Mind and Body Breakfasts to Fuel your Next Long Run

Breakfasts to Fuel your Next Long Run


Morning runners know sunrise runs are a beautiful thing. With the longer days and spring training in full swing your long runs may be starting a little earlier. While breakfast may not sound appealing before you run out the door, you’ll need to find a way to give your body the fuel it needs to keep you, especially on days when you need to go the distance. “Breakfast is an essential meal for athletes to obtain the nutrients they need,” says Cara Kasdorf RD, MAN, co-owner of Blueprint Nutrition in Waterloo, Ont. “Along with providing another fueling opportunity, breakfast can also help regulate stress hormones in the morning, provide the body with carbohydrates for workouts, and help with muscle recovery.”

As a runner who has trained for several marathons, Kasdorf understands first-hand the impact of an athlete’s nutrition, especially as their training increases. “If you are doing a morning workout, I would suggest still trying to have something for breakfast beforehand,” she says. For runners who can’t tolerate eating before a long run, Kasdorf recommends splitting up breakfast into pre-run and post-run meals. 

Another thing for runners to remember is timing. Depending when you’re eating (pre or post run) there are foods that make better choices to achieve the maximum nutritional benefits. For instance, to help keep you fueled on your run, Kasdorf recommends prioritizing carbohydrates such as grains and fruit such as toast and peanut butter or yogurt with berries.

After your run, a good carbohydrate and protein combination to help promote recovery, so this is the time to mix oatmeal with Greek yogurt, eggs and whole grain toast or try the High Protein Cottage Cheese Pancakes recipe below.

By taking a simplified approach and focusing on the right combination of carbohydrates and protein at the right time, a morning meal is possible for every runner. “Try starting with something small like a small glass of juice or a sports drink to get your body used to it, and then work on increasing from there.” To help fuel your morning meal prep inspiration, here are a selection of recipes guarranteed to help you make the most of your training and get you starting your day strong.

RECIPES BY: Rosanne Robinson, RD

High Protein Cottage Cheese Pancakes (featured above)

Makes: 11-12 pancakes


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (can be dairy milk or other milk alternative)


ONE: Place eggs and cottage cheese in food processor or blender and puree for 15 seconds.               

TWO: Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until just combined.                                                     

THREE: Heat frying pan or skillet on low/medium heat. Add 1 tsp of butter if your pan isn’t a non-stick pan. Measure 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.

FOUR: The pancakes should appear to be a golden brown on each side when they are done.

FIVE: Serve with desired toppings (my favourite is plain Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of maple syrup) and a side of berries and tea of course!

Berry-licious Overnight Oats

Makes 2 large or 3 small servings


  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup rolled oats (regular or gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup of frozen berries (I used raspberries)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or milk or your choice)
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I prefer 2%)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)


ONE: In a small to medium-sized bowl, mash the banana with a fork.

TWO: Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir.

THREE: Divide evenly into two wide mouth glass jars and set in the fridge overnight.

FOUR: Simply grab and go in the morning OR add toppings of your choice prior to serving (see note below).

NOTES: If desired, you can top with fresh fruit, slivered almonds, dried flaked coconut, a drizzle of almond butter or even some mini chocolate chips.

Many recipes use fresh fruit, and while that is tasty when fruit is in season, I typically use frozen berries for my overnight oats. Frozen berries are very high in nutrients and cost less than fresh fruit. I used frozen raspberries in this batch but you can use any fruit or combinations of fruit that you like.

Pumpkin Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins

Makes: 12 muffins


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar or sweetener of your choice 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or raisins 


ONE: Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin tin by lining with liners (you may want to lightly spray inside of liners to prevent batter from sticking) or coating the cavities with cooking spray.

TWO: Add all ingredients (except the raisins or chocolate chips) to a food processor or blender and process on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth (about 2 min).

THREE: Stir in raisins or chocolate chips by hand. 

FOUR: Pour batter into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle chocolate chips, raisins, pumpkin seeds or oats on top of each muffin, if you want to get fancy ? 

FIVE: Bake for 15-20 minutes until tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 



Cara’s Beet Berry Smoothie:

  • 1 small cooked beet chopped (or frozen)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 medium frozen banana or 1 small frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (or to desired sweetness)

Rosanne’s Mango Cauliflower Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 medium frozen banana or 1 small frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional; some palates will detect a bitter taste)
  • 2 tsp honey (or to desired sweetness; optional)

Heather’s Simple Green Dairy-free Smoothie

  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 large frozen banana or 1 small frozen banana
  • 1–2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk


ONE: Add all ingredients to your blender.

TWO: Blend until everything is evenly combined.

THREE: Taste and adjust as you see fit! (This is the beauty of making smoothies – anything goes!)

Cara Kasdorf, MAN, RD and Rosanne Robinson, RD are the co-owners of Blueprint Nutrition, an Ontario-based nutrition practice serving families and athletes across Canada.