Last updated: 23-Aug-18
By James Eacott
We’re all in a rush: whether it’s getting the kids to school, dashing for the tube to work, or getting an early training session in before the family wakes up.
The importance of getting your breakfast right cannot be underestimated. I believe it really sets you up for the day. Get it right and many things fall into place: you’re well fuelled, your mental game is strong, and your body is full of the nutrients it needs to perform properly. Get it wrong and you’ll bonk before lunch, attack the biscuit tin and feel guilty the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, many breakfast cereals today are full of sugar which, with just a little research, you’ll see is not the best way to start your (or your family’s) day. However, a bowl of cereal with milk is a highly convenient, time-efficient breakfast.
In this article, I’ll share five breakfasts that can be made in less than five minutes – almost as quick to prepare as a bowl of cereal. The difference is these breakfasts will provide your ultra running body with the plethora of goodness it needs. Even if you must set the alarm five minutes earlier than usual, it’ll be worth it.
Poachies on ‘dough
Poached eggs are the best. Simple. High in healthy fats and protein, eggs form the foundation of many great breakfasts and are versatile and quick to make. Sourdough, with its high proportion of bacteria to yeast and its tasty flavour makes it the perfect carbohydrate source for this 5-minute breakfast for an ultra running champ.
- Bring water to a simmer.
- Gently crack the eggs straight into the water.
- Let them do their thing for two minutes for a runny yolk (three for a more solid inner).
- Toast the sourdough.
- Butter the ‘dough and fish out the poachies.
- Serve with a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Extra flavour: smash an avocado onto the sourdough before laying the egg on top.
There’s much dispute over what type of oats to use, although they all work to provide a carb-rich breakfast. Oats release energy slowly throughout the day so not only will porridge stop you snacking before lunch, but they’ll also provide a solid, consistent source of energy for your training.
Personally, I believe you should use whole rolled Scottish oats. When cooked, they’re creamy but also chunky enough to feel like you’re actually eating something solid. I’d rather this than the paste-like porridge which you can get with fine-milled oats.
- Add oats and water or milk to a saucepan and get heating.
- Bring the pan to the simmer and hold it there for 5 minutes.
- Add fruit / nuts if required.
- Serve with either light brown sugar or drizzle with honey / maple syrup.
Extra flavour: sprinkle some cinnamon for that wintery spice loveliness.
Smash, beans ‘n’ shrooms
Aka avocado, baked beans and mushrooms. One for the veggie ultra runners out there. Ok, I admit, this one is a bit of a challenge to rustle up in 5 minutes, but it can be done…who doesn’t love a race against the clock! It’s best to use small button mushrooms as they’ll cook quickly. Serve on sourdough, rye or wholegrain bread.
- Fry the mushrooms in coconut oil.
- Chuck baked beans in a bowl and into the microwave for 90 seconds.
- Smash a whole avo in a bowl until smooth (or lumpy, if you like).
- Toast the bread.
- Butter toast with smashed avocado, drizzle the beans and top with ‘shrooms.
Extra flavour: add a few drops of tabasco to the beans while they cook for some heat and a gentle metabolism boost.
Nom nom omelette
A great breakfast before a low intensity run, particularly if you’re looking to shed some winter fat. The high protein, healthy fats and low carb content will mean you’re burning fat, so long as you keep your training intensity low.
- Heat a pan with coconut oil and dice half a pepper.
- Whisk two or three eggs with a dash of milk.
- Add the pepper, a handful of spinach and a spoon of sweetcorn to the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the pan.
- After 3 minutes, fold the omelette in half and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Serve with salt and pepper.
Extra flavour: serve with a drizzle of sweet chili sauce…don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!
Shake ‘n’ go
Ok this one is cheating a bit, because it’s so easy and so versatile. Milkshakes can be tailor-made to whatever your training and nutrition goals are.
Looking to lose weight or build lean muscle? Then go high protein and high (healthy) fat by blending avocado, peanut butter, whey protein with two raw eggs and whole milk.
Fuelling up for a big session? Blitz oats and frozen fruits with whole milk and honey.
Protecting the family from illness? Blast bananas, a handful of spinach, a carrot and a scoop of soy protein powder with orange juice for a super hit of vitamins.
There you have it. Time to chuck out the Cornflakes and try your hand at healthy, fast food.