/ fuel for running

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blackcat - on 21 Dec 2013
Hi guys could you recomend a pre-run meal or snack,i seem to have more energy on an empty stomach but then run out,just got back into running to build general fittness.thanks
Mountain Llama - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to blackcat:

Banana
steelbru - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to blackcat:

Porridge or muesli
blackcat - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to steelbru:

cheers will try.
Run_Ross_Run - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to blackcat:

Pittas with cheese and peanut butter.

SteveRi - on 23 Dec 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:
How long are you out for? You might find you just get used to it and don't run out so badly. It can be good to train empty, depending on your goals.
Philo22 - on 23 Dec 2013
In reply to blackcat:

banana or jelly babies. Not sure if it works for running but when I used to row gigs I found a banana and peanut butter toastie kept me going for the full hour and a half...
GeorgieS - on 03 Jan 2014
Jam.

Full of natural sugar and low cal
JimmyKay - on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

I don't like anything with lots of milk before a long or quick run. Toast? With Jam. Or chocolate/caramel flapjack. Espresso always helps! :-)
Ander on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to GeorgieS:
> Jam.
>
> Full of natural sugar and low cal

LOL
Littleslip - on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

About 40g net carbohydrates from a complex source such as oats, about 2 - 2.5 hours before you go out on your run should help. Running on an empty stomach may be beneficial for fat loss but if performance is the goal then its probably not optimal. You will deplete your muscle glycogen stores hence the 'running out'.

Add to the porridge some banana, a bit of whey protein?

If you can't eat 2 hours prior, say if you run first thing in the morning, then have the porridge before you go to bed but with no banana - use full fat milk. And before the run have some whey protein in water, and a cup of black coffee with coconut oil mixed in. This will elevate your muscle glycogen stores slightly, and the MCT's in the coconut oil will provide you with a fast energy source.

Hope that helps

The New NickB - on 03 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

Be wary of any advice that is too prescriptive, what works is what works for you, which may not be the same as what works for others.

How far are you running before you start to run out of energy? Are you sure fuel is the problem?

The key thing is a small amount of carbs in a form that your body can easily digest, a favourite of mile is peanut butter on a toasted bagel, but at least 2 hours before a run / race. Might not work for you. Anything less than 10 miles if it is an early start I will have my sleep over getting up very early to fuel, but if you do that make sure you fuel up the night before. Again you need to experiment.
ow arm - on 19 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

the flesh of the living.....
works for zombies anyway

pitta with peanut butter and banana for me
quirky - on 19 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

Porridge made with water and honey washed down with an espresso works for me.
LeeWood - on 19 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

Another vote for porridge, but you can add to it's value by adding chopped dates and creamed coconut. Cinammon to taste.
Tony & Sarah - on 19 Jan 2014
In reply to quirky:

+1 Tony
PanzerHanzler on 25 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

I was going to ask a similar question - so apologies to jump in on your thread.

I have run marathon distance races three times now, and I find myself running out of juice in the second half. This could be not enough mileage in the legs and/or not fueling correctly.

I'm maxing at 3 hours for training runs ATM
Pre long meal - usually a coffee + milk/oats about an hour before, pre hydrate with 750ml of High 5 4:1 mix. On the Run more 750ml of High 5 4:1 mix mixed 3 High 5 gels. This worked OK on todays run but near the end hit a hill and couldn't recover the pace.

Would something like a banana help on the run or hinder?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
IainRUK - on 25 Jan 2014
In reply to PanzerHanzler:

It depends.. how far is 3 hrs, and whats your marathon time?
hamsforlegs - on 25 Jan 2014
In reply to PanzerHanzler:
You can end up getting really complicated with this.

For years, I would train on long efforts with a lot of sugar intake; trying to match intake to output. For three hours this meant one or two small gel flasks of perpetuem (Hammer product - worth a look) paste to take with water, and five or six gels. It worked quite well, but was a lot of fuss, and I still found that I was prone to bonking quite hard, particularly if I didn't keep up with my intake.

Then I switched to training with very little intake, just electrolytes to taste, with a couple of gels in reserve for if I did feel things were running low. In three hours (warm weather) I would probably get through 2-3 Nuun tablets and 2-3 gels or a single flast of Perpetuem gunk. This formula worked well for me, and I found that in the end I could run for hours without needing calories as long as it was below marathon pace. At marathon pace I need to watch out and take on some sugar, which makes sense as marathon pace normally has a small anaerobic element, so overwhelms the adaptation to using lots of fat and metabolising sugar at a gentle, even rate. All of this made it possible for me to perform better, and also just to enjoy training without fuss.

I have always had caffeine gels with me, and find these very useful. I also normally have a coffee in the gap between food and running. I'm a junky though, and I suspect this is very personal. I also find that a strong coffee helps my recovery quite dramatically.

I always take on a small meal, whether a recovery shake or a piece of toast, about 2-3 hours in advance of exercise. I tend to get the runs if I eat any fibre before a run.

Anyway, my tips boil down to these:

- Experiment with training at easy pace without sugar intake to increase your range before bonking.
- Try electrolyte supplements - they seem to work well for lots of people
- Take on your sugar as gels where possible so that you can choose your sugar/water ratio on the fly according to feel
- Learn to 'feel' your body for thirst, for the 'redline' where you are burning sugar too fast to be comfortable for long periods, and for the early signs of a bonk
- Figure out how caffeine works for you

The last tip might be the real answer. You need to learn to 'feel' your way through runs, and to be finely tuned as to how changes in your effort and nutrition are affecting you.

Good luck!
Post edited at 21:46
PanzerHanzler on 25 Jan 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> It depends.. how far is 3 hrs, and whats your marathon time?

3hrs around 30km, Marathon 4-5 hours. Best half marathon 1:44hrs. These recent times.

Would like to get under four hours for a marathon.

Ste Brom - on 25 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:
One mans meat. Thats not a recommended pre marathon snack but what it boils down to.

Personally, porridge in morn and 200g of dates for the run snackette, with a marmite butty for good measure.
Tried all the other hi5 bobbins and such, but after 30km in any race im craving something more than sugary shite.

Experimentation is the key.

Personally speaking.

LeeWood - on 25 Jan 2014
In reply to PanzerHanzler:

never mind all these hi-tech fluorescent gels, softened (moistened) dates work for me
Wonrek - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:

I can't believe no one has mentioned the humble flapjack? Complex carbs, sugars, tasty as!

goatee - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to hamsforlegs:

Thanks for that. I have done four marathons now and I have struggled in the second half of all of them to greater or greater still degrees. The runs have been a problem for me in the last two and I suspect that my food intake beforehand has been way too much. I have been trying to eat enough to see me through the entire race. I can go fifteen sixteen miles without too much difficulty at about 3 hour 45 min pace but then I tend to hit the wall and need the toilet. I have tried gels and jelly babies but I find these almost impossible to swallow and I'm almost gagging trying to down them. Perhaps eating little or nothing before the run and some normal food (bananas even a sandwich?) during??. I'm at a bit of a loss and actually thinking that marathons might not be for me...but I don't want to give in, especially if it would be possible to actually run and enjoy one all the way to the end. My times have been between 3.45 and four hours. Oh and I'm 51
hamsforlegs - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to goatee:

Eating too much beforehand won't really help. You want to be in a situation where your liver and muscle glycogen (the stored sugars) are topped up fully, but not in a situation where you are digesting stuff. Having a good supply of glycogen is largely down to eating well after each training session. For instance, though you might feel a bit 'empty' when you wake in the morning, you probably already have as much on board as possible if you ate well in the evening. Eating carbs before starting out might even be triggering your body to start consuming glycogen instead of fat - that's why the three hour rule is a good one.

Eating 'proper' food during a run can work if you are going at a low pace/level. For me, this would normally be during long days running in the hills. Probably not ideal at marathon pace, but give it a go?

Eating gels or sweet stuff while running is partly just a question of technique. Learning how to breathe, swallow and do stuff with your hands while running takes practice! Remember to take on plenty of water too with gels.

I found that light electrolyte supplementation helped prevent an unsettled stomach, but experiences seem really mixed on that.

BTW: to avoid the runs and be fuelled up, the formula I eventually arrived at was:

- Eat a decent meal the night before; not too much fibre, plenty of fat and carbs.
- For a race, get up three hours before run time (even if that's REALLY early) and drink a portion of rego. Don't bother for training.
- Two hours before run time, drink a large mug of black coffee (or just before on some training days)
- Let the coffee do it's thing (toilet)
- Hydrate gently to thirst until 30 mins or so before run time

Then follow your strategy while running.

Maybe some ideas in there?

Mark
goatee - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to hamsforlegs:

Cheers Mark. I really just approached the long runs without any strategy. I guess if I want to do marathons I will have to buck up my ideas. I must really try the not eating thing. Too late for today as I have had Porridge AND toast, deary me. I plan on going for a three hour run in about an hours time. I will follow your advice though and see what happens. Many thanks, Stephen
mbh - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to goatee:

If it's any consolation, I am also 51 and getting the runs happens to me frequently on runs of 10 miles or more, which is mostly what I do. It's got to the point where it would be my major concern if I were to enter an event, with all the people around me that that would bring. I haven't found a way to reliably avoid it. I normally will not have eaten anything for 3-4 hours before I go out, and often, if it is the morning, I will only have had a coffee and nothing else since waking. I don't take anything with me for runs up to 16-17 miles, and I very rarely go further than that. Given my experiences though, you might read that as a recipe for what not to do!

Trying hard does seem to invite problems, so if I push the pace for a bit, it seems to be more likely to happen.

Perhaps it is all in the head. Let's hope so, since I have had a big bowl of meusli and am aiming to go out in a couple of hours.

Good luck with your next marathon.

Nutrition and the runs aside, I am just as interested in how people prepare mentally, actually get themselves out of the house and then keep going for long runs.
goatee - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to mbh:

We will have a major discussion on our proclivity for the runs sometime in the future :o). Mental preparation is a problem, especially if you have had problems in the past. Right now it is blowing a gale and sporadic squalls are skudding by and I am nice and comfy and warm indoors. Oh yes the mental side can be a challenge.:o)
The New NickB - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to Wonrek:

> I can't believe no one has mentioned the humble flapjack? Complex carbs, sugars, tasty as!

It will depend on pace, I struggle to eat anything at marathon pace (7 m/m or slightly faster), flapjack doesn't even bear thinking about. I've done a long events where the terrain has slowed things down and I not been so bothered about speed (11 m/m) and flapjack was fine, as indeed was chocolate cake.
PanzerHanzler on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to Ste Brom:

> Personally, porridge in morn and 200g of dates for the run snackette, with a marmite butty for good measure.

Will try this - haven't had dates in a while but love'em

> Tried all the other hi5 bobbins and such, but after 30km in any race im craving something more than sugary shite.

May have to concur, whilst on the marathon part of last years IM UK event I bombed at around the 3/4 stage despite taking a fair few energy style drinks etc from the feed stations, had to walk/run for a bit but once I switched to the half bananas the 1/4 picked up and I was able to run it with a slight increase in pace. Not sure if it was the walk/run strategy or the real food.


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Eric9Points - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to Wonrek:

> I can't believe no one has mentioned the humble flapjack? Complex carbs, sugars, tasty as!

Great for hill running. I generally take a couple of flapjacks, a bottle of Lucozade, a snicker or two and gels.

For road running I just eat fairly normally up to 2 hours before. After that maybe a flapjack if I feel I need it and I'll neck a bottle of Lucozade between 40 and twenty minutes before I start. Maybe also some water.

What I normally do on a long run is either stash more Lucozade every 8 or 9 miles or so so I can have drink or take some cash with me and pick something up at a petrol station. I don't feel I need to eat.

I tried a caffeine loaded gel on a long run recently, after about 11 miles. It sent my digestive system into spasms and all I can say is that I'm glad I was on a quiet cycle track and not still running along Portobello promenade when I had my Paula Radcliffe moment. Caffeine on an empty stomach does not seem to be a good idea.
wbo - on 26 Jan 2014
In reply to blackcat:
A lot of food or gels can cause all sorts of issues. I didn't/don't eat a lot before anything up to 15. FOr anything 18 up I'd stash a drink. Did drink a fair bit of water during the run tho'.


PanzerHanzler - you're really blowing up - are you following any sort of marathon schedule as you need to have some confidence in your training
Post edited at 15:02

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