Tomorrow in Green, the Blue Line Beginners aiming for the 8k on June 24 will be adding a mile to their training program, so it's a perfect time for this next topic. Our guest blogger today is Akron Marathon Operations Director Laura McElrath, so read up and be ready for our next milestone.



At our last group run, someone asked me what they should eat before a morning run. That's one question that has more than one answer.

First, what you eat depends on how YOUR body responds to food. Some people can eat anything and then go for a run right away. Others prefer to eat nothing before their run. Most people end up in the middle and tend to eat something small. What you eat and when you eat it will be very individual.

Timing is also individual. You might find you need to eat 3 hours before the run. Maybe it's 2 hours. Maybe you can eat that granola bar in the car ride to the trail.This is a good time to pull out that journal and start writing down what you ate, when you ate, and how you felt during and after your run. Once you figure out what works best for your body, you can stop the journaling.

Here's a tip to keep in mind: You have enough stored energy in your body to last you about 2 hours of pretty hard exercise. You just need a little something to get your blood sugar up after a night of fasting for a short to medium workout session. If you are running for longer than an hour you may want to add in a little protein and eat a second serving of carbs (a serving of carbs is 15, which is a typical piece of bread).

Here are some general recommendations:

* Aim for 15-30 grams of carbs that can be easily digested 30-60 minutes prior to exercise.

* Some form of protein in the meal/snack will give you more sustained energy than just carbs. That's good for workouts lasting longer than an hour.

* Foods high in fat or high fiber take longer to digest and may cause digestive issues. Keep the fat/fiber content low during pre-run meals and snacks.

* Make sure to hydrate! Water is the best choice. Drink throughout the morning and until you start your run. If you are training for longer distances or it's a hot day, add a sports drink with extra electrolytes.

Here are examples of potential morning fuel options:

low fiber cereal
bagel with jelly
toast with an egg
banana with yogurt
graham crackers
granola bars

For you coffee drinkers, caffeine is actually a performance enhancer. But be careful because it also gets the digestive track moving and can cause "issues" during the run.

- Laura