Fueling on the run

During my long runs I tend to need a snack around the 7th or 8th mile.  At this point I am not hungry or hitting a wall, but my experience tells me that in another 1-2 miles I could be.

It seems like my body is right in line with what the experts say about fueling during a run.

Apparently when you run for less than 90 minutes, your energy primarily comes from stored muscle glycogen.  If you’re running for longer than 90 minutes, your stored muscle glycogen gets depleted. Fueling with carbs during your longer runs will prevent you from running out of energy and help boost your performance.

What does this mean???  

Basically you can think of yourself like a car.  90 minutes into a run you’re on empty … pretty soon you may be stranded on the side of the road calling AAA.  To avoid that put a little something in your tank!

After that first snack I will eat another for every additional 45 mins I am running, or for every 4-5 miles.

There are a ton of energy gels, beans, GU and bars on the market.  I dont have good luck with those.  They upset my stomach … I also like to chose more natural foods whenever possible.  Here are the top items I take on a long run:

1.  Annie’s Bunny fruit snacks.

I love me some kid snacks!

At 70 calories per packet, 10 grams of sugar and 45 mg of sodium … these have 30 less calories than a GU, more sodium, natural fruit sugars and no processed ingredients.

they are so much tastier than a GU or a shot block!!  The packets are small enough to fit in your pocket or running belt and they are super easy to open.

2.  Honey Packets.

They are small, free (sorry starbucks) and yummy.  Each packet has about a tablespoon which gives you 64 calories and 17 grams of carbs from natural sugar.

There is only a trace of sodium, so its best to use honey in addition to another snack.

3.  Fruit Leathers.

Grape is my fav!

Stretch Island makes a good ones, but any all natural fruit leather will do (no artificial fruit roll ups!!!) Again they are 70 calories with 12-14 grams of carbs from natural fruit sugars and 40mg of sodium.

I find them super easy to carry in my running belt and my only complaint is that sometime I have trouble ripping them open while running.  The rolls are easier.

4.  Good Ole Fashioned PB Roll – ups

a little start to finish demo :)

I take a tortilla and smear about 1 tbsp of peanut butter on it.  Roll it up, and cut into 3rds.  this fits nicely into a zip lock baggie.  I cram that into my running belt and eat a piece at a time.

The nutrition breakdown is largely dependent on the tortilla and PB used, but using a small, wheat tortilla and a fresh ground peanut butter each piece is around 80 calories, 10 grams of carbs and 100 mg of sodium.  Its kinda perfect!!

So there you have it.  Do you have any more to add to this list?  I would love some new ideas!!

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10 thoughts on “Fueling on the run

  1. I usually eat around the same time on a long run, around mile 8. One thing I’ve noticed though, for me, it’s more important to properly fuel BEFORE I run. I’ve gone out some mornings with just a bite of food and I feel faint by mile 4.

    Love you’re natural snack suggestions, I’m going to steal the rollups! Peanut butter and carbs work best for me, but I never thought of a portable option!

    1. I completely agree. It seems like even my choices the day before affect my run. What do you eat in the morning before? I have been loving a banana with some peanut butter.

  2. I am not good at fueling. Sometimes I’d rather just go without than worry about carrying something with me. Silly, I know. I just don’t like having stuff with me when I run. I need to change this weekend though since I have 16 miles on my schedule and will be running for more than 2 hours. I may plan a stop near a bodega and pick something up there.

    1. I have totally done that!! But it was more of a stumble into a bodega in sheer fuel desperation. LOL. Do you wear a spi belt? It changed my outlook on carrying stuff …

  3. New to your blog. As I’m training for my first marathon, I have been learning all about fueling for long runs. I’ve been doing the traditional gels, which are okay but sometimes a little hard on the tummy. I’ve heard of folks using fig newtons (which I might try this weekend), and I love your bunny snacks idea! I have some of those in my pantry, so I might pack them along too. (No, I don’t have kids, those and dark chocolate are my candy. hehe) Thanks for the tip!

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