You are running. Its all awesome. Wind in your hair and then ... you gotta go. GOTTA.
Like BAD. WHAT?
Does this sound familiar?
eeek what should I eat?? Are there foods to avoid? Do you ever have to GO on a run? AACK!
oh....that. Yup, the age-old TMI "gotta go" question for runners.
I am not a nutritionist. I am not a Doctor. I am not a food health expert. I am a runner who has had many, many crappy (haha) experiences on the run. I have spent time in the shitter (my record is 12 minutes in a halfmara), had to GO less than ONE K from the finish. Yup as in NOW, not in the 6 minutes I could get to the finish. SIGH. I have suffered from terrible tummy issues. Funny story AFTER - mortifying at the time. It is what it is ...For the most part now, I pretty good. BUT every once in a while I gotta GO on the run. This post comes from those experiences. Shitty and otherwise.
Nutrition is critical while training (well, duh!) for a marathon or half marathon. Your body needs fuel. It's not just important the week before race day...but the entire time. As in, have a healthy diet. Hey, some people can eat anything and not have issues. not. me. QUALITY is what works for me. I am all about carbs, carbs, carbs! I gotta be careful with the high-fibre stuff. My diet has veg, fruits, whole grains, and some meat. Less meat, more veg.
I avoid junk food and crap. If I want steak I eat it (but NEVER the night before a run). My rule for meat - no bigger than the size of a deck of cards. I don't have a ton of dairy - it does a bit of a number on my gut.
am to damn lazy to figure out which veg or fruit has carbs...perhaps I should spend more time figuring that out. I like potatoes, yams, beans, whole wheat bread, bananas, pasta, oatmeal, dried fruit, apples, bagels, brown rice, root vegetables - Umm, I think they are all good carbs. For protein, I have Almond Milk, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, tofu, lentils and nuts and seeds. I love spinach and kale too.
I am on what may be called the REAL FOOD diet. I take butter over margarine. I don't eat zero fat yogurt. Or anything labeled "fat free". There now you have my grocery list.
What do I avoid?
Sweets, high fat meat and fried foods. Processed foods. And pizza. But, I do like pizza - sooo I have ONE place in town I will eat it at (never before a long run) and I can also make my own for a fun treat. If I want chips - I have them ONLY after a long run. I try to reward myself a little. Dark chocolate - yes, please. Oh and wine. I can't imbibe before a long run. Maybe one glass.
Do some research. Figure out what works for you. I say, enjoy what you eat.
has a million articles on calories, eating, recipes - their page on Nutrition - lots of articles and recipes. As with anything on the interwebs... use your judgment. I happen to love the Runners World Cookbook
. Great recipes that taste great. It was a gift - thanks to Krista
!! I have made so many things out of there. I like how the nutritional info is broken down. One of my FAV cookbooks is Julia Child's The art of French Cooking - pretty much anything in that book is a reward meal. haha.
Yup, I take multi vitamins. I have low iron, and take a supplement.
I also use EnergyBits
- as a running fuel and as a supplement. I love what spirulina does for me - gives me energy and NO tummy trouble. If it is a LONG run, I take a gel - never more than two as they can upset my tummy - but honey stinger chews work well for me. I have even made some homemade energy bites - they will be definitely coming out when I hit the trails this summer.
Basically I have a list of things that I know give me the
runs. And, well, I avoid them. Duh. After some trial and error, you figure it out. Mostly. Here is what I find works for me:
Simple meal. Easy to digest. Sometimes Spaghetti with tomato sauce, sometimes chicken and veg. I avoid high fibre a day or two before race. I drink a boatload of herbal tea a day or two before the race. And, I have a tradition of drinking a water bottle with Nuun
the night before a race.
BEFORE the run:
I eat light - banana, whole wheat toast with PB, oatmeal.
If you've had issues, try a few things before a shorter run. Trust me - don't try something new before a long run.
DURING the run:
I take EnergyBits before and during a long run. I have been using em since 2013
! Love em. Under 2 hours - usually only Bits. Over two - some combo of chews or a gel and Bits. 3+ hours of running - I take some energy bar (I like Gorp
, Go Macro
, Luna or Clif
) or chews (Honeystinger
or Clifbloks). Quick and easy is key. I definitely take water enhanced with either Nuun
. On long runs, especially on trail - I have been known to take some sqeezy veg or fruit puree (yeh - like baby food - hey it works). The Gorp Energy bars re-seal - so they are great for trail too. If I am organized enough --> homemade energy bites/bars are yummy and you know what's in them! I have to be careful as I am allergic to walnuts - sadly most bars have them...boo.
AFTER the run:
If I am at a race, I grab water, banana, apple, yogurt, chocolate milk if they have it. During one ragnar ultra hard boiled eggs after a run were awesome. A protein lifesaver. If I head home after a run or race, I make a smoothie - almond milk, banana, and berries, PB and vega one
or vega recovery accelerator
. Then shower. And in between have another bottle of water with Nuun. Then eat a meal. Sometimes beans on toast, eggs on toast. Sometimes, if I am feeling frisky - and have a pal to eat with - breakfast or lunch is a nice celebration.
Seriously, food is fuel. Enjoy what you eat. It should taste great!
Don't eat crap. Have some treats once in a while. Enjoy em.
And, remember, shit happens. So, don't forget Toilet Paper. EVER.
|Have a great run!|
This little ditty on Runners Trots was on Buzzfeed last week. Interesting Read!
Definitely had some good pointers innit.
Some of my FAB pals have also written a thing or two about running and nutrition
Check em out: