Fueling for the Long Run
Nutrition on the run is just like training and anything else in life, you have to do what works for you. For example, I just read an article that recommends consuming up to 1,000 calories before a long run or race. Personally, that would never work for me.
While I don’t recommend my fueling plan to anyone else, I thought I’d share my routine with you since I love hearing how other runners fuel.
Here’s what works for me:
The day before, I focus on hydrating and eating foods that don’t weigh me down. The night before, I eat a regular sized dinner free of dairy, animals and broccoli. Recently, I’ve began incorporating a bowl of miso soup into that meal (I’m a heavy, salty sweater). Just before bedtime I drink a chocolate zico for desert to top of my hydration levels and get in some extra potassium.
Before the run:
This is where I definitely don’t recommend doing what I do. Since I usually only wake-up an hour before my long run, I’ve found that I really can’t keep much food down. That’s why I try to focus on making dinner the night before my most important meal and include the coconut water and miso soup.
I usually have a banana and coffee before heading out the door.
During the run I attempt to stay hydrated by frequently drinking small amounts of water and fueling with margarita shot blocks. Generally, I wait until I feel like I need something before eating.
After the run I generally treat myself to a peanut butter split smoothie with added hemp protein from Juice Generation or make a smoothie at home with Sun Warrior Protein powder.
What I’m going to do different on race morning:
NYCM doesn’t start for me until 10:05, yet I have to wake-up around 4:30 to catch my bus to Staten Island. Clearly, a banana and coffee won’t do it. My on-the-go breakfast will include oatmeal with dairy free milk, maple syrup and a dash of salt and of course that banana.
During the run, I’m deathly afraid of crashing from not fueling properly. My game plan is to eat a shot block before I need it and keep a consistent intake of calories and water throughout the race. I don’t want to teeter on the edge like I do during training runs.
What type of fueling plan works best for you? Do you follow the rules or make your own?