Today I’m linking up with Runners Tell All. For the link-up, participants write about a specific running-related topic once a month and share their posts on Amanda’s blog. This month’s topic: nutrition.
There was a time when I had this nutrition thing all figured out. I knew what worked for me, and I executed it with ninja precision. HIYA! See, like that, but with gu. Somewhere along the way, my body changed its mind, and I’m re-learning what works for me and what doesn’t.
Before I run
This part, thankfully, hasn’t changed too much. The day before a run, I eat the same stuff I’d normally eat. If I’m going to be running a longer distance (more than 6 miles) or racing, then I have pasta with a veggie mixed in for dinner. Too easy, right? My morning fuel is a piece (or two) of toast with peanut butter and jelly.
I’m not much of an afternoon/evening runner these days. It’s too darn hot in El Paso for that and when I was living in Germany, it was too darn dark. Way back, though, in my Allen days, I ran in the afternoon and even had a few night-time races. Randomly, I discovered that pizza lunchables (just go with it) made for the perfect evening fuel.
A few years ago, I hopped on the Nuun train and haven’t hopped off since. I know that some people (me included!) don’t like the bubbly-ness of Nuun, but my insider tip (that I learned from a more seasoned runner a few years back) is to put the Nuun tablet in your water bottle the night before. When it’s time to run the next morning, the bubbles will be settled. Since I live in the land of no water fountains, I carry water on my person (I love saying that phrase!) in a handheld water bottle.
This is where things get all confuzzled. For years (YEARS!) gu was my go-to. Chocolate was my main jam, but peanut butter was good, too. My SPIbelt has little gu loops, so it was easy to carry and kept me going.
Somewhere during El Paso Marathon training, my tummy decided that it didn’t like gu any more. I’d feel bloaty and burpy and all kinds of not good. Upon a reader’s suggestion, I switched to Swedish Fish (yes, the candy) with great success. I’d pop one or two in my mouth every four-ish miles. Now that I’m training for a 10-mile race, I feel like I can experiment a little more. (Experimenting on say a 15 mile run is dangerous! I find it’s better to experiment on a shorter long run.)
After is my favorite part! During training, I usually follow-up a run with a good ol’ fashioned homemade smoothie. Depending on the distance I ran, you can swap out “smoothie” for “grape cream slush from Sonic.” If it’s following a race, however, all I want is Mexican food. Give me chips, give me salsa, give me a place to put my feet up, and I’m golden! Let’s be real though, all I ever want in life is chips, salsa, and a foot rest.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on nutrition/fueling/hydrating! What have you found that really works? What tips or tricks do you have?