Running Fuel (Tuesdays on the Run)

19 Aug
Tuesdays on the Run

Every Tuesday I am joining a link up with MCM Mamma Runs, Run the Great Wide Somewhere and My No Guilt Life. You can find out more about the link up here.

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. SportBeans (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.GuChocolateOutrage (source)

During marathon training, I have also added Swedish Fish to my running fuel.

SwedishFish (source)

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.


15 Responses to “Running Fuel (Tuesdays on the Run)”

  1. Movin' it with Michelle August 19, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    I use beans as well. I can’t seem to find a gu/gel that agrees with mmy tummy. Post run I load up on protein via shake or good ole eggs and bacon.

    • Becca August 19, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      Ohhh that is a great idea for post run!

  2. Rebecca Jo (@RebeccaJoKnits) August 19, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    I’m the worlds worst at fueling correctly….

    • Becca August 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

      It’s so much trial and error!

  3. Samantha @ Food Fitness Family Friends August 19, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    I love chocolate peanut butter GU. I also sometimes mix the salted caramel with the chocolate outrage. It tastes like a rolo. So good!

    • Becca August 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

      Oh wow, mixing gu is GENUIS. I will have to try this.

  4. creativeaimdesign August 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    I love that you use Swedish Fish for fueling during marathon training. Those are my favorite gummy candy! GU gels have always worked well for me, though I haven’t tried the chocolate outrage flavor. Vanilla bean has been my “stand by” and in the last race I found out “espresso love” just doesn’t work for me… it may be time to try a new flavor!

    Stopped by from the Tuesdays on the Run linkup!

    Amy @

    • Becca August 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      Definitely check out the other flavors if you are interested – I’ll go to a running store and pick up a variety and see what I like and what I don’t. I used to be a vanilla bean gu person too – til I tried chocolate. 😉

  5. Lacey@fairytalesandfitness August 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    I ran the Walt Disney World marathon in 2013 as well. Isn’t Swedish fish the best? Children were handing them out during the Boston marathon and they hit the spot. It’s so nice to eat them during your runs and not feel guilty:)

    • Becca August 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      Yay 2013 was the year of the spinner medal for the marathon, love it! I am loving the swedish fish and agree that not feeling guilty about them is a huge bonus.

  6. Michelle @ Running with Attitude August 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I’m still trying to find what works best for me during the run. Post-run I’m all about a big glass of chocolate milk!

    • Becca August 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Lots of experimentation! Chocolate milk afterwards is great, I agree.

  7. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner August 19, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Agree the days leading up to long race are really important as well. I also struggle afterwards bc I don’t feel like eating right away.

    • Becca August 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Me either. It’s tough to have an appetite after running.


  1. Tuesdays on the Run {Link Up} | Getfithappyhealthy - April 14, 2015

    […] to be setting up a new blog link up – Every Tuesday I am going to be joining a link up with Diary of a Slow Runner, MCM Mamma Runs, Run the Great Wide Somewhere and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run […]

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