For today’s Friday Five, the topic is running/fitness fuel. I tend to train up to about 10 miles without fuel. In fact, often, I haven’t eaten since about 7pm the night before a pre-noon run. But once I start going longer than 10 miles, my strategy changes. Since I’m about to run my first longer than 10 mile run (15 miles, eek!), this topic has been on my mind anyways. I have to confess that I don’t have any idea what I’ll take with me on the 15 miles, but I do know my marathon plan.
How I Fuel a Marathon
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich – This is my go to for any long race. It’s cheap, extremely portable, and tastes good. Even better, I find that it’s easy to digest, sits well in my stomach, and keeps me fueled for lots of miles. In fact, I’ve both finished a PB&J literally as the gun went off to start a race AND had nothing but that sandwich for as long as a half marathon.
Coffee – Coffee plays a very important role in my pre-race routine. It wakes me up. And it wakes up my digestive system. Ahem. (Plus, I’m pretty sure I’d die from the headache if I didn’t drink it.)
During the Race
Nuun or Gatorade – I usually carry nuun in a handheld. I love the old version, but I’m not enamored of the new Stevia version, so I’m being very stingy with what I have left. Eventually, I’m going to have to find a new solution. Tailwind is ok, but it’s hard to refill my handheld with it in the middle of a race. My other liquid of choice is Gatorade. Sometimes I find it impossible to eat anything during a race and drinking Gatorade has saved me more than once. In fact, sometimes I’m shocked at how much of it I can drink in a hot race without starting to feel sick.
Rice Krispy Treats – I’m a huge fan of real food as fuel during races. I’ve eaten cookies, pickles, hard boiled eggs, pretzels, gummy bears, cut up candy bars, noodle soup… Rice krispy treats are the perfect combination of easy to eat and digest and easy to carry. (Now you know the real reason I wear Skirt Sports – I can fit my rice krispy treats in my pockets.)
Coca Cola – I LOVE a small cup of coke in the last few miles of a race. It’s a nice little sugar jolt that tastes different than Gatorade. It’s also one of my favorite indulgences when I run a long run.
Of course, I also have a list of things that I drink post-race. I used to love a big glass of chocolate milk. I find it to be a perfect way to get in some calories and protein while I’m still in the “I don’t want food” stage after a race. Unfortunately, I have to limit how much dairy I take in, so I save this for marathons now. I also love a small cup of pickle juice if it’s been a hot run. My mom makes the best homemade pickles and I refuse to let the boys pour out the juice. It’s mine. All mine.
And of course, post race calls for beer. After the Marine Corps Marathon, we walk a mile or so up the hill and have lunch and a beer at one of my favorite restaurants. It breaks up the walk home and helps me refuel after the race. In fact, that meal may be the highlight of the whole race for me.
(I lie – it’s the hotties in silkies. That’s always my favorite. Kidding. Mostly.)