Eat well and eat often: coconut jasmine rice as pre-run fuel for marathon training

At least that’s Rio’s motto: Eat well. Eat often.

20140811-155001.jpgPreparing for last weekend’s long run, I spent the evening prior cleaning and oiling saddles. I love me some squeaky clean tack.

20140811-155901.jpgWhile I oiled, baby boy watered the horses… and himself.

Nothing like a nice summertime swim in the horse tank.

20140811-155851.jpgHe dried off out in the field, where the wild things are

20140811-155910.jpgAnd so I thought we had a pretty good plan for long run the next morning. We ‘ran’ together as we have the countless previous Saturdays. He bikes. I run. Baby tags along. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning. I have company. Baby gets to see his mom and dad being active and together. And Biker Husband gets to do some nice, easy recovery time in the saddle after things like 3hr+ of gravel road riding. He’s insane.

20140811-155013.jpgBut the thing is, I felt pretty darn poor this run. It was extra hilly. And the hills were only good when going down.

20140811-155031.jpgBut really the hills were not the real problem. The problem was with my fuel. I had barely had anything pre-run. Maybe some coffee? I can’t even remember. And then during the run, I only had water. Lots of water, but water only does so much. You need fuel.


I even had food along. I just didn’t eat it. Whaaa?

So this week I’ve been experimenting more seriously with running fuel.

I can tend to get upset in the stomach if I have much of anything especially when running hard, so I decided to go for very, very easily digestible carbs. The most non-offensive carbohydrate I can think of is rice.

And you know what? The mornings that I had my coconut jasmine rice with a teeny tiny dab of peanut butter, those were really good runs.

Early in the week, I had a moderately hard 10 miles with 12 hard hill sprints each of about .20 mi. The rice sat perfectly.

Today was my monster double day. This morning on the track, from lane 8: 14 miles total – 2 miles warm up (8:30pace) then 20min @ 6:14pace / 15min @ 6:10pace / 10min @ 6:08pace with 3min easy jog in between each and then a couple of miles cool down (7:50pace). It was hard. But SOOOO good. I was so encouraging to actually be hitting my target paces. So good!


I felt so good, I was even looking forward to my afternoon run of 10 additional miles. Looking forward to this: 5 miles @ 85% of race pace (7:10) and 5 miles at 95% of race pace (6:45). I started this afternoon run at 2:30pm. Even though I’d had lunch not too long before, I decided to continue my pre-run fuel streak and put down a half a banana with some homemade pepita-almond butter. That also set well. Amazing! I felt so good. There I was, finishing 24 miles in one day with 17 of them averaging around marathon race pace (6:30) and feeling amazing!

All this to say – fuel yourself well and often: before run & after run, and additionally eat breakfast, lunch, maybe a snack, and dinner. Keep dinner a little lighter if possible, and stop eating a few hours before bed. It’s just good for the body and for your running!

My tendency in the past has been to forgo early morning fuel because it’s early morning and I really just am not hungry. I am convinced after just a few runs that the pre-run fuel is crucial and I need to keep this up. So here’s what is quickly becoming my staple pre-run fuel:

Coconut jasmine rice

  • 1 c dry jasmine white rice (rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 3/4 c water

Cook the rice as you normally would, just watch that it doesn’t stick. I find it maybe has a tendency to want to burn a little more than when just using plain water. I end up stirring once or twice while it cooks. But, seriously, it’s very easy and very good.

I have a powdered coconut milk which I like and find here, from Wilderness Family Naturals (not an affiliate link, just a company I love). The powered milk does have maltodextrin; so if you want something with no sweetener, maybe use canned coconut milk or something like this. I love their coconut cream (in coffee!!!). For this recipe it would need to be diluted.

I make this the night before. Then before a run in the morning, I eat it cold. I mix in about two teaspoons of peanut butter for a little protein. Any nut butter would be good. It keeps well and is also a nice side to any curry dish.

Happy fueling and fast running!



5 thoughts on “Eat well and eat often: coconut jasmine rice as pre-run fuel for marathon training

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  4. Would not have thought about using rice, but it makes sense! I get tummy troubles when running so always looking for fuel that might not cause distress.

    Beautiful horses, btw!

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