We don’t often talk about food and nutrition, but its high time we do. Running to work depletes the body of many nutrients early in the morning before the workday even begins, so we need to make sure that we, as athletes, replenish our bodies with healthy, nutritious meals and snacks post-morning run, so that we can keep our energy levels up throughout the day in anticipation of the next run. For the most part, runners know this already.  I have a pretty simple feasting schedule that I stick with:

Pre-Morning Run Commute

– 1 cup coffee

– 1 glass water

– 1 breakfast item (bagel, english muffin, breakfast sandwich)

At the Office

– 1 Clif bar, or 8 oz. protein drink

Now we’re up to an important meal (and my favorite) – lunch.

Some run commuters pack their lunch and some buy lunch from at or near their office, eliminating the need to carry one with them in the morning. I don’t have a lot of options around my office and I hate paying for groceries every week and then buying meals, too. So, I pack and run with my lunch every day.

For those who have tried this before, you’ll know that there are many ways you can fuck it up. Want to smell like Thai curry all day?  Awesome! Containers of leftovers sometimes leak onto your clothes. Ever eaten crackers with a spoon? What were once whole, crunchy crackers can arrive at work as despicable bags of dust. Oh, you wanted some jelly for lunch? Great! Pack some strawberries loosely in a plastic container and let them bounce around in your pack a few thousand times. Mistakes happen, but we learn from them.

So, for this first run commuting foodie post, we’re going to give you a recipe for a healthy lunch entree, and show you the simple, and most run-commuter-friendly way to pack it.

Wraps-step-1c 

[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]Once you’ve finished making one or two of these for your lunch, tear off a piece of plastic wrap about the size of a sheet of letter-sized paper, and wrap it tightly around each wrap (yes – wrap the wrap). If you are worried about the plastic wrap staying together at the ends, use a piece of tape to seal them off. Toss in a piece of sturdy fruit (banana, apple, orange) to go along with it and pack everything away securely in your rig (usually near the bottom of your backpack).

Wraps-completebWhen you pull these out at work, they should essentially look the same as they did when they went in. As a bonus, there is no meat or dairy in these, so if you don’t have a refrigerator, they should be fine at room temperature for several hours.

Beyond today’s lunch

If you like to think ahead, you can also cut up a bunch of vegetables and store them together in a container for future wraps. They stay fresh for about three days, and make early morning lunch-making sessions quick and easy!

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Stay tuned for more food-related, run commuting posts!