In the past few weeks, a few of the Soleful Mamas have become brave. We’d been flirting with 5 and 6 miles for a long time and after taking Nike’s advice to “just do it” we’ve now ventured into the 7-9 mile category. We’re slowly making our way to our first half marathons. EEK! Exciting! But with those kinds of miles, we’re on the road or the track now for more than an hour on our longer runs. We’ve had to get up to speed with our hydration, fueling, IT bands, and runner’s knee. There’s so much we’ve needed to learn – so much we have taught each other in the past few weeks and so many more “AHA!” moments to have.
One major change that’s been made to our running routine is making sure we’ve got enough energy to make it to the end. As a general rule of thumb, I’ve read that runners should consume about 100-200 calories every hour, but that fueling needs to start before the hour so you don’t run out of steam before fueling up. Competitor.com’s article Running 101: Race Fueling Made Simple states, “Energy gels, “shots”, “blocks”, chews and beans are designed specifically for consumption during exercise and most provide roughly 100 calories of energy per serving, some electrolyte replacement and perhaps even a hint of caffeine for a late-race pick me up. Best taken and absorbed with a few sips of water, these products are easy to carry and are an effective means of obtaining energy and maintaining blood sugar levels.” http://running.competitor.com/2013/09/nutrition/race-fueling-made-simple_8633
Some of the most common types of fuels that runners can use mid-run are:
- Honey: the simple carbohydrates in honey is a perfect and natural way to get the quick energy you need to keep you going
- Dried fruits
- Candy (gummy bears, Swedish fish, Twizzlers) – do NOT run with a lollipop in your mouth. That would be like running along with scissors. Bad idea.
- Gu: energy gel (the chocolate raspberry flavor is delish!)
- Clif Shot, Hammer Gel, PowerBar Performance Gel: in the category of the Gu gel.
- Italian Hoagie: Kidding! Just seeing if anyone’s paying attention. Although, if someone asked me mid-run if I’d want a hoagie, 9 times out of 10 I’d say “make it a 12 inch”.
- Honey Stinger Gel: Delicious and 95% organic
Great article that compares your gel options and the ingredients: http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/energy-gels-101
Here are a few other natural mid-run fuels (though I’m not sure of the frozen grapes – I don’t think I’d be coordinated enough to not choke on them) http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/10-natural-race-food-alternatives?page=2
It’s important to try a bunch of different kinds of fuel to find out what what works for your body (or against it for that matter) before you head out to a race. It’s also important to have some fluids with you too so help the body absorb and utilize the energy quickly. As you move through your runs and trial different fuels for yourself, assess each type of fuel and understand how it makes you feel energy wise, how did the miles feel after fueling, and did it agreed with your stomach. I think I’ve officially answered the question in a previous post that we are no longer beginners which is scary and exhilarating all at the same time. Be inspired today!
Please share your favorite mid workout fueling in the comments section. We’d love to know what keeps you going strong!
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