Amanda is Healthy Food Guide's nutrition editor with a degree in nutrition and a post-grad diploma in dietetics. She is a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and The Guild of Food...

Parkrun is fun way to get social, fit and healthy. Eating the right sort of breakfast will mean you have enough energy to get those legs around the 5k course…

Although beginners may feel their first few 5k (3.1 mile) runs feel like a marathon, in reality it will take an average fit woman around 30 minutes to complete, burning around 300 calories. This means you really don’t need to carb-load the night before or take extra snacks to eat en route.

Enjoy a healthy, balanced breakfast beforehand and have a small snack like a banana – rather than a whopping pain au chocolat – afterwards. With this combination, you should have enough energy to see you through to lunch. We’ve rounded up 10 delicious breakfasts; all of them have one thing in common: they will get you going, but not weigh you down!

    1. All-Bran Fruit and Nut Breakfast Bowl 302kcal, 40g carbs.

A quick, easy option that is especially great for iron, a mineral we need for helping oxygen to be transporting to our exercising muscles.

  1. Spinach, Broccoli and Pesto Open Omelette with Lemon Ricotta. 425kcal, 27g carbs.


If you like a cooked breakfast, this is a nutritious and filling start to the day. Naturally good for iron, with almost half your daily needs as a woman, it also provides a third of your fibre.

    1. Winter Fruit Compote. 287kcal, 47g carbs

Winter fruit compote

Making this tasty breakfast the night before allows you to get the maximum sleep before your run. With 20g of protein and nearly 50% of a woman’s daily needs, it is satisfying without being heavy on the stomach.

    1. Deliciously Ella’s Creamy Mango and Banana Overnight Oats. 362kcal, 53g carbs

Dairy free recipesAnother great option to prepare the evening before your run. The slow-release carbs in the oats will keep your muscles well-fuelled, and adding a sliced banana means you get some faster releasing energy, too.

    1. Deliciously Ella’s Cacao & Almond Energy Balls. 173kcal, 141g carbs

Here’s a recipe you make up the day before and then grab and eat on your way to the park. Have two with a milky coffee to top up the protein, boosting it from 10g to around 20g in total.

    1. Boiled Eggs with Dukkah Soldiers. 378kcal, 20.1g carbs

If you like to take your time to enjoy a relaxing breakfast before heading out, this two-egg start to your day will set you up, keeping you full while giving you a carb top-up as well.

    1. Berry Nut Chia Muffins. 182kcal, 24g carbs

You get this from one muffin and can obviously double the calories and carbs by having two. We recommend the latter – or having a good-sized latte if you only have one to prepare your body for the upcoming exercise.

    1. Strawberry Oat Smoothies. 193kcal, 39.7g carbs

If you just can’t cope with breakfast – and feel even more that way before you exercise – then at least try to sip down a smoothie to provide some fuel along with some fluids. We like this version for breakfast dodgers, as it packs in the carbs without you having to chew them!


  1. Mixed Spice French Toast. 312kcal, 36g carbs

Mixed spice French toastA tasty start to the day that gives you the filling benefits of an egg without having to eat it boiled, fried or poached – it comes as part of the finished piece of toast!


    1. Peanut Butter Flapjacks. 225kcal, 32g carbs

Peanut butter flapjacks

Make these the day before and wrap them in foil ready to grab and go. Have with a smoothie or cappuccino on the way to your race, making sure you eat at least 30 minutes before you start. The oats will give you slow-release energy, while the sweetness from the agave nectar helps to give you a faster energy burst.

Find out more about how to reach your best pace at Parkrun here.