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The breakfast of champions

What to eat marathon morning

Marcus Bean

TV chef and owner of the Brompton Cooking School and Farmhouse B&B

A bowl of blueberry and banana porridge, ginger and pomegranate yoghurt and granola

The most important meal of the day is extra-important when you’re about to run a marathon. So we asked Marcus Bean, TV chef and owner of the Brompton Cooking School – not to mention a keen marathon runner – how to prepare the perfect pre-run breakfast.

He’s run an incredible seven Virgin Money London Marathons. He previously told us how to prepare the perfect pre-run breakfast and we thought it was so good we'd share it again.

“I’ve found it difficult to find the time to train for every marathon. The only time I get is first thing in the morning, so I’m up at 5.15am and straight to the gym on an empty stomach. This is my reward for my hard work – a blueberry and banana porridge with homemade granola, and ginger and pomegranate yoghurt.

I have this breakfast every day when I’m training and it means if I do get time for a run later in the day I’m running with a bit more in my belly. Porridge contains a high amount of complex carbs, which get digested at a slow pace, unlike simple carbs. This gives you lasting energy.

On marathon days I have this breakfast. Adding berries, seeds and nuts to the porridge increases its fibre content. It’s great to have that bit extra in reserve. I’d definitely say it is the breakfast of champions.”

Ingredients (serves 2)

Blueberry & banana porridge:



Mix together the grated ginger, yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.

The granola:

  1. Melt the honey and the coconut oil in a pan until combined, then set aside.
  2. Get a large mixing bowl and add all the dry ingredients, except the chopped apricots.
  3. Pour the melted honey and coconut oil into the dry mix, and stir together with a spoon until combined.
  4. Get a large flat baking tray, cover with baking parchment paper and evenly spread out the granola mix.
  5. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 150c (fan assisted) for about 30-40 minutes until golden in colour. Once in the oven, remove from the oven every 10 minutes to rake the granola from the outside of the tray into the inside so that it all cooks evenly. Once cooked and golden remove from the oven, add the chopped apricots, mix in and leave to cool. Place in a Kilner jar and use when required (it will keep for weeks in an airtight jar on a shelf, not in the fridge).


Put the blueberries, mashed banana and oats into a pan. If cooking on the hob, add the milk, stir together and cook on a low to medium heat for about five-eight minutes until the oats have soaked up the milk and become rich and creamy. Alternatively you can add to a bowl and heat in a microwave; heat a minute at a time and occasionally stirring for about four minutes.

To serve:

Serve a nice portion of your porridge, add a spoonful or two of granola then a spoonful of the yoghurt. Enjoy the flavour and texture. It’s got a great taste and it’ll keep you going!

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