Tuesday Topics #3 – Fuelling for your Run
Tuesday Topics Again! Don’t be shy, join in the link up with Kookyrunnerand Zenaida, get to know other bloggers and join in the fun!
This weeks topic: How do you fuel for a run?
Fuelling for a run is different for everyone. I have to say I sure have learned a lot about food in the 10 years I’ve been running and yet I feel like I’m still learning as I go!
To be honest I’ve also been trying to lose weight in all of these last 10 years (and I have lost around 23KG in that time); in fact that’s why I started running in the first place. So to say it’s been interesting is kind of an understatement!
Eat All The Carbs?
Carbs are essentially energy that you need for your run. But if you are also trying to lose weight, this can be tricky. What I learned, for me anyway, is that actually, yes you do need carbs, but you don’t necessarily need them for anything under 60 minutes of cardio. Endurance is a whole other category, so when you are preparing for a Half Marathon or a Marathon you do need to make sure you have carbohydrate stores to get you through the hours’ work you are about to put your body through.
Nowadays I carb-cycle; no grain carbs on rest days, low grain carbs on days where I work out 60 min or less and on Saturday night, the evening before the long run, we always have pasta. I used to eat peanut butter toast with banana slices before a run and then eat something afterwards (more carbs usually) but I don’t do that anymore. If I eat before then after my run it’s something protein based.
What about Carb Loaders?
We do use a carb loader before a marathon. In the beginning we’d use this for several days prior to race day, but to be honest, I get so sick of all the sugar I’m consuming in these mixes. After trying 3 types of carb loaders (SiS, Isostar and Etixx), two fell short due to “belly issues” and Etixx is now the go-to starting on the Friday before race day and continuing until race morning. The carb loader helps me to not eat mountains of food and risk having eaten too much and not feeling well on race day.
Carbs during running
I’ve pretty much tried everything for fuelling during the long run; from raisin buns with honey to dates or cranberries, all types of honey stinger varieties (my fave), Powerbar chews and several different brands of gels. I don’t like gels much, especially the goopy kind that make me want to gag, These days we are all about High5 gels as they are quite fluid and friendly on the stomach.
Protein for muscle recovery
Recovery is just as important as running so you need to fuel for both. Carbs for the endurance, protein for recovery. I eat my protein in the form of eggs, cottage cheese and skyr or quark. These are things I can eat a bit more of without huge impact on my weight. I would love to eat things like nuts and nut butters (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE peanut butter), they are too fatty for me (and I can’t just portion out 10 nuts and call it a day – WHO DOES THAT?)
What about Hydration?
Wait, hydration is fuelling? In my opinion yes. If you are not replacing fluids and electrolytes, as well as restocking your energy (gels) during your long run you’ll meet what the Dutch call “de man met de hammer” – The Man With the Hammer (aka the Wall). While I would love to use Nuun it’s unfortunately way too expensive for me to buy here. So I’m a SiS gal all the way.
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It’s a fine balance getting in just enough carbs for fueling for long runs when you’re trying to watch your carb intake. I used to add the carb loader powders to my drinks prior to my marathons. I’d forgotten about that since I no longer run those distances. Honey Stinger Pomegranate chews are by far my favorite fuel for my runs!
i love the pomegranate chews as well. sometimes I’ll drink 1 carbloader the night before a half marathon and then one in the morning. It seems to help and I have less food on my belly. so you don’t have to use a whole lot to help a long run.
I’ve never heard of carb loaders. Didn’t realize that was a thing.
Carbs are yummy! But I realize too much is not good either.
Thanks for linking up with us!
yes carbs are SOOOO good.
I usually enjoy pizza the night before a long run. Another think that has worked for me is fried fish or shrimp. It’s so weird but I have had some great long runs the day after eating seafood!
OMG I can’t imagine fish or shrimp the evening before!! I have a running friend in England who swears by a HUGE steak and fries the night before. She’s just a tiny thing too, I never know where she’s actually going to PUT that steak! ha! (she’s very fast too)
Honey stinger chews are my fuel for longer runs. They give me a little boost without too much sugar. I like carbs the night before a long run or race. I’ve tried to cut them out before and it just does not go as well for me. It is always a work in progress to fuel for me as well
I love honeystinger so much and am so happy that we can easily get them now here in the Netherlands! I had so much trouble this past summer with long runs because I just didn’t eat enough carbs (trying to lose weight!!)
Give me all the carbs. :)
I LOVED all the SiS gels we got with our R’n’R blogger stuff…I need to find some more of those. They tasted light and were easy to use (not goopy) and they didn’t make my tummy angry.
I still have to try mine. They’re too big to carry during a run or race.
I have a number belt that i can also carry gels on. super handy. for long runs I use my hydration vest with pockets for chews and gels. SiS are good, High5 are just more fluid so I like them better.
Definitely carb with pasta or pizza before a long race. Fuel with GU every 4 miles and only water during. Oatmeal before a race or a banana before an evening run.
I can’t do pizza the night before as I find it too fatty, but afterwards OH YEAH.
This is the second time today quark has come up – I love int’l bloggers!
Avocado toast is my pre half marathon/10M race food, but beyond that I don’t have a pre meal. I so love this topic as I’m trying to figure out fueling
I love avocado toast but I do worry about the fat content and possible digestive issues. Then again I sometimes eat hummus, toast and egg so that surely has fat in it!!
I’m still trying to work it all out Cari. This is 10 years on, at least 25 half marathons and 8 fulls. Sometimes I think I’ve really nailed and come race day I can’t eat for some reason in the morning and it all just goes tits up after that. So keep searching for what works for you!
Oh I should have specified, avocado toast is night before. I can’t do anything that much morning of. I’ve just managed to eat a breakfast bar
Glad to hear it’s still a work in progress
I’m a PB toast fan myself. And Nuun, but I look for deals over here too. i’ve never hear of carb loader powders — interesting. Fun to learn another Dutch phrase too!