My favorite breakfast/pre-run smoothie

Usually if I’m going out for an early morning run, I will try to wake up an hour and a half before so I can eat a banana with nut butter (lately, almond butter instead of peanut butter) an hour before I start my run.  If I am going for an early afternoon run, I am able to eat a full meal and have plenty of time to let it settle and digest before running.  There is this in-between time, though, when I have more than an hour before to eat, but not quite 3 hours to digest a full meal.

That is where smoothies come in: they are easier to eat and digest, and fun to make. On a typical day that I am not running in the morning, I like to have a smoothie for breakfast and will pack it full of fruit and the occasional green veggie. But before a run I like to keep my smoothie a lot simpler, so it provides the fuel I need without the possibility of upsetting my stomach.  The solution I came up with is a smoothie that incorporates some staple ingredients of a vegetarian/vegan athlete’s diet.


To keep it simple and straightforward, I use  homemade rice milk, a banana, a few dates, ground flaxseed, and chia seeds.  On occasion, I will use nut butter for some added texture and good fat, and some fresh peach or pineapple if I have it.  I prepare rice milk ahead of time (based on Scott Jurek’s recipe I follow a rule of 1 part cooked rice to 4 parts water) and have it stored in my fridge, ready when I need it.  Other homemade milks such as almond milk or cashew milk can be substituted, although for now I prefer the extra carbs I get from the rice.  If I have a little extra time I will slice a banana into 1 inch pieces and throw it in the freezer for 20 minutes beforehand.  This is certainly not necessary, but is another way to get the smoothie a little colder.  Another thing to note, I use fresh Medjool dates when available and in season, but dried dates work fine as well.

Depending on how large of a smoothie I am up for, I will add the desired amount of rice milk into the blender.  Throw in the banana and dates and blend until smooth.  Then add in about a teaspoon each of the ground flaxseed and chia seed and blend just enough to incorporate. Drink it and head out for a run! You won’t feel heavy but will feel fueled enough to sustain a medium distance run no problem.

0 thoughts on “My favorite breakfast/pre-run smoothie”

  1. shannon hughes

    Love this idea! I’ve been struggling with what to eat before my morning workout lately. I’m tired of cliff bars and will give this try tomorrow morning!

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