If you are like me, you often need to fuel up before or during long runs. I am always hungry, it honestly doesn’t seem to matter when it is, but fueling properly before my daily runs is essential for keeping my body strong, maintaining my blood sugar to prevent crashes and finishing those long runs with a bit of extra “kick” in my legs. Through many days, months and years of trial and error, I have found a few things that work best for me.
Pre-run or race I need to eat something light but also something that can fuel me to excellence. My go-to fuel is a piece of toast with peanut butter, honey and a banana. I usually need to eat this about an hour before my run. Sometimes I can get away with 30 minutes before, but often this is too soon and upsets my stomach. My second choice is a bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup to sweeten, flaxseed and dried fruit. I also love pairing Snacking Rounds from Ozery Bakery with almond butter or Cherry Coconut Pocketfuel.
During my runs I have tried many things. I was always afraid to try gels because the consistency is just not for me. I dared to try them once on a 12k race and was disgusted! I just could not get over the fake, sticky consistency. It just tasted horrible to me. I know some people love gels, but I just can’t eat them. Then last year I discovered PocketFuel! Enter my lifesaver on long runs. PocketFuel is an all natural nut butter blend. PocketFuel is made from 100% natural, whole food ingredients found in nuts, seeds and fruit. It provides a natural and sustained energy boost because it is a slow burning and easy to digest fuel. One of my personal favorites is the Chocolate Hazelnut flavor. These little packets are just the right amount for fuel on a run without weighing me down. They provide carbs, sugar and fat for fuel and they taste great.
Post-run I love to make a berry smoothie with flaxseed, spinach, chia seed and protein powder mixed in. I also sometimes will spread Chocolate Hazelnut PocketFuel on my toast! It’s a guilt-free dessert and reward for my hard work. I pretty much just can’t get enough of PocketFuel, I even snuck it into the theater last night and snacked on it instead of giant boxes of candy and popcorn. It’s a healthy treat and easy to just throw in my purse for a quick snack whenever I’m out and need a quick pick-me-up.
Fueling is definitely different for each individual person. I encourage you to give my methods a try, but if they don’t work for you feel free to experiment! It’s all about figuring out your ideal fuel and what will give you the most energy and best experience during your training. Have a favorite fueling brand or treat? I’d love to give it a try! Let me know in the comments.