Lots to share with you guys today – hope you’re ready for some reading! I’ve gotten a few questions recently about what to eat before, during, and after long runs. This is an interesting question, because nutrition is SO personal and it depends on what your body can handle. That being said, there are some general tips that I’d love to share with you.
It probably goes without saying, but I am NOT a nutritionist – this is just what works for me. It may or may not work for you. This is intended as my opinion based on my experience, so you can make your own decision.
I’m going to answer this question is a three parts: Pre-Run Fuel, Running Fuel, Post-Run Fuel. I’m looking for your comments and suggestions as we go, so that this can be a good resource for others!
Eating before a run is interesting. Some people can crawl out of bed and head immediately out on the roads without anything more than a drink of water. For others, like me, food is absolutely required. If I don’t eat anything, I end up with low energy and an overall poor quality run.
I have found that the type and amount of food I can tolerate before a run has changed throughout the years. When I first started running, I had to eat at least an hour (preferably longer) before lacing up my shoes. If I didn’t, I would feel heavy and a little ill when I tried to run – a feeling that didn’t go away until I stopped. This would also happen if I tried to eat something too heavy during that time. Over the past year, I’ve noticed I can break that rule more often without consequences, but every now and then it will come back and bite me.
In general, I try to stick with foods my body is used to and are fairly easy to digest. This includes basics like bread, peanut butter, dates, and cereal. My most recent pre-run concoction is what I jokingly call my “B12 Blast”: toast, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a light layer of marmite, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. This is not something may others will appreciate (except maybe Lindsay), but I love it!
If you’re not quite as adventurous, there are a number of more normal foods I would suggest trying:
- Bowl of cereal and almond milk
- Dates stuffed with peanut butter and chia seeds (from Nada)
- Waffle with peanut butter and banana or jelly
- Peanut Butter & 1/2 a banana (from Laura)
- 1/2 Green Smoothie + handful of almonds (from Jess)
- Before a mid-afternoon run: Filling bowl of Oatmeal (with all the fixings) + banana/almond butter directly before the run (from Bonnie)
For my long runs, I’ve been adding Vega Pre-Workout Energizer to my pre-run routine. I have a full review of the Vega Sport line planned for the future, but let me say that I love this stuff. I drink a serving of this mixed with water about 20 minutes before my long runs.
Share your favorite fueling tips in the comments and I’ll add your tips to the list!!
Next up, it’s Tuesday Trainer time on the fabulous Lindsay’s List! If you’re new, Tuesday Trainer is a group of bloggers who submit a move related to a different theme each week, which Lindsay combines into a workout for the day! It’s a great way to try something new and work out a sweat – give it a try!
Have you tried a Tuesday Trainer workout yet? Any favorites?
Guest Post on Love, Sweat and Beers!
Finally, I hope you’ll check out my guest post about Rewarding Yourself Without Regrets over on Love, Sweat, and Beers! If you haven’t checked out Tiff’s blog before, you’re in for a treat! This guest post is related to my new motto of “Eating Like an Athlete and Not a Weekend Warrior”, as I focus on the right ways to reward yourself after a workout!