Healthy Pre-Race Breakfast Ideas for OCR Racers

Race day is approaching–hooray!  You’re going to need fuel to get your body through the race easily.  Hopefully, you’ve already carb-loaded (the right way) and now your only concern is race day nutrition.  What does that look like?  Well, it depends, but we’ve got some healthy pre-race breakfast ideas for you here based on the length of obstacle course race you’re competing in.

For the shorter races it’s okay to stick to something simple, easy, and quick because the race will be a fast one and you’ll be able to replenish quickly with your post-race banana and then of course, your victory meal! Skipping breakfast isn’t ideal since you’ll be burning through whatever nutrients your body has stockpiled. Give your body fuel so it can perform its best and not be sluggish.

Obstacle Races 5 miles or less:

Healthy pre-race breakfast ideas:

  • A smoothie (get a quick 5-minute banana peanut butter smoothie recipe)
  • Granola with yogurt, berries
  • A healthy-ish cereal and add fruits (think Raisin Bran with bananas, Cheerios with berries, Special K with berries or bananas, etc… You can even use granola as your cereal base as well.)
  • Boiled egg

If you’re really short on time– grab a banana and go– something is better than nothing.

Obstacle Races 6 miles or more:

  • Oatmeal – add your favorite fruits, dried cranberries/raisins, nuts, a little honey or almond butter
  • Avocado with an egg on top
  • Protein pancakes with…you guessed it– add fruit.
  • Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter
  • Whole wheat bagel and egg sandwich; add spinach and tomatoes.
  • Egg white scramble (egg whites, veggies of your choice, and another protein if you wish.  We like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes).

If you’re going to bring along fuel during your long races, you might be able to get away with a smaller pre-race breakfast.  This just depends on what you normally eat to begin with, and what you’re bringing on the race course with you.  For example: for a Spartan Beast, I will eat a bowl of oatmeal with a banana, berries, and almond butter or honey mixed into it at least one hour prior to my start time, and then I bring Honeystinger chews, protein bars, and Nuun with me on the course.  For a shorter race, I’ll generally eat yogurt, berries, and granola and be good.  I don’t typically feel hungry out on the course.  These are also consistent meals with what I would normally eat on a day-to-day basis and my body is already used to that amount of fuel.  Don’t overeat before a race if you don’t normally take in a large breakfast, but do eat something.

You don’t want to bog your stomach down with a breakfast that is super heavy, but you do want your  body fueled properly to sustain your energy and effort for the duration of a race.  A healthy pre-race breakfast will go a long way in allowing your body to push itself during OCR races.

Most importantly, don’t forget to continually hydrate well in advance with water.  Just water.  Yes, replacing electrolytes is a good thing, but you need to first hydrate with regular water.  This is equally as important as the food you’re ingesting.

And… don’t try anything new you’ve never had on race day!

Do you have a healthy pre-race breakfast idea you’d like to add? Let us know!


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