It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a “run” post, but I hope you’ve kept your running up. I have had two races since then a half where I PR’d and finished in the top 10% and a 10k where I took 3rd overall. Unfortunately, I rolled my ankle at the 10k three weeks back then came down with a pretty nasty sinus infection – that still has some remnants. Anyway, tomorrow will be my first long run since having time off and I’ll then maintain a healthy amount of miles until I officially start training for the next 1/2 in January. Until then I thought I would do a quick write up on some ideas about fueling before your runs.
There has been quite a bit of debate about this subject but the answer is really simple: listen to your body and standardize your routine. In high school I almost never ate anything before meets, part of this was because I was a nervous runner so if I ate anything I would end up feeling so nauseous that my performance was affected. Things have changed in the last few years, part of that is the type of running I’m doing. I’m no longer running short distances at a fast pace, most runs are usually in between 5-13 miles and this takes a bit more time. So that’s really the first thing you ought to consider is the amount of time you are running. Running pro Eric Skelley says, “The rule of thumb is if you’re running up to an hour you don’t necessarily need anything.” For the most part this is true, but I would say that you know your body and running better than anyone else, so if you feel your body tiring out 30 minutes in than adding some additional carbs pre-run may be beneficial. Here is the major rule of thumb though: choose foods that are easily digestible. If you choose foods with high fiber content you’re body will still be digesting it during your run and then you are more prone to hiccups or side cramps. Some individuals will choose carb loaded drinks, gels or bars. For those with sensitive GI tracks those options are not usually best – for those needing “real” food better options would include toast, peanut butter, bananas or oatmeal. You’ll want to avoid foods or drinks with citric acid because citric acid can make you more prone to cramps while working out. The last thing is to get in a routine, especially if you are training for a race. If you find something that works then stick with it – your body will thank you for it later.
To sum everything up here’s what you want to do:
- Analyze the type of run that you are doing. How much time will the run take and what is the energy you will burn on that run.
- If you do choose to fuel before your run choose foods that are easily digestible.
- Get in a routine if your body is use to it, race day will feel no different than a normal training day.
Until next time… Run Happy.