Sardines and Running

So, CIM 2010 is in my rear-view mirror. I am so glad that my body is beginning to feel a bit better. I can walk down a flight of stairs and I can bend over and tie my shoes without too much effort.  All good things.

I have taken this week off of running and am happy to have some time to veg in the evenings.  Since I have a bit of a down time I thought I’d answer a question that I’ve been fielding from friends, co-workers and readers:

Do you really eat sardines before races?

Yes, yes I do. And you should, too. I really think sardines and kippers are great foods  for runners. Sardines offer a great mix of protein, salt and fat.  I eat them with a bit of brown rice or quinoa for quick-burning carbs as well as to tone down the taste of the sardines. Another added benefit of sardines is that it’s REALLY difficult to eat too much. With powerbars, peanut butter, things like that, it’s often hard to ascertain how full you might be – especially if it’s a tasty treat like peanut butter on a banana or some such thing. I guaruntee that you will never stuff yourself with sardines. You’ll eat just the right amount and then be done!

That said, if you’ve never forayed into the world of small canned fishes here’s some advice:

1. Quality and price matter. You do not want to eat cheap sardines. Spend a few dollars and get the good stuff. My favorite brand of sardines is Bela Olhao (available at Whole Foods). Stay away from Bumblebee Sardines. They are not OK.

Best sardines

2. Like avocados? Try  “avodines”. It’s very similar  Alton Brown’s Sardine Avocado Sandwich (did you know that Alton Brown was a sardine lover?). Basically you take a perfectly ripe avocado, mash it up, top with some choice sardines and maybe a squeeze of lemon and voila, “Avo-dines”

3. If you’re not accustomed to eating sardines, try kippers. Kippers are longer, bone-free and a bit less pungent. I like King Oscar kipper snacks. Try them with a hard boiled egg after a long run. Great recovery food!

4. I did not eat sardines before the marathon and I feel that was a mistake. I made other mistakes, too, but I should have eaten something with protein, salt and fat…like sardines, yo! Lesson learned.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in food, running, The Great Comeback of 2010 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Sardines and Running

  1. Ana-Maria says:

    I like sardines. Nothing like a beet and corn salad with sardines on top. But before a race? Not for me! I need easily digestible carbs with little protein and fat! I also believe in eating foods that taste really yummy (life is short, food should be enjoyed) so I would generally go for peanut butter over the sardines.
    But everyone is different, and if sardines work for you, awesome!

  2. Billy says:

    Thanks Heather, I was always curious why you ate sardines before your races.

    I might try it myself next time I have a big race.

  3. Heather, can you tell me why Bumblebee sardines are not OK?

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