Today for Tuesdays on the Run, Patty, April and I are being joined by Lisa from Running out of Wine! After you read, comment, and link up (yes, in that order LOL) jump on over to her blog and say hi.
Today we are talking about nutrition. I wish I had some awesome insight to impart, but I struggle with nutrition, both in general and during a run, more than with anything else running related. I run most of my races with nothing more than nuun. If I do eat, I prefer foods like pretzels, animal crackers, cliff bars, fig newtons, apple sauce pouches etc. over things like Gu, but in a pinch, I’ll eat Gu or gummy bears. Any other run specific fuel has unpleasant side effects.
And when I’m not running? I so haven’t figured it all out. I try to eat unprocessed carbs, healthy proteins, and tons of veggies, but despite quite a number of attempts at giving up sugar, I’m still totally addicted.
Here are a few things I’ve figured out for the high mileage I run during training for my multi-day events:
1. Eat enough calories – If I don’t eat enough, I bonk on my runs. You know the feeling – you are running along and suddenly, you have nothing left. Your legs are like lead and you have no energy. If I’m not eating enough, this starts happening regularly on my long runs.
2. Don’t eat too much – Newsflash: marathon training is not a license to eat.all.the.things. I don’t care how rungry and hangry you are, keep the portions in check and choose healthy options. One of the best ways to make sure you do this is to not get that hungry in the first place. Carry healthy snacks so you can eat when you first start feeling hungry to stave off the shoveling of food in your mouth when you pass the point of no return.
3. Hydrate enough – I know I’m not the only one who misinterprets my body’s requests. Sometimes (often?) dehydration is the problem, not hunger. If I’ve had something to eat and am still cruising the kitchen for food, I try to have a glass of fizzy water or nuun to see if that stops the eating urge.
4. Eat real foods – I’m far from perfect, but I try to eat mostly unprocessed foods. Some days it’s hard, but I try to reach first for a piece of fruit or some cut up veggies when I’m feeling hungry. I might add a handful of nuts or some cheese if I feel the need for something more filling. My goal each day is to eat as few things as possible with ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I’m sure I’ve never had a “perfect” day, but it’s important to have a goal to strive for.
5. Chocolate is real food. So is beer. – What? We all have to have our vices. These are mine. I like them and they are staying. ;o)
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19 thoughts on “TOTR: Fueling your run”
I’m a lot like you in regards to not having one exact yhing that I eat. I do try to make sure I have a protein and carb packed meal before my races and long runs. For marathon training last year, I ate the same meal for 16 weeks straight. lol A steal burrito with beans, rice, guac and pico. It did me rght!
I eat what I like. But I don’t go overboard, for sure. Great tips! And yes, beer and chocolate are not going away!
I read if you eat a snack of 200 calories within 30 minutes of a long run, it helps keep the post-run hunger in check. I’ve done both ways, eating within 30 minutes and skipping the snack. If I skip the snack, I do have an eat all the things day.
I have been guilty of over eating many times– not just post run, but during a long run too. If you eat too much on your long run, that too can leave you feeling sluggish and having stomach distress.
It is hard to find the perfect balance between eating enough and not over eating when running long distances. Chocolate is so real food 🙂
Great tip to not anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Love it!
I also love to vary my fueling options when I run! There are too many yummy foods out there to stick to just GU all the time. 🙂 Plus, many of the more processed sports products like GU and Gatorade cause me digestive issues. Not fun. :-/
I love the treat tables at the Mainly Marathons series. Now I just need to figure out how to carry those things in my pockets LOL.
Great topic-I need to read like all of these posts. I find I get so hungry that sometimes it’s hard to not eat everything in sight when training!
I’ve found that planning (and actually eating!) snacks a couple of times a day really helps me avoid both making bad food choices AND overeating even the good food choices. And I write this as I have three Clif bars in my purse and I haven’t eaten anything since lunch four hours ago…sigh.
Chocolate is most certainly real food! 🙂 I still haven’t figured out the whole what to eat during my long runs – still trying options. Great topic – looking forward to reading all the posts.
I’m thinking of cutting up a quest bar for my next run to see how that works for me.
I love your take on “real food” including chocolate and beer- wine counts too right? There sure is a fine line between eating enough and eating too much, but I guess its something we all have to figure out for ourselves!
Thanks for having me co-host today!
Of course wine counts! Unfortunately, lately I’ve been on the “eating too much” side lately. I’m working on that…
I figure a little of the stuff we love can’t kill us so I won’t be giving up chocolate any time soon either.
you are the queen of weekly themes and link ups, how do you keep it all straight?! I love the topics! I agree chocolate is real food!!!
Editorial calendar + I used to love the “write about this topic” assignments in English class. I love to be handed a topic and figure out my personal spin on it. #geek
I think that not eating enough is a problem I struggle with a lot. It’s easy to get caught up doing things with the kids and “forgetting” to eat!
I love sugar too! I find that if I don’t restrict myself totally and allow a little of my favorites, I avoid eating too much of any one thing. Still figuring out long run fuel. Honey Stinger chews work really well for me, and they’re tasty. Thanks for hosting!