Hey everyone! I’ve got a confession to make: one reason why I’m always so scared during my long runs is because I don’t know how to fuel while running. One thing I’ve heard many times is “Oh I tried that fuel and I didn’t like it because it made my stomach upset”. Um, there is no way I’m going to try out a new fuel on a run longer than 1 hour that takes place in the woods far away from any bathrooms! But I could tell on my recent long runs that I need a little extra boost to get me to the finish. Last week I carried water with me, which was very helpful and definitely made a huge difference, but I’m thinking that for this weekend’s long run I should maybe try some fuel. So I did a lot of research and found many different types of fuel that I want to share with you. If you’ve ever had questions about how to fuel, here are some suggestions!
Why we need to fuel: Any workout requires some fuel in order to make it to the end strong. But long runs are a special type of workout. Being out there for over an hour takes its toll on your body, and if you don’t refuel you will eventually crash and end up finishing your run exhausted and in pain. No one wants that! The following articles explain the different types of fuel available and why you may choose one type of fuel over another!
- Active.com wrote this article about fuel and I love how the specify how each type of fuel works and what you should look for in a fuel, nutrition-wise. You don’t want to ruin your workout with a ton of unnecessary chemicals in your stomach!
- Runner’s World has a great article here that answers a runner’s question on how to fuel during a run. I love their step-by-step tips on how to ease into the world of fueling. I need all the help I can get!
What to eat during a run: There are so many options for fueling during runs, so here is a list of what I learned about the most popular types of fuel. All info came from the companies’ websites and I am not affiliated with any of these brands. In fact, I haven’t tried any of these products yet and have no opinions on any of them yet! I just keep hearing these names and know they are reputable brands that many runners trust when fueling so I think they’re worth a shot! Let me know if you have used any of these!
- Clif Shot Blocks: I think these will be my first to try! I love Clif Bars and usually eat one after my long runs, so I know that most of their products are yummy and don’t give me any digestive issues. Clif Shot Blocks apparently look and taste like gummy candy, plus they’re easy to carry and aren’t messy.
- GU: If I’m going to try any type of gels, I think I should start with GU! So many runners swear by this stuff, plus they have yummy sounding flavors like salted caramel (AKA my current favorite frozen yogurt flavor! Win!).
- Honey Stinger: Everyone is always talking about Honey Stinger waffles, but they also have gels and chews! They claim that their chews don’t stick to your teeth and are softer than others, which are 2 things that seem pretty important when you’re out of breath and struggling to get through your run. I’m excited to try these out!
- Jelly Belly Sports Beans: I love Jelly Belly jelly beans, but I never thought about using them as fuel! Jelly Belly came out with these sports beans as a quick, easy to eat fuel for runners. I can only imagine they taste awesome!
- Nuun: It looks like Nuun can be used before, during, or after a run! Nuun is a tablet that goes into your water and give you extra perks like electrolytes without any sugar or carbs. I hear they’re super yummy and a much better option than Gatorade!
- Natural fuels: Foods such as gummy bears, Swedish Fish, Twizzlers, and Fig Newtons can actually be used as long run fuel! They have high carbs and sugar to keep your energy up while running. And you know you love these foods already so they’re a super easy way to try out fuel!
Does this count as long run fuel? Ryan Gosling at the end of the trail would give me energy to finish my runs 🙂
So what’s my plan for finding the right type of fuel? I’ve got some medium length runs planned for later tonight and tomorrow night, and I’m hoping to be able to try out some fuel on these shorter runs (near a bathroom/a water source) to see how they make my stomach feel. Hopefully all goes well, but in order to do this I need your help! Please let me know what types of fuel you use during your run! I would love to see which types of fuel you’ve had success with so that I can be sure to try those out! And also let me know how often you fuel during your runs to keep yourself from crashing. I know that every body is different and needs different amounts of fuel, but I’d love to get an idea of where to start. Hopefully in a month or two I’ll be able to report back here with a list of all the fuel options I’ve tried and actually be able to give you my opinion on what worked best for me so stay tuned!
What type of fuel do you use during your long runs? How often do you use fuel on long runs? Share your ideas with me!