When I started running seriously a few years ago, I had had a lot of trouble figuring out what worked for me during my run. At first I followed a lot of the advice from seasoned runners, I’d have something very light or nothing at all before a run. Or I eat really gross gels that I hated so much during my long runs. I’d scout my favorite running groups for trials and tricks for what was working for them. I realized quickly that what worked for them, didn’t necessarily work for me.
A lesson I learned rather quickly was–what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. So this post won’t be about my recommendations, but rather look at it as my suggestions. My body is different from yours and it’s really about finding what works for us individually.
Before the run:
For a few years I’d go out and run without even lifting water to my lips. It was working for a while, but then I realized that if I wanted to do longer distances I’d have to fuel up properly. While this may be heavy for some runners, I find that when I eat oatmeal in the morning I can go the distance. I have eaten oatmeal right before half marathons or greater and I’ve felt as if I can last longer because of it. One time I forgot to eat before a half because of nerves and I suffered so badly throughout the race.
In general, I do scrambled eggs, a bagel, toast, or oats before a long race or run. It’s way better to have something in there than NOT!
During the run:
As I mentioned before, I used to use gross chemically tasting energy gels, I don’t do that as much anymore. My favorite fuels for racing are chia bars from Health Warrior, Sports Beans, or for a 10k or less–good ole swedish fish. 😉
After the run:
Running a race doesn’t mean that you have to eat every single calorie back in one sitting because “You earned it”–I also learned this lesson early. My favorite post race meal is a turkey avocado BLT because it’s my favorite sandwich in general. Right after I finish racing however I usually reach for the apple and if I feel a headache coming on I grab the pretzels.
I am teaming up with six amazing running bloggers to discuss what they love to eat before, during and after their runs! You should check them out because they have some great ideas as well that you may be able to put to use! (HUGE Welcome to Sandra from Organic Running Mom that will be joining us for the current and future Run It! Posts!)