When You Have To Eat and run

When I was training for my marathon last summer, I ate the same thing before every long run, just like they tell you to. Overnight oats with almond milk, chia seeds, banana, and peanut butter, a piece of fruit, and two cups of black tea. I ate all of this two hours before my run. It was perfect because I didn’t have any prep to do other than top copious amounts of nut butter on top.

It never failed me; I had no digestive issues and I felt sustained throughout my runs (I ran with gels for longer runs).

Despite finding something that works perfectly for my body and logistics, I’ve decided to do the smart thing and switch things up. Maybe there is something that will work even better!

Before my six mile long run on Saturday, I had a baked sweet potato with Ashley’s savory almond butter and a peach plus a large cup of black tea. I baked the sweet potatoes earlier in the week, and then just threw it in the toaster oven, topped it with nut butter and chowed down.

I ate around 6:30 am, went to the farmers’ market and then went for the run around 8 am. The meal was delicious, easy, and filling. I had no digestive issues on the run. But I was hungrier than normal and I felt more fatigued than last week when I ran farther than 6 miles. There could be a few reasons for this.

Last week, I actually didn’t eat anything except a spoonful of peanut butter before heading out, but the run was mostly flat with only one hill. Saturday’s run was in San Francisco, and thus, there were several small, friendly inclines and then a few giant hills of death.

Last week, I didn’t exercise at all on Saturday. We walked around town, but I didn’t do anything else. This week, I did 800’s on Friday afternoon. Not the best planning on my part, but I was feeling the itch to run hard. My guess is this was the biggest contributing factor to my fatigue, not my pre-run meal.

Also, I’m thinking this meal might give me more energy if I eat it closer to my start time, perhaps 45 minutes before. That’s what I’m going to try this weekend, and I’ll report back on how it works.

What do you eat before your long runs? 

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