Runner's Diaries: How to eat on your long-run days

in #running3 years ago (edited)

This is new to me

Running 20 km and more on a weekly basis is something that is completely new to me. Since I'm training for a marathon, and I am approaching the eighth week of my schedule, I've been realizing that I really need to watch what and HOW I eat. And since there are many more of you out there on a similar path, I thought I'd do some light research without delving in too much. I just want to have a good run, not become an expert ;) I'll be citing all my sources down below if you're interesting in reading some more.

muesli-3186256_1920.jpg

Image Source

Before your run

It is advised that if you're going to run for more than two hours that day, that you should have a meal one to two hours before you hit the road. These meals should consist of between 200 and 300 calories. If you've been doing your runs on an empty stomach until now, you should start at the lower end of that scale. Think high carbohydrates, some protein, and keep the fats low. It's common for runners to keep these meals low-fiber as well, but personally it makes no difference to me. You do you. My personal favourite pre-long run meal will be cooking one quarter of a cup of oats. Adding half a banana and some nut butter makes it taste good. Some more examples include toast with half a banana and nut butter, rice with sweet potato or even just an energy bar.

food-2203732_1920.jpg

Image Source

During your run

The key here is fast-digesting carbohydrates for quick energy. That means sugar, electrolytes and salt basically. So let's look at our options...

In terms of drinks, you will obviously be having water somewhere and some way. But what else can you drink that will help you push through till the end? The number one drink I've heard recommended in the healthy-eating community is coconut water. According to my source is takes care of the 5 electrolytes you sweat out, namely: calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. Straight from nature? Yes please!

india-coconut-3221935_1920.jpg

Image Source

Some other drink options include salt water, flavoured or infused water, sports drinks, cold green tea with honey and sports gels. I've tried none of them, but will definitely be giving all of them a try. Except salt water. Sorry, but no.

strawberry-drink-1412232_1920.jpg

Image Source

In terms of actual food... I usually don't feel like eating, and then I hit the 20-25 km mark. I've heard among fellow runners that when doing a marathon you should eat a bite or two of something every 10 km.
When I think of healthy foods that offer fast digesting sugar, I think of fruit. The best ones suggested by my sources include bananas (mashed for portability), baby food (in South Africa we have Squishy's!), raisins/dried cherries, frozen grapes and dates. If your tummy has a problem with the fiber in these rather try the next ones...

dried-fruit-1665744_1920.jpg

Image Source

Gummy bears, marshmallows, homemade energy bars, jam/honey sandwich and pretzels. I'd rather have these while carbo-loading or after the run, but you do you ;)

After your run... great job btw

Time to refuel! We call it replenishing our glycogen stores. Because damn, they're empty. It's important to eat as soon as you possibly can, preferably within that 30 minute window after you did your victory fist-in-the-air while stumbling over the finish line. Think carbs that easily break down, some good quality protein, and some fat. Good carbohydrate options include potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. Protein options can be lean chicken, salmon, turkey, eggs or legumes.

spaghetti-660748_1920.jpg

Image Source

If there's no time for a plate with those yummy things on it, try to grab a bar with a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio like Cliff bars, Kind bars or Power bars. A peanut butter sandwich, protein shake, banana and yogurt, or a fruit and yogurt smoothie will also do the trick.

food-truck-2553919_1920.jpg

Image Source

If you can't stand the thought of food during those 30 minutes, try drinking some chocolate milk for some sugar and protein.

The last tip I have, and my source has, is DO NOT over consume. Eat enough, and focus on your protein intake to recover from the intense exercise. What works for me, is eating a well balanced meal while hydrating steadily, going for a long ass nap, and waking up when it's time for the next meal. That is my key to getting my body back to normal. I hope it helps.

cat-1551783_1920.jpg

Image Source

Thank you for reading this huge post. I hope this makes your long run days a little easier. It certainly helped me. Happy running!

Sources:
https://www.verywellfit.com/what-should-i-eat-after-a-run-2911546
http://www.runnersworld.co.za/nutrition/the-proper-way-to-fuel-before-a-long-run/
https://greatist.com/fitness/run-snacks-improve-marathon


Steemit Bloggers
Join us @steemitbloggers
Animation By @zord189

Sort:  

wooww .. feel thirsty and hungry, I like the post

Thank you for this info!! Im training for my first half marathon and your post comes very handy for me.

I have never thought of a doing a marthon but if I did this post would be very helpful! Upvoted :)

This sounds like very good advice and recently I have also been hearing a lot about coconut water. Good luck with your training.

Thank you for this post! The way I eat during my trainings is really a problem for me. I don't pay attention to that at all...

Hello, I have 5 years running, each body is different, I recommend you try everything in training and not during the competition. For the race itself, there are banana sandwiches easy to carry and consume, also honey bee capsules that gives you a lot of energy in competition. The same training must adapt to you, and see what works and what does not. I tell you about the drink with salt is to replace the salts that you lose when you sweat excessively, I prepare a drink with water, orange, sugar and salt, check the proportions on the internet, I have found it excellent for routes of more than 20 Km. I wish you much success and I am at your service for any concern you may have, I am not an expert, I only speak from my experience and my passion for running.

Wow Never heard of eating while running. Makes sense for long distances tho. I do no more than 10k. I love 5 k runs. Fast pace and makes me feel like dying. Love it 😂

Congratulations @xramonahx! You received a personal award!

Happy Birthday! - You are on the Steem blockchain for 2 years!

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

Oh, what a great summary you made! I will definitely try some of these!

Congratulations @xramonahx! You have completed some achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on any badge to view your own Board of Honor on SteemitBoard.
For more information about SteemitBoard, click here

If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Upvote this notification to help all Steemit users. Learn why here!

Congratulations @xramonahx! You have completed some achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on the badge to view your Board of Honor.
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do you like SteemitBoard's project? Then Vote for its witness and get one more award!

Congratulations @xramonahx! You have completed the following achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on the badge to view your Board of Honor.
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do you like SteemitBoard's project? Then Vote for its witness and get one more award!

Congratulations @xramonahx! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You made more than 4000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 5000 upvotes.

Click here to view your Board of Honor
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

SteemFest³ - SteemitBoard Contest Teaser
The new Steemfest³ Award is ready!

Support SteemitBoard's project! Vote for its witness and get one more award!

Congratulations @xramonahx! You received a personal award!

1 Year on Steemit

Click here to view your Board

Support SteemitBoard's project! Vote for its witness and get one more award!

Great insights and the food looks delicious 😊