Runner’s Share: Pre-Run Fuel

Runner's Share

Need some suggestions for fueling up before you run?
Check out these awesome ideas from Instagram runners around the world:


PRE-RUN FUEL:

THE CARBS:

+ Oatmeal
+ Cream of rice
+ Cliff Bar
+ English Muffin
+ Toast
+ Cereal
+ Bagel
+ Nuun
+ Waffle
+ Honey
+ Saltine crackers

THE PROTEINS:

+ Peanut Butter
+ Egg Whites
+ Marigold Protein bar
+ Cliff Bar
+ Nuts
+ Hummus

THE FRUITZ:

+ Banana
+ Green Apple
+ Blueberries
+ Apple sauce
+ Raisins

THE OTHER STUFF:

+ Coffee
+ An oatmeal raisin cookie


WHAT ABOUT PRE-RACE MEALS?!

NIGHT BEFORE:

+ Pizza & donuts the night before
+ Heavy spicy stew with rich homemade broth and loaded with veggies
+ Chicken Parmesan
+ Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich + a long island
+ Black bean and beet burger from No Meat Athlete
+ Cheeseburger
+ Steak & potatoes
+ Pizza and wine
+ Pasta or a turkey sandwich
+ PIZZA
+ Carbs & less protein (something easy to digest) and then water

DAY OF:

+ Home-made banana bread
+ A banana with a sprinkle of salt
+ Dried banana chips and Maurten gels during
+ Avocado bagel
+ Peanut butter and bread with half a banana
+ Nothing, oatmeal, or PB toast – depends on my race strategy or distance
+ Cliff bar, banana, 12 oz. salted water, and a 5 hr. energy
+ Bagel & cream cheese
+ Greek yogurt with granola or cereal
+ English muffin with laughing cow cheese
+ Bagel & honey
+ Sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich
+ Sourdough bread slices
+ Black coffee
+ MUST INCLUDE PEANUT BUTTER
+ Oatmeal (preferably chocolate chip)



THANK YOU TO ALL THE AMAZING RUNNERS WHO CONTRIBUTED THEIR IDEAS TO THIS POST:

@minimalinfluence – @sergio_guerra_r – @randyrunzmaine – @cris.tianlg – @kaf_runn – @runningbaldman – @jimmystixruns – @queen_authentic – @lea.zun – @scrubs_n_spandex – @andrewtram – @dontcallita_runback – @elaina_runs – @nomivv – @tbogda0471 – @dp_on_the_go – @ellakbuss – @lindseyandrew – @oli_beringer – @millzgotmiles – @zhanelturarbek – @t_perk13 – @ruben_sgomes – @j5thekosmostones – @dwaynejordan23 – @nartron3k – @siamese.runner – @fafi_stags – @trekettup – @caragiovannaa – @willa_jace01- @run_like_a_mother2 – @lenaclaudia – @dan_runs_downtown – @jordynefriedenfels – @thatsastep1 – @madisonbrookeharmer – @stevekorchinos – @elite.et – @1beer.1mile – @emily_kenyon4 – @mikefire53 – @stavlevyhalabe – @run_emc – @kelli.threet – @casi.lummer – @sprintergonedistance – @amystrahan – @sk1nnylegs – @lizzieroyer – @ambegezda – @_tony_trains – @runthefifty_ – @frumpycob – @hannalyn13 – @will.run.for.smiles – @innerathletemi – @xtyleryoungx – @wilson.50.by.50

Once you’ve explored, make sure to share your own suggestions below!

TO FUEL OR NOT TO FUEL

Fuel

Do you eat before you run?

Okay. I mean. Most say that you should fuel up before a run – ESPECIALLY before a race – but why? We all know that it helps to sustain your energy, keeps you going, helps to ensure sure you don’t crash mid-run… but I’m a morning runner – and I don’t always LIKE – or have TIME – to fuel up before I head out.

But what’s actually best?


Here are a few things to consider when figuring out what is best for YOU:

TIME:

How long do you need to digest your fuel?

And, according to Mayo Clinic – digestion time varies between individuals and between men and women. What does this mean for you? It means that IT DEPENDS. You may need to experiment and explore with different foods, times, and combinations before you find what’s best for you personally. What else does this mean? It means that when someone is telling you exactly what you should do – BE CAUTIOUS. Nobody knows what’s best for you except for…well… you.

Whatcha been eating all week?

Fueling up isn’t only about the pre-run snack or meal – it can also include everything you’ve been eating for days prior – and EVERYONE’S NEEDS ARE DIFFERENT. For me personally, if I eat too big of a meal the night before my race – I’M GOING DOWN. Seriously. I’ve had to move my “pre-run” meal to the entire week before the race. If I eat too late – say, carb-loading the night before the race – personally, my body definitely does not have time to process what I’ve eaten. When this happens, I get sick, have more cramps, and sometimes have a “heavy” feeling that keeps me from running as fast as I can. Finding what works best for you takes time though, and lots of trial-and-error. It’s taken me 6 years to figure out what’s best for me personally, and I’m still learning (and my body is always changing). So make sure you consider the fact that your body is using fuel that it has stored over time – not just from the morning of the run or race.


TYPE:

What type of run are you doing?

Long runs?

Lizzie Kasparek, R.D., sports dietitian for the Sanford Sports Science Institute – suggests “eating two to four hours before a long run.” Long runs require much more energy – which means you may not have adequate fuel in your system to keep you going without a little pre-run snack or meal. However – with this fuel – comes a digestion time. It’s important to consider how much you’ve eaten and how much time you’ll need to digest it before you head out for that longer run!

What about shorter runs?

According to Vishal Patel, chief sports nutritionist at Nuun, if you’re going out for a short run (say 3-4 miles) – you can likely “skip the pre-run meal or snack.” Why is this? Because your body may actually have enough energy stored up in the form of carbs and nutrients to get you through the run. HOWEVER – AGAIN – it is all about your personal preference and needs. If you find that fueling up before a short run best enhances your performance – GO FOR IT. Everyone has different nutritional needs, and you know those needs best.


FOOD:

What are you fueling up with & how much?

It’s also important to fuel up on the RIGHT KIND of foods if you’re going to be eating that pre-run snack or meal. And not just the right kind – but the RIGHT AMOUNT as well. We all know what high-fiber foods do… so maybe lay off the broccoli & beans before you go for your run. But fueling up on some carbs & protein – Kasparek suggests – can be quickly turned into energy to use on those runs. A little oatmeal, some toast and peanut butter, a power bar – just a few options to keep that energy high. But make sure you’re consuming an amount that optimizes your performance. Personally, I eat a power-bar a few hours before a race. It’s light enough that it doesn’t feel like a huge meal – but it gives me enough energy to get me through.


BOTTOM LINE:

It’s all about finding what’s best for you. And it will take a little bit of exploration and experimentation. Everyone has different needs, bodies, and schedules – and therefor, we all have different pre-run preparation. Finding what works best for you is an ever-evolving process, and that’s okay! Just keep exploring and enjoying the process! Share your pre-run fuel plan below!




SOURCES:

Heather Mayer Irvine Freelance Writer Heather is the former food and nutrition editor for Runner’s World and the author of The Runner’s World Vegetarian Cookbook. “Unsure What to Eat Before a Run? These Ideas Fuel Every Distance and Sit Well.” Runner’s World, 3 Apr. 2020, www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20853304/what-do-i-eat-before-my-race/.

Laurel Leicht Updated August 14, and Laurel Leicht. “What to Eat Before, During, and After Running.” Health.com, www.health.com/fitness/what-to-eat-before-running.

Luff, Christine. “Why Should You Eat Before a Run?” Verywell Fit, 2 Apr. 2020, http://www.verywellfit.com/should-i-eat-before-a-run-2911547.

FUEL REVIEW: Mediterranean Orzo & Roasted Veggie Salad

Fuel Review

MEDITERRANEAN ORZO & ROASTED VEGGIE SALAD

INSPIRED BY: THIS RECIPE

AMY RATING:

SERVINGS:

+ 5-6 servings

NUTRITION INFO:

+ 420 calories/serving (6 servings)
+ 505 calories/serving (5 servings)

NOTES:

+ From start to finish – this recipe takes about an hour (including baking time of the veggies).
+ I chose to add black beans and corn to the recipe for some extra color and protein
+ You can adjust the seasoning and the ingredients to fit your preferences!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR ORZO & VEGGIES:

+ 1 red bell pepper
+ 1 yellow bell pepper
+ 1 orange bell pepper
+ 1 green bell pepper
+ 1 bunch asparagus
+ 1 can of corn
+ 1 can black beans
+ 1 onion
+ 2 tbsp. olive oil
+ 4 tsp. garlic
+ 2 cups grape tomatoes
+ 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

FOR DRESSING:

+ 2 or 3 lemons (based on preference – I used 3!)
+ 2 tbsp. olive oil
+ 1 tsp. salt
+ 1 tsp. pepper

TOPPINGS:

+ 3 tbsp. parsley
+ 6 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

STEPS:

STEP 1: VEGGIES

+ Preheat oven to 425

+ Prepare a sheet pan with olive oil (You may need two)

+ Chop up the peppers, asparagus, onion, tomatoes, and garlic
(Dice the peppers, cut asparagus in half or thirds, dice onions, cut tomatoes in half, mince garlic)

+ Toss the veggies with the olive oil on the sheet pan and ensure that all veggies are spread on the pan without overlap

+ Season with salt and pepper and put into the oven

+ Bake veggies in oven for 30-40 minutes (check regularly and continue to flip veggies every 10-15 minutes)

STEP 2: ORZO & DRESSING

+ While veggies are cooking, start boiling water for orzo

+ While waiting for water to boil, prepare the dressing

+ Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil to bowl and whisk

+ Once water is boiling, add orzo to pot (orzo will take approximately 7-8 minutes to cook based on preference)

+ While orzo is cooking, open and rinse black beans and corn – set aside

+ Once pasta is finished, strain and place in bowl with a little olive oil
(enough to coat – this will help to keep the orzo from getting sticky while the veggies finish up)

STEP 3: PUT IT TOGETHER

+ Once veggies are finished, remove and dump into large mixing bowl

+ Add the rinsed black beans, corn, and pasta

+ Add the dressing

+ Toss lightly

+ Chop up parsley (enough to preference) and add to mixture

+ Taste & season to preference with salt and pepper (and lemon juice if you’d like more)

+ Split up into 4-5 containers based on calorie preferences

+ When you’re ready to eat a serving, top with feta cheese!

+ ENJOY!