The Perfect Pre-Run & Post-Run Feasts (and how to eat for a long run)

What to eat before and after a long run: half marathon training, running, fitness, healthy eating, food for fuel

TRAINING MEANS I EAT ALL THE FOOD

I am training for the Colfax Half Marathon, and my 9-mile long run was scheduled for this past Sunday morning. Since last week’s 8-mile long was a disaster, I needed to be smarter this time around.

What does that mean? It means pizza and brunch feasts, that’s what. And the best on both accounts, to date!

But first, let’s talk a little about how to fuel and prepare your body for a long training run.

What to eat pre- and post-run. Running, training, half marathon, long run preparation.

WHAT NOT TO DO
THE DAY BEFORE A LONG RUN

First, let’s talk about that disaster of a long run. Here’s what went wrong:

  • I had too much red wine the night before (three generous glasses)
  • I didn’t hydrate enough the day before or morning of
  • I didn’t eat the right breakfast
  • I didn’t snack close enough to the starting time, nor did I snack during the run
  • I ran during the hottest part of the day

No bueno! When I finally finished the 8 miles (after stopping plenty of times and feeling like my body was made of concrete), I was shaky and nauseated. I came home, felt like I had a fever, vacillated between hungry and feeling ill, and then fell asleep for an hour on the couch (still sweaty and gross).

What to eat and drink before a long run. Half marathon training, running training, long run preparation

NOW FOR WHAT TO DO

This time around, I was extra-conscious of preparing the smart way. Here’s what made my 9-miler the best run I’ve had ever:

  • I refrained from alcohol the night before
  • I drank water consistently the day before
  • I drank water the morning of and during the run
  • I ate plenty of good carbs the day before and morning of (The day before: breakfast, a bagel for lunch, fruit and veggie snacks, the best-pizza-ever below. The day of: cereal and almond milk with a banana.)
  • I broke the run into sections (thirds) and snacked at each stopping point (cantaloupe bites and Clif Shot Bloks energy chews)

The best homemade pizza recipe (and the best night-before, pre-long run training fuel!)

THE PIZZA OF MY DREAMS

What made my long run feel so good (so much so that I could’ve kept going)?

I obviously have to credit each item on the below bulleted list equally for such a successful long run, but I am biased toward the night-before pizza feast. We used:

  • Bobby Flay’s pizza dough recipe
  • organic tomato sauce spread thinly on top
  • sliced buffalo mozzarella + some shredded mozzarella
  • organic mushrooms
  • roasted garlic (1 hour prior, while the dough was rising)
  • organic arugula
  • fresh basil leaves (after the rest had baked)

I am telling you, it was divinity in pizza form. Homemade and organic ingredients, when  you have the effort and money to invest, is truly worth it for great taste. I had three slices and half of a Justin’s dark-chocolate peanut butter cup. Carb loading at its finest!

We have the other half of the dough in the fridge for dinner tonight. Can’t wait!

Sassafras American Eatery in Jefferson Park, Denver. The Best Brunch in town!

MY POST-RUN REWARD…

…was a delicious brunch at Sassafras American Eatery (the Jefferson Park location) afterward. This was my first time at the house-turned-restaurant, and I ordered:

Beignets from Sassafras American Eatery in Jefferson Park, Denver. Best brunch in town

Beignets (Photo from Yelp)

  • an almond milk cappuccino
  • the beignets (French market-style donuts dusted with powdered sugar + their berry jam)
  • the Cajun Benedict (gulf shrimp and lump crab cakes, house-made tasso and crawfish hash, poached eggs, fried oysters, smoked cayenne hollandaise) + grits
  • the Fried Green Tomato Benedict (buttermilk-marinated green tomatoes, sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, arugula, poached eggs, classic hollandaise, toasted house-made jalapeño cornbread) + potato casserole
  • a biscuit on the side (the largest you’ve ever seen)
Cajun Benedict from Sassafras American Eatery in Jefferson Park, Denver. Best brunch in town!

The Cajun Benedict (Photo from Yelp)

Fried Green Tomato Benedict from Sassafras American Eatery in Jefferson Park, Denver. Best brunch in town!

Fried Green Tomato Benedict (Photo from Yelp)

Yes, this was shared between two people, but it still was a lot of food. No regrets! I will be dreaming about this breakfast and waiting until the next time I get to visit!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FUEL (AND REWARD) FOR A WORKOUT?

 

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