Before I started doing long runs on weekends, I typically ran without eating breakfast. I know it’s the “most important meal of the day”, and I always ate it (even after a run), but sometimes it’s hard to stomach food when my run begins at 6 AM!
Now that I’m training for a
marathon 26.2 mile fun run, I know I’ll eat something the morning of my race. One goal for marathon training is to simulate race day by practicing nutrition, hydration, and outfits, on long runs so I want to practice breakfast too.
My go-to food before races has always been oatmeal. First, it’s pretty readily available. When I traveled to Georgetown for the Bridge to Bridge Half Marathon last year, I knew the hotel’s free breakfast would have oatmeal available. Even if it didn’t, oatmeal is pretty portable. When I run races in Florence, my mother-in-law usually keeps it stocked at her house, but I sometimes have a packet of instant oatmeal just in case .
Oatmeal is also easy to prepare at Dark O’Clock when you have to be on the road for a 19 miler at 5:30 AM to beat the heat. Trust me, the ease matters a lot at 4 AM…
Since oatmeal is high in carbohydrates and low in fat, it’s a great pre-run food. It’s easily digestible and warm for those cold mornings- or you can refrigerate it overnight and eat it cold if you like a cold breakfast.
Recently, Anthony at MyOatmeal.com sent me coupon codes for two bags of custom-built oatmeal to test and review. This was so much fun- I went on the website and experimented to “build” my oatmeal. You get to pick out the type of oats you want, the flavors, any sweeteners, fruits, and add-ins.
As you build your oatmeal, you can see the changes in calories, nutrition, and even pricing. It’s very interactive and easy to use. When finished, you can name your creation and purchase it. It’s pretty cool, for the world of oatmeal, that is .
The two oatmeals I created were Multi-grain Smores and Blueberry Cheesecake with flaxseed. They shipped quickly and arrived within 3 days, which was pretty impressive. Both oatmeals were exactly as I ordered, including a handwritten note from Anthony, who runs the company with his wife as a startup.
First, I tried the Smores oatmeal, which I ate hot- following the directions on the pack. The oatmeals are very easy to make and come with nutritional facts on the back as well. The smores taste was great but sweet, so I added some almond butter to make it more savory. It tasted great and filled me up for a successful run.
The serving size is 1/2 cup oats, which is great for most mornings but I cut it down to 1/3 cup for pre-run days. 1/3 cup filled me up for my 17 miler last weekend (I did have a gel during the run), but I’d definitely eat the full serving after working out, probably with some fruit or maybe yogurt on the side.
Before my 19 miler, I tried making chilled “overnight oats”, which I read about on another blog. I combined 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, and some chia seeds (Purchased at Trader Joe’s), then chilled the mixture overnight.
This time, I used the Blueberry Cheesecake flavor, and the result was a delicious, rich, filling breakfast that didn’t make me hot from sweating (since I knew I’d sweat a ton running 19 miles, obviously).
The oatmeal is a little more expensive, but uses high-quality ingredients, supports a small business, and the bags last a pretty long time. You get what you pay for- I received mine a few weeks ago and still have some left, and I don’t feel like it’s as processed and junky as regular instant oatmeal.
It’s fun to build your oatmeal on the site and have a custom creation. So, if you really like oatmeal or know someone who does, definitely check out MyOatmeal.com.
I received two complimentary bags of oatmeal from MyOatmeal.com for this review, but I was not financially compensated. All opinions are my own, and I’m thankful I had the chance to review it and promote a small business with a unique concept.