Fueling Up

Wednesday’s run: 1 mile @ 15:14 this morning. It was great. Yay. Not much more to say about it than that. Let’s talk about more interesting things, shall we?

It’s a month and a half until my birthday. I’ve decided this year to compile a list of things I want (to help out my family 🙂 ). I don’t normally do anything like this, I’ll take a “happy birthday” and be on my way. No gifts are necessary, but I always get asked what I want.

This year I’m putting all running things on the list. Mostly accessories/nutrition. Which is the real topic today, lets talk about nutrition during a run (disclaimer *I am not a nutritionist, a coach, or any other qualified expert; I’m speaking from personal experience here*). If you’re not a runner, you probably picture someone going out for a 10 mile run with just a bottle of water and their phone. Oh, but they need so much more!

I learned that while, yes, you can go out with only water, you’ll probably be pretty miserable. You have to make sure to fuel during a long run so your energy stores don’t get depleted. It’s a fine art, learning when to refuel. There’s no magic formula that works for everyone. Some people need to fuel every 45 minutes, some can go more than an hour. Each body is unique.

I’m firmly in the 45 minute camp. I don’t want to let it go too long for fear of beginning that energy decline. I’ve only tried Clif Shot Bloks, personally. I found, though, during my half last year that it was a pain in the patootey to get these buggers chewed and swallowed before my next run interval. I was afraid I’d choke!

I decided that this year, I need to branch out of my comfort zone. I’ve heard of gels but I’m terrified of them! This sounds like an irrational fear, and you’re probably right; but it’s a texture thing for me. I don’t like pudding, or Jello, or yogurt – the combo of almost solid/almost liquid just incites a gag reflex in me. Obviously, a gel would probably do the same.

I’m going to try them during this training cycle, though, because it will make fueling up so much easier. The brands I’m looking at: Huma and Honey Stinger. I’m looking for low-chemical/more natural products. Any other recommendations are appreciated!

Headaches after a long run are also a reality in my world. I used to think it was from dehydration, which may be part of it; but I carry my hydration pack with me so I feel I’m fairly set in that department. After some reading, I found out it may be caused due to an electrolyte imbalance. Those need to be refueled, too! Who knew? (probably you, if you’re a runner). So also on my birthday list are some electrolyte tablets to add to my water bottle. Think Gatorade without all the sugar.

Here you thought running was “just” running! Nope, not when you’re training for something. There is so much to think about, from clothing choices, to food you eat – training for endurance running isn’t cut and dry. If you are ever planning to begin endurance running, do some homework; make sure you stay healthy and have fun!




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