I have just begun training for my first full marathon in September. I’ve run three half marathons and will be doing a fourth in early May. During all the training for that distance, I never experimented with refueling during a run. Frankly, I never felt the need. Plain water or NUUN got me through feeling fine. I know for the marathon I will need to have fuel during the possible four + hours I will be out on the course.
I’ve tried Cliff Shot Bloks and GU since they’ve been recommended the most. I’ll spare you the details but the Shot Bloks are not an option. My tummy wasn’t feeling the greatest post 9 mile run after testing those. I had a little bit more success with the GU. I tried the Vanilla Bean which tasted great and my tummy was happy during a 10 miler.
The big thing I don’t like about commercial performance drinks and gels is the ingredient list. Have you ever looked at it? There tends to be a lot of artificial ingredients. I try to steer clear of those things in my normal everyday eating so there must be another option. Why can’t I get the nutrition I need from REAL food during a run?
For endurance activities that will last more than one hour and up to four or five hours, 30-60 grams of carbohydrate is needed per hour. Another useful way is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that by four. This will give you a minimum carbohydrate rate in grams. It’s recommended to get this from energy drinks or gels since that’s the most easily digested. Remember to always test out your fuel during training runs. What’s good for your friend may not work for you.
According to Runner’s World, here are some foods that provide the 30-60 grams of carbohydrate:
In addition to the foods listed above, I found a few interesting recipes for homemade energy gel. They are very simple to make and most have a few ingredients like honey, molasses, water, etc. I’m going to try out this version soon.
I’ve got five months to do test runs with each suggestion. Hopefully, I’ll find one that fuels me to the finish!
What do you use for fuel during long runs or rides?
Angela is a healthy living blogger at Happy Fit Mama. She’s an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist that specializes in Cardiac Rehabilitation. When not training for Marathons or practicing Yoga, she is a busy wife, a Mama to twin toddlers and one Fur Baby. She’s been a FitFluential Ambassador since early 2012 and loves seeing everyone bring their #PROOF! Follow her on Twitter @happyfitmama.