One serving cereal
- Toast with jelly
- One packet of oatmeal
What you choose to eat will primarily be dictated by what your stomach tolerates. Everyone is different. Don't try new foods before a race. Practice eating race-day foods before a training run to be certain those choices will work for you.