As a runner it’s important that you learn to fuel your body properly.
When you start running longer distances, like marathon training calls for, it becomes even more critical that you know what, when, and how to fuel your body.
Eat too little and you may “bonk” half-way through your run. Eat too much and you may be plagued with stomach cramps. Here are some tips for knowing how to fuel.
Here are 3 Guidelines for Fueling Before a Long Run
If you will be running 60 minutes or less: The body has enough fuel stored up in your muscles. Don’t worry about eating before your run. You should be fine just carrying water for hydration (unless you’ll be working really hard and it’s a hot day).
If you will be running for 60-90 minutes: Again, you should have enough fuel available to not have to eat before running. Carry a sports drink to provide hydration and energy.
If you will be running for 90 min+: You should fuel before running. Try eating a small carbohydrate meal of 200-300 calories 3 hours before running. (I personally like the tasty combo of banana and energy bar).
Carry sports drink, gels, or other forms of fuel with you to provide energy on the go. Make sure you start to re-fuel with a combination of carbohydrate and protein within 30 minutes of finishing your run.
My motto on fueling for long runs is . . .
Practice, practice, practice. Some people have “iron” stomachs and some runners are extra sensitive. Long runs are the time to figure out what works best for your system. Don’t do anything new on race day.
What do you like to eat/fuel with before a long run?