it’s time to talk about fueling before, during, and after runs. we’re starting to run long runs on saturday’s which may require some fueling during the runs. our long, speed, and tempo runs on monday’s and thursday’s are definitely runs that you need to fuel for before the run. you always need to refuel after you run.
let’s talk more specifically: eating before a run- it is important to properly fuel before your runs but you need to make sure you’re doing it correctly. regardless of the distance or type of run, you need to eat a little something. if you are full, you will have stomach cramps but if you are starving you won’t have any energy. the rule of thumb is to eat at least an hour before your run, but you will really need to find what works for you. i know it’s hard to eat before our early morning runs so i would suggest something light about 30 minutes before if you can’t get anything in sooner. i typically eat a handful of almonds or a banana about 30 minutes before our morning runs- maybe even just a glass of orange juice if i’m really running short on time. when i have more time before a run i try to eat something a little more substantial about 1 – 2 hours before such as toast with peanut butter, a power bar, or something along these lines. before long runs i ALWAYS eat at least an english muffin with peanut butter, if not something more. the main thing to remember is to eat something with some carbs but do NOT go heavy on the fiber before a run. you’ll be sorry!
eating during your run- we have talked about this in the past and it’s really up to you as to whether or not you plan to eat during the race but if you think you will, you need to start practicing now. this sounds silly but you never want to show up on race day trying something new- whether it’s food, drinks, or even new socks! i do, however, recommend fueling during your race. i have done races without fuel and a race with fuel. i definitely felt like i had less recovery issues and muscle cramps after the race i did with some fuel. think about it, regardless of the temperature or weather conditions, your body is still working overtime to get you to that stopping point. you are losing electrolytes and nutrients so it only makes sense to put them back in your body. i tend to prefer FRS chews or sport beans and keith likes gu’s and sport beans. try a few and see what works. for most runs over 60 minutes you will need to refuel. an easy way to start practicing would be on our upcoming long runs. if we’re running 7 miles, try taking something in around mile 4 or 5 and see how it makes you feel.
after you run: it’s also important to eat after your run. within about 30 minutes after your run you will want to eat something with some protein and carbs. this will help replenish your energy as well as your muscles. you probably won’t feel like a full meal at this time but a banana with peanut butter, a handful of almonds, or something like this should suffice. one of my favorite things to have after a run is a glass of chocolate milk.
with all that said, your new running regimen is not a license to eat whatever you want!!!! you may feel hungrier than normal since we’re increasing our mileage and it is good to eat BUT you have to be careful about what you eat. think of your food as fuel. you want to make sure you’re making healthy choices even though you’re burning more calories.
nutrition questions??? let’s talk more about this if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, etc. what worked for all of you at the st. jude?