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The marathon breakfast guide

While breakfast already holds the lofty title of 'most important meal of the day', it gains a whole new level of significance on marathon day. Apparently tea and a banana won't cut it.

If you're shaping up for a 26 mile slog (or shorter, equally worthy distances), you're going to need the right fuel in your tank. Energy and performance expert Oliver Gray has teamed up with Thistle Hotels to provide a guide to the perfect pre-run breakfast, depending on how hard you'll be pushing yourself.

"I would advise all marathon participants to opt for an easy to digest, slow release carbohydrate along with a food high in protein," says Gray. Here are some other key ingredients to ensure you make it over the line on race day.

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Level: The amateur Mo

Breakfast dish: Egg omelette with vegetables

Breaking it down: This breakfast is perfect for a long race. Eggs are packed with protein and amino acids which will help with muscle repair and recovery. You'll also get a substantial does of your recommended amount of vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health.

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Level: Charity runner

Breakfast dish: Porridge with sliced banana

Breaking it down: Any fancy dress runners are advised to opt for porridge with sliced banana. Oats provide fantastic source of slow release carbs, helping to sustain energy levels. Bananas contain potassium, which runners lose through sweating (a common side effect of wearing gorilla suits) and help regulate muscle contraction and prevent cramping.

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Level: The novice

Breakfast dish: Smoked kippers

Breaking it down: For the novelty charity runner, a breakfast of traditional smoked kippers will keep you well fuelled for the day. The fatty acids contained in fish are one of the best contributors to the energy production of your body. Since its health benefits are also associated with mental functionality, it improves your level of concentration – great for visualising the finish line.

Thistle’s ten hotels are open for breakfast across London from 6.30am

(Image: Shutterstock)