Run It–What a Runner Eats
Join me this month as I join #RunIT with a group of awesome running bloggers as we all share “What a Runner Eats!”
*Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or Registered Dietitian. All advice provided here has been gained through my own experiences as a runner.
The alarm buzzes on the morning of your long run (or race day). Your stomach is growling but you know that you must fuel yourself right to have a successful run. With each long run and race that you do you work hard to dial in your nutrition and to find what works just right for your body to fuel you without bonking or without encountering the dreaded “runs.” Long run and race day nutrition can be a little bit different for everyone but there a few basic guidelines that I like to follow to help get me through.
I always try to time my pre-run meal (especially on race day) between 1 and 2 hours before I head out as per my coach Denise Goode’s (The Sustainable Athlete) instructions. By doing so this enables me to properly digest my food but also gives my body the energy it needs to run. If I eat to close to the time of my run I can end up with a dreaded sloshing stomach, burps, and the worst . . . the runs. Better to keep it on the safe side and to eat well before you head out the door. If I am hungry just before I head out I snack on something small like half of a banana or maybe take an energy gel packet with some water.
For my meal this is what you might find on my plate and/or in my bowl:
- 2 Hard boiled eggs or 2 fried eggs or 2 scrambled eggs (Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs of course from our family farms!) all with salt and some pepper. I have found that eggs are very easy to digest and I love the way that the protein sticks with me.
- Half of a toasted bagel with peanut butter/bananas and honey
- A small glass of water (I should be well hydrated all ready at this point).
- Oatmeal-Another great choice for me before long runs has always been oatmeal. It can be cooked on the stove top or in the microwave for convenience. I like to add banana slices, peanut butter, a splash of milk, and maple syrup or honey.
On the Run
I have begun to vary what I bring with me on the long run and am trying to incorporate some more real food choices into what I eat on the long run. I am taking a cue from the Ultra Runner World where Aid stations often provide things such as PB &J sandwiches, chips and other goodies at aid stations. The only hard part about carrying real food is that it can be harder to carry on race day. In a road marathon I don’t carry a pack so tend to train more often with energy gels. When I am getting ready for a trail race or a triathlon I vary my food choices more because I can either carry them or find them in transition during a triathlon.
Here are some different food choices that you might find in my Hydration pack on the long run:
- Mighty Organic Beef Jerky or Beef Bars (seriously so good! and the salt!)
- Roctane GU–Flavors with Caffeine, I often need the boost!
- Clif Organic Energy Food-Especially Banana Mango Coconut
- Dried Figs
- Clif Organic Nut Butter Filled Energy Bars
After the Run
The refuel is just as important as the before and during fueling that takes place on your long run. If I have fueled properly then the refuel is straightforward otherwise I want to eat all of the food and I might be a bit “Hangry!”If it was a hot long run then I may need to eat foods that are higher in salt to help replenish my salt stores. Eating soon after you finish is important to minimize muscle soreness and to speed recovery. Sometimes I have a hard time digesting right after I finish big miles so I usually start with a Protein Recovery drink or smoothie because they can be easy to stomach.
Here are some of the things that you might find me eating after a long run:
- Skratch Labs Recovery Drink Mix or a Smoothie
- A tuna fish sandwich or tuna with crackers
- Curried Egg Salad with crackers or an egg salad sandwich
- Turkey Cold Cuts and Cabot Cheddar with crackers or in a sandwich
- Avocado Toast
- Pasta with meat sauce or that has beans for protein incorporated in some way with a lot of veggies
- A big salad with a lot of leafy greens like Kale and spinach
- Nuts-Cashews, peanuts. almonds, walnuts
What do these other running bloggers have to say about what a runner eats . . . ?
I excited to announce that I am joining “RUN IT” with some amazing running bloggers as they share, “What a Runner Eats! Be sure to check out their favorite eats before a long run and on race days.
Nellie|Brooklyn Active Mama
CARLY|Fine Fit Day
ANGELA|Happy Fit Mama
Laura|This Runner’s Recipes
Please join me again next month for RUN IT as we talk about, “Our Favorite Workouts with Equipment.”
What is your favorite thing to eat before, during and after a long run or race?