Talk to any distance runner and you'll soon find yourself discussing the art of fueling up for a long run—it really is an art, also a science. The market is overflowing with options, some of which are healthier than others. And some of which work better than others. It's really a matter of figuring out what works for you, but this can often be an overwhelming trial/error type of task. So today, I'm thrilled to share with you a post from Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC. She lists out five products that work for her, some of which you've no doubt seen on the shelves and/or wondered about yourself.
Everyone fuels up differently and not everything will work for everybody, so I really recommend that you use your training runs as a test ground. See what works or doesn't work for you so that by the time race day comes around, you have it down to a science.
These energy chews are my go to fuel for runs over six miles. I usually take half every two miles starting at mile six on longer runs. I like the variety of flavors and they are easy to get down. I do have to have a swig of water after I take one though, so keep that in mind if you're trying them! My favorite flavor is strawberry but I also really like the margarita flavor—they contain extra salt to replace the salt you lose while running.
2) Honey Stinger Waffles
Sometimes I need actual food when I'm running, but I don't want anything that is hard to digest. This is where Honey Stinger Waffles come into play. It's real food but easy to eat on the run. I also love these with peanut butter (see below for more on that).
3) Huma Gels
I cannot do Gu. It grosses me out. However, I love Huma Gels—chia energy gels that are 100% natural and I love the taste. I primarily like to use these right before a run or right after, although I've had them on the run as well and they are easy to use on the move.
4) PowerBar Performance Energy Gels
Another gel that is tasty and I may or may not have actually eaten them when I wasn't even running. Ahem. Yeah, they're that good.
5) Good ol' PB
Peanut butter is the perfect fuel for a run. I love to put peanut butter on my Honey Stinger Waffles for a great pre-run snack. Or peanut butter on a whole wheat English muffin. Or on basically anything. PB for the win—always.
I think the most important thing about fueling is to test out what works for you. There were some things I tried that forced me to have unintended potty stops on the run and some things I just couldn't stomach first thing in the morning. I have a hard enough time eating before a run, so it was important for me to find options that I could rotate and wouldn't feel like I was choking down. I hope this list is helpful for you in your search for fuels to try!
Always great to hear what works for others, right? I've used the Shot Bloks before, and I do really like them, but have since switched up to GoGoSqueeze and Cocogo. Looking forward to getting back into some training soon...
For more about running (and other topics) from Courtney, be sure to keep up with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too! Now tell us...
Question: How do you fuel up for a long run? What are some of your go-to products?