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One of my favorite books to read to my kids when they were younger was the Berenstain Bears Bike Lesson. The premise of the book was that the dad did a bunch of stupid things and then said they were lessons: “That is what you should not do. So let that be a lesson for you.”
Sometimes I feel like this is the perfect analogy for my running. I go out too fast, I over dress, and I regularly screw up my fueling on anything over a half marathon run. Since today’s topic is “Race Fuel”, I thought I’d share my strategy (or lack there of.) Join Marcia, Patty and I and tell us what you eat on the run.
Under a half marathon? I don’t need anything but nuun. I do most of my training runs fasted (and did even before I started doing the Faster Way to Fat Loss. (affiliate link)) My stomach is just not a fan of food in the morning. On race day I eat a PB&J, mostly because I usually have to wake up hours before the race even starts. But once I eat that, I generally don’t eat anything more than a few sips of Gatorade during the race. It’s what works for me.
But I have yet to figure longer runs and marathons. I’ve tried gels, chews, rice krispy treats, animal crackers, soup (yes, that was actually amazing), pickles, hard boiled eggs…
Last year I ran the Marine Corps Marathon on one Gu, a lot of Gatorade, and a mini coke. We all know how well that went.
So, this year, I’m trying to go back to a product I loved and for whatever reason stopped using: Honey Stinger. I’ve been eating the waffles as snacks for years (what? They are tasty!) and I like the honey gels, but my current trial product is the chews. I need something I can get down easily without gagging me, as well as something that won’t turn my stomach. So far (and I’ve not run far at all since December, sigh), these seem to do the trick. In fact, I’ve been liking the products so much I actually became an ambassador this year.Now I just need to figure out how to remember to eat earlier in a marathon, when I’m not used to eating during a race…
What are your tips and tricks for getting enough to eat during a race? Have you tried Honey Stinger? (I may have a waffle problem…)
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30 thoughts on “Fueling the run: this is what you should not do”
I love Honey Stinger Waffles! I don’t think Ive tried their gels or chews. I usually eat a waffle before a run but I want to try eating it mid-run to see how that goes. We currently have about 4 boxes in our pantry thanks to Amazon subscribe and save…
I love subsribe and save. Such a wonderful life saving service LOL.
Yes I tried Honey Stinger at a race EXPO and it was delish!! I haven’t run long enough recently to need any real fuel but I should try it. I typically go for Gu or jelly beans!
I do Gu sometimes, but I’ve got about a 50/50 chance that I’ll regret it. I seem to do better with real food.
Welcome to the hive! Love bothe waffles & the chews.
The waffles are like dessert for me LOL.
I should also mention I don’t understand runners who don’t eat on the run. 🙂
I’m just not hungry when I run…
My first marathon was notable for so many fails including the pretzels I tried to eat. Someone told me to bring them for food but all they did was congeal in my mouth–I couldn’t choke them down. I learned a lot from that experience and now I just stick to liquid fuel. You know I love my Tailwind!
Pretzels have never worked for me. Too dry. For a while I did animal crackers, but it was kind of the same problem.
I need to try Tailwind again and see if a different flavor works better.
I love honey stingers but have never eaten them during a run. Oh, I lie… one winter while marathon training I took one out during a long run and the waffle was completely frozen. One bite and I thought I was going to break a tooth…haha! Lesson learned, don’t take honey stingers on a run when it is cold!
Ha! Yeah, cold weather training is a whole ‘nother story.
Like you, I don’t eat anything for short runs. I use Tailwind for my hydration for long runs. It also technically has enough calories to act as fuel as well but I still need a honey stinger gel, especially for my marathon training long runs (13+ miles).
I tried to love Tailwind, but so far, it’s not my favorite. I probably need to try another flavor.
I used Gu gels forever, but in recent years, they make my tummy really angry about 2-hours post-race. The Honey stingers gels work better, thankfully, but I have to be careful with the timing of water or Gatorade.
My stomach seems to be able to handle about a gallon of gatorade, but the minute I put the wrong food in, I’m screwed.
I do like the honey stinger products!! That’s cool you are an ambassador! As for learning to eat earlier during a race, I think the best way to do that is to eat more during training runs and set a schedule. When I run marathons, I don’t usually take in any fuel until around mile 7/8 because my stomach is still working on breakfast and I’ve still got pre-race jitters (yes, they stay with me that long) and it takes time for me to settle down. And, even though I don’t feel hungry, per se, I know that taking in fuel at that point is my best option. I start with the lower calorie fuels – one or two chomps, not the whole pack – just to start the process. Then, I go for every 45 minutes or so after that until I hit probably mile 21/22. And then no more because my stomach has had enough. LOL You’ve just got to figure out what works but I think starting to work on it now is your best bet. 🙂
I agree – I think 7-8 would be a perfect time to start some small fueling. I’m just never really hungry on the run.
I love Honey Stinger chews and waffles. Those were my first fuel when I started running. I can’t do GUs, but the chews were great.
I’ve not had success with other brands of chews, so I’m really looking forward to trying out Honey Stinger ones.
I LOVE the Berenstein Bears! For long runs and ultramarathons I make my own fuel – tart cherry energy bites and sweet potato cookies! I have both the recipes on my blog if interested!
Oh, yes, those sound amazing, especially the sweet potato cookies. I’ll have to find those on your blog.
SOUP!!! Oh my goodness I want to hear more about the soup!!!!
It was a salty noodle soup and it was AMAZING. Always take the soup.
The honey stinger gels usually work really well for me too. I have yet to try them now that I have been doing fasted runs. Have you?
I haven’t run far enough to need fuel yet. I need to start building my mileage though.
I use Infinit nutrition, and on 50ks I eat from the course -Oreos, cookies, grilled cheese, chips… whatever looks good
I love courses that have real food as options. If I’m not trying to push my pace, I might eat more calories than I put out LOL.
I haven’t tried the waffles, but I have tried the gels and chews. I’m finding I need something that isn’t sweet. Pretzels are working well for me right now.
I’ve enjoyed pickles or eggs in the past, but I’m a fan of sugar LOL, so rice krispy treats always make me happy.