Don’t Run on Empty

I am great at what to eat after a  run.  I have a variety of post workout protein drinks ready to go.   What I’m really not great about is what to eat before and even during my runs.  How to properly “fuel” my run.

I’ve been told that runners have their own language.   It is true to a certain extent, but I think most sports have their own language.   If you were to put me on the sidelines of a football game or any other sport, I would have no idea what they were talking about.   The thing with languages though is that anyone can learn them.   I’m learning the importance of fuel for running now

Full Definition of fuel

  1. 1a:  a material used to produce heat or power by burning b:  nutritive material c:  a material from which atomic energy can be liberated especially in a reactor

  2. 2:  a source of sustenance or incentive

They say that the body is the best designed machine.   I believe that to be true.   Just like a machine then, your body needs fuel to run at it’s best.   When you are running longer distances, fuel becomes so very important to you.   I’m not new to how important, but I’ve realized that I need to be smarter with both my fuel choices and timing of it.   As they say timing is everything.  Take it too soon and you’ve wasted it.   Take it too late and a run can go from good to bad quickly.     From experience I can tell you that for me it is hard to bounce back once you’ve waited to long to fuel.    I can also say that if you take it too soon and end up needing to refuel more often that can lead to problems too.   This is why I have started to pay attention to not only what I’m taking but when I’m taking it.   We train for everything else.   We also need to train for our fueling.

Fuel

This is where I am at.  I want to know how this works better.  I want to understand it because if I can understand it maybe I can actually do it better.   There is much to learn and I am only just beginning.

I have started to keep a detailed training log this year.   With all my runs to include weather, what I wore, how I felt, and when I fueled.    I really believe this is the piece that I’ve been missing.   Not that this is going to make me a super runner because I will never be that.   What it will help me to do though is be the best that I can be.    That is enough.

We all know that we should carb load before a run.   There is truth to this, but it is not the be all end all for the long run.   The body on average can only store 90 minutes of energy for a run.   This is why once you start pushing the distances fuel becomes so important.  That being said once you start pushing the pace, you need more fuel too because just like your car burns more fuel thw faster it goes so does the body.

As with everything in my life, this is a work in progress.   I will say though that I did discover a very tasty Honey Stinger Organic Fruit Smoothie gel that was soooooo very tasty.     This is coming from a GU girl too.    Live and learn.

I’ll keep you posted.

How do you fuel?

 

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