Before the Run
What I eat this morning will hinge on, when I’m running, how far I’m running and how fast I will be running.
For example, if I’m planning on doing a short run of 3 to 7 miles, I will not eat anything at all, because I have enough stored energy to accomplish the run. But, if I plan on running 8 miles or more I will probably eat some toast, a bagel or bowl of cereal. I usually don’t eat anything before a run, unless I’m going over 10 miles. But, part of fueling for the run is knowing your own needs and catering to them.
If I’m running later in the day, at say lunchtime or late afternoon, my food for the day is affected in a different way.
I know personally, that running with a full stomach or even half-full stomach does not bode well with me. If I run with too much undigested food swimming around inside me, I will face discomfort for my entire run. So, if I plan on running at lunch, I’m careful about how big of a breakfast I eat. If I’m running late afternoon, I eat a very light lunch. I never run after dinner, only because I never feel that my food has digested, this does work well for some though.
I especially need to beware of what I eat if I’m planning on running fast or doing speed-work. Going fast seems to really stir things up, so I’m extra careful to not have too much in me.
No matter how far I’m going, I do like to get some coffee flowing through my veins.
During the Run
What I eat during a run totally depends on how far I’m going. I drink water during any run over 7 miles–this does depend on temperature. And I don’t start eating during a run unless I’m doing a run over 12 miles.
When I do a run over 12 miles, I start fueling at about 5 miles, taking some sort of energy gel shots. I also like drinking an energy drink, my personal favorite is Heed by Hammer Nutrition. Other personal fueling favorites are, nuts such as almonds or cashews, bananas, and Clif bars. I eat these things on runs up to 25 miles. After that fueling becomes a whole different beast, which we will cover in later posts.
After the Run
The crucial time for fueling for me is after the run. I feel this is not only the most important time, but also the most enjoyable time.
During the run my fueling is utilitarian–all business. After the run, I eat more of what I’m craving, but with nutrients in mind. I try to get a good ratio of carbohydrate to protein. 3 carbohydrate to 1 protein is often suggested. I’m not a stickler on the whole ratio.
Here are some post run favorites of mine.
- Any cereal, mostly Kashi, with peanut butter, banana and honey.
- Yogurt with nuts, banana, honey and granola.
- An after long-run tradition is Whole Grain Pancakes.
- Peanut Butter and Jam sandwich
- Shake including, hemp protein or other protein powder, frozen fruit, yogurt, oats
- Toast and Eggs
When I’ve run an ultra-distance I throw the whole thing in the wind, and eat and drink whatever I need and want.
I find half the fun of running is fueling for and after the run.
The more you run, the more you will note the connection between your eating and running.
Fueling to Write
I already know what you’re thinking how do you fuel to write. This is my personal list.
- A guarantee–Coffee.
- Healthy food, since your butt is in the chair half the day.
- Eat breakfast before I start.
- Don’t skip lunch.
- Take an afternoon healthy snack break.
- A little more inspiration–Coffee.
- A late night session means a little red wine, Ale or vodka. But, in definite moderation.
Running Prompt-Write down what you eat and drink for the entire day, note how you feel.
Writing Prompt-Write about your favorite drink, and what would happen if you couldn’t have it.