This weeks topic: Fueling for a run!!
Over the 3 years that I have been running half marathons I have found a fueling regimen that works very well for me. It involves being conscious of my diet in the days leading up to a long run or race, what I eat before and during a run/race and what I eat to recover afterwards. Some parts of the process I feel I have down to a science at this point, where as others I think I am still figuring out.
In the days leading up to a long run or race I will be very conscientious of my water intake – I make sure to drink a ton of it! I’ll also sometimes add Nuun to the water to boost the electrolytes. I also make sure to up my carb intake some. I have found that carb-loading really helps my performance.
Before a long run or race I will eat a simple breakfast of granola and almond/soy milk. Early on, I tried the whole peanut butter/bread/banana thing and found that the peanut butter was too heavy in my stomach and the banana…well it caused some gastrointestinal issues ifyouknowwhatImean. Granola and almond or soy milk has served me well! I try to eat at least an hour before the run. I also sip a little bit of water but not too much.
If I am feeling a little sluggish, going on a really long training run (12 miles or more), or am doing a race I also eat a pack of Sport Beans 30-40 minutes before I run. (source)
The little bit of caffeine and sugar really helps me to get moving.
During the Run
During a run I follow a very strict 45 minute fueling rule. This is something I started using when my runs hit more than 7 miles for the first time and has worked well for me. If I am planning to run for longer than an hour and a half, every 45 minutes starting at 45 minutes into the run I take some kind of fuel. Typically I’ll stick to Gus. I am LOVING the Chocolate Outrage flavor right now, but also try to mix it up and currently have Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate in the rotation. I’ll usually have a few different flavors over the course of a run to keep things interesting. (source)
During marathon training, I have also added Swedish Fish to my running fuel.
During the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2013 I got really tired of eating Gus by the end of the race. I was looking for something with a slightly different texture and flavor and saw these as a popular choice so I gave them a shot and am so happy I did. So every other time that I fuel during marathon training and the race itself I have 6-10 swedish fish – this gives me about 60-100 calories (a Gu is 100).
I take the Gus or Swedish fish when I see a water stop coming up so that 1) I can drink some water immediately after eating it and 2) I can throw the wrapper in the provided garbage. On training runs I make sure to take a few sips of water after I eat them as well. I have found this to be very important for me.
Post-run is where I tend to struggle to be honest. I have yet to figure out the best thing to eat to aid in my recovery. After my 15 and 16 miler I immediately sat down and drank 16 ounces of chocolate milk. This has seemed to help with soreness and stiffness. Other than that I try to drink water throughout the rest of the day. I do get pretty hungry a few hours after and will eat whatever I can find, but honestly I don’t have any specific go-tos. I tend to just eat what my body craves and until I feel satisfied.