What is the best race day breakfast?

What is the best race day breakfast?

Marathon runners, triathletes, cyclists - your quest for the best race day breakfast ends here

Race day is a big deal, a day when small details matter big time, and a day when you need your sh*t very much together so you can focus every piece of your energy on executing your race plan with zero distractions. 

This means painstaking hours of research and testing in training before arrival at the start, those hard yards which - alongside great training and an awesome diet - put you in the sweet spot when it matters. Everything from bike position and running gait to best shoelaces and the fastest route to the start line have all been analysed. 


best race day breakfast pasta party

Pasta - not breakfast, not even on race day. Unless you're in Switzerland and fancy some pre-race 'noodle fun' that is (explanation below)

Race day breakfast is another detail that makes the list of 'sh*t that matters' which is why so many folks agonise over it, but here's the deal:

It's still just breakfast

If you take nothing more away from this piece, that right there is the golden nugget.The biggest thing about race day breakfast is that last word: breakfast.

Tie this into the biggest rule of all racing which is 'never try anything new on race day' and you have the foundations of the greatest race day breakfast formula ever. 

  • New trainers on marathon day? Hell no
  • New bike on the morning of a 100-mile race? Erm, of course not
  • New breakfast on race day? Absolutely not

While we're here, the same goes for pre-race pasta parties. 

Unless you normally precede all big training efforts with seven plates of pasta, doing this on race weekend is only going to be a fast-track to a very unhappy stomach and a race viewed from inside a portaloo. 

The only good thing I've found about these awful sufferfests is they offer great opportunity for entertainment when racing abroad as 'pasta party' doesn't translate well in many languages. This was brought home most excellently at Ironman Switzerland, where some friends and I checked into the official race hotel and were asked if we wanted to join the 'noodle fun' that night...

Of course there are some days when a wildcard breakfast makes (some) sense. 

Like Christmas when a large bar of chocolate might seem ideal, or a stag/hen weekend when beer and Champagne feels like the perfect way to begin the morning. 

One thing these wildcard breakfasts all have in common though? 

You feel like cr*p afterwards. The same goes for pulling a wildcard breakfast on race day. 


Best race day breakfast 33shake

Beer for breakfast? Must be a stag do... Wild card breakfasts have their place, race day is not that place

Best race day breakfast: our top five tips

  1. Test in training: experiment with different breakfasts during training and find what works best for you then use that on race day
  2. Watch the timing: if the race start is particularly early or late, adjust your breakfast time to match. For early races factor in eating and digesting time, for later races consider delaying breakfast or adding a snack between breakfast and race start. As a guide, racing one to two hours post-breakfast is where most athletes find best results
  3. Raise your game with our Pre & Post-Workout Shakes: designed for those training and racing days that really matter, our newly-reformulated Pre and Post Workout Shakes deliver the most powerful athletic hit of nutrient-dense superfoods, protein, good fats and more for all elements of excellent performance. Use as breakfast or, for those later race starts, as a pre-race power snack after breakfast
  4. Traveling - check the menu: call the hotel to find out what their breakfast options are, and work out if these will suit your needs. If they don't, either bring food with you or locate the nearest supermarket online and stock up on arrival. Our Shakes win the day big time here, delivering total consistency of everything that matters wherever you may be
  5. Swap the hotel for an Airbnb: hotel rooms are fine for sleeping, but less good for living thanks to not having fully-kitted kitchens, lounges, etc. Rent through Airbnb and you can easily find places with both, meaning your pre and post race cooking can be done just how you like it, while the lounge lets you crash out before and after the event without having to stagger through a hotel lobby like one of the walking dead in search of a sofa

best pre race breakfast 33shake pre and post workout shake

33Fuel Elite Pre and Post Workout Shakes. Freshly reformulated for even more pre-race power than a powered up powerful thing at the World Championships of Power. Seriously, these are good. If you haven't tried them yet then hoooeey are you missing out! 

Coffee: a quick note

Coffee can be a great performance boost when used correctly, if you are a coffee drinker then on race day this means watching when, how much, and what sort of coffee you use. For all you ever needed to know about coffee and performance this blog post here goes into much more detail. 


More performance-boosting content

From the 33Fuel Podcast

From the 33Fuel Vlog

Related content

The best superfoods for athletes

How to avoid stomach trouble when racing and during exercise

Coffee and athletic performance - how best to use caffeine for max upside with no downside

Booze and your performance - the health effects of alcohol for athletes

Chia Energy Gel
Ultimate Daily Greens
Premium Protein
Amore Natural Energy Bar