What a Runner Eats

What a runner eats happyfitmama.com

Welcome to another edition of Run It!

In case you missed it, here’s what we covered so far this year:

Winter Running Tips and Essentials

How to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

The Best and Worst Racing Advice for Runners

Essential Exercises for Common Running Injuries

Hydration Tips and Tricks for Runners

Summer Running Tips

Rave Runs

Mental Workouts for Runners

Workouts for Your Best Half or Full Marathon

This month, we are talking about food.

Have you ever wondered what a runner eats?

If you guessed food, you are correct.  Lol!

Your body needs fuel to run. And food is fuel.  If you eat garbage, you will feel like garbage.  We are all different and have different needs.  Isn’t it annoying when you know that one person who can eat whatever and whenever and have an amazing run?  The majority of us aren’t like that.

It would be magical if there was a one size fits all for what to eat pre, during and post run. But the truth is that what I run on, maybe won’t work for you.  It’s all trial and error.

Last winter, I worked with a sports nutritionist on fine tuning my diet while training for a marathon.  We worked on finding the right fuel for me. I highly recommend Jamie Sheahan, RD.  I met her last year at Run.Rise.Retreat.  She’s a runner herself so she knows what it’s like when you aren’t properly fueled for the run.  I’m not currently training for any races right now but I still use lots of the tips she gave me in my day to day eats.


I am a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast.  It’s either a yogurt, fruit and granola bowl or oatmeal.  I’ve tried having eggs and veggies in the morning but I am hungry within an hour.  Yogurt bowls hold off the hunger for hours so they are my go to.  I love using Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt as the base and will load up on fresh berries, banana, granola and of course, a spoonful of almond or peanut butter.  I just love nut butters in yogurt. Other good options are homemade waffles topped with yogurt for extra protein.

What a runner eats | happyfitmama.com


The majority of the time I have an everything but the kitchen sink lunch that involves greens and last night’s leftovers.  If we don’t have any leftovers, I’ll have a salad with whatever veggies or fruit we have plus a protein. Do you guys like fruit in a green salad?  I love it.  Ron thinks it’s the weirdest thing ever.

What a runner eats | happyfitmama.com


This time of year, I break out the crock pot although I recently jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon and have been loving it.  A whole chicken cooked in less that 40 minutes?  Yes please!

What a runner eats | happyfitmama.com


I’m always looking for a snack mid morning.  When I’m at work, I need something quick so a bar is usually my go to.  I’ve been loving the RXBars (affiliate link) in Chocolate Sea Salt lately.  If that’s not an option, most weeks I also whip up a batch of cookie bites for the kid’s school snacks.  A variation of THIS bite made with craisins added instead of chocolate chips is the most requested.

Pre Run Fuel

Prior to an easy run, I don’t eat anything.  I usually run early in the morning with no time to digest anything.  Over the years my stomach has acclimated to it and I have no energy issues.

If it’s a long run or race day, I have two options depending on my mood.  A stand by for years has been oatmeal with a banana, cinnamon and peanut butter.  I’ve also had really great success with a baked sweet potato, cinnamon and almond butter.

In a nutshell, I don’t follow any set meal plan.  For the most part, I eat what I want in moderation. I know a lot of runner’s who restrict alcohol or sweets when training but I’ve never been able to stick to that.  Moderation is what works best for me!

Run It - tips and tricks for runners by runners. This month we are covering What a Runner Eats. | happyfitmama.com

Want to know what other runners eat?  Click on the picture to take you to some of my running friends are eating. And don’t forget to Pin away so you have a stash of valuable running info to reference whenever you need it.




What a Runner Eats Run It - LauraCarly

What a Runner Really EatsSandra

What A Runner Eats (1)Nellie

Running Nutrition- What To Eat Before, During & After Your Run

Linking up with Coaches Cornerand Wild Workout Wednesday.

What do you run on?




24 comments on “What a Runner Eats

  1. Ive been on a smoothie kick for breakfasts but I used to eat eggs with veggies every day. I may try switching to oatmeal some days as it starts to get colder out. Usually for lunch I either bring salads or leftovers. I also prefer to eat in moderation! I have something small for dessert just about every night.

    1. For years, I had to eat before a run but then I started running first thing in the morning (like 15 minutes after waking up) so there’s no time to get food in. If I’m hungry or it’s going to be a tough workout, I’ll try a banana with some nut butter but usually nothing works best.

  2. I eat salads often but I never put fruit in them. I will however eat fruit in a salad if I order one out and it’s in the salad. I need to get one of the insta pots. A whole chicken in 40 minutes, wow!
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  3. I’ve been totally into yogurt bowls for breakfast lately, when usually I am an eggs kinda girl. But I love adding granola to my yogurt with some fruit! I also really enjoy fruit in my salads, I don’t think it’s weird at all!

    1. My favorite fruit in a green salad is a perfectly ripe pear. So good! I didn’t think I needed an Instant Pot either but my mom convinced me I did. It’s an awesome tool to have!

  4. As a fellow runner I totally appreciate this post! It is so important to make sure that you are fueling you’re body properly for the energy that is being expended, and also so that you can maximize your capabilities, strength and power in the runs you are going to take. Also great ideas for my next meals! Thanks for sharing!

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