Fueling To Perform
What you eat before and during a long run can either help or hinder your ability to perform. The fuel you consumed can either negatively impact or improve your ability to recover and prep for your next training session. This article covers what we recommend to consume before, during, and after long training sessions.
Let's define endurance running first. Endurance running, or long-distance running, is a form of continued running over distances of at least 3 km (1.9 mi). It is largely aerobic in nature and requires a solid amount of stamina.
Nutrition for endurance runs is essential to ensure you have enough energy in the tank while you are out on the run and enough of the right nutrients to recover from a run and be ready to train the next day again.
The amount and timing of your pre-run fuel will vary depending on your run type and length. As a general guideline, it is better to consume your fuel approximately 30 minutes to an hour before your run and refuel throughout your run if necessary. You will also want to avoid consuming the following foods if possible, as they can cause intestinal distress during your run:
- Spicy foods
- High-fat/greasy foods
- High fiber foods
One of the best options for pre-workout fuel is something high in glucose. Glucose is a ready-to-use form of energy for the body that digests quickly and provides the muscles with what they need to perform at their highest level.
Glucose is most commonly found in foods like carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come in two forms: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. For shorter distances, focus on getting some simple carbohydrates into your pre-run fuel. For longer endurance runs, it is smart to include some complex carbohydrates that are slower to digest. These complex carbohydrates will help fuel your run for longer.
The following are a few ideas for easy-on-the-stomach, quick-to-digest, and high-carbohydrate foods to fuel your endurance run:
- Toast with any nut butter
- Banana and nut butter
- Half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Oatmeal and some berries
For shorter runs, fuel during the workout is unnecessary. Mid-run fueling is more important for longer (10+ miles) and more intense workouts.
Fueling during a long distance run is vital for performance. For longer runs, you want your fuel to be easily digestible, provide quick energy, and include essential vitamins and minerals.
Supplements to Consider During an Endurance Run:
- G.1.M Sport - stay hydrated with an endurance formula built by athletes for athletes. G.1.M Sport has the perfect combination of an easily digestible carbohydrate and Pink Himalayan Salt as an electrolyte source.
- Energy Gels
If you'd prefer to try and eat on the run, here are a few on-the-run fueling options to consider:
- An oatmeal bar
- A banana
After a solid workout, it's time to focus on refueling your body by replenishing what it burned, while also adding in protein to build muscle and help with recovery.
A few great fueling options include:
- Fruit and protein shakes
- Brown rice and vegetables
- Field Bar - simple ingredients combined for delicious, sustained energy on the go.
Supplements to Consider After an Endurance Run: