Eating During a Long Run

Eating During a Long Run: What You Need to Know

As a runner, you may be familiar with the dreaded “bonk” – that all-too-familiar feeling of dragging your feet to the finish line because you’ve run out of energy. While it may feel inevitable, bonking doesn’t have to be a part of your long run routine. Eating the right foods during your run can help ensure you reach the finish line with energy to spare. Here’s what you need to know.

Hydration is Key

Hydration is essential for any run, but especially during a long run. When you’re out on the roads for hours at a time, it’s easy to become dehydrated, so it’s important to drink plenty of water and electrolytes to stay hydrated. Depending on the temperature and humidity, you may need to consume more than just water–sports drinks can help replenish electrolytes, and even real food can be a good source of hydration.

Calorie Intake

For a long run, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking in enough calories. Depending on your body type and the intensity of your run, you may need to consume anywhere from 200-500 calories per hour. Make sure you’re taking in a slow-burning energy source, such as a sports drink or energy gel, which will help provide a steady stream of energy throughout your run.

Types of Food

As mentioned above, energy gels and sports drinks are great sources of energy during a long run, but they should not be your only source of fuel. You should also aim to incorporate real food into your fuel mix. Foods like oatmeal, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and fruit and nut bars are all great options for fueling your long run. These foods provide the carbohydrates and protein your body needs to keep going, while also providing added hydration.

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Timing and Portion Size

The timing of your meals is just as important as the types of foods you’re eating. Make sure to eat something at least 30 minutes before your run, and every 45-60 minutes during your run. As for portion size, make sure to listen to your body. If you’re feeling full, then you don’t need to eat any more. On the other hand, if you’re feeling hungry, then you may need to consume more calories.


Fueling Your Body During a Long Run

When it comes to running a long distance, the key to success is proper nutrition. What you eat before, during, and after your long run can mean the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful run. Here are some nutritional tips that will help keep you energized and hydrated during your next long run.

Pre-Run Fuel

It is important to eat a balanced meal in the hours leading up to a long run in order to provide your body with enough energy and hydration. A good pre-run meal should include complex carbohydrates, proteins, and some healthy fats. Examples of pre-run meals are oatmeal with nut butter and banana, a turkey sandwich, or yogurt with granola and fruit. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the day in preparation for your run. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day leading up to your run.

During the Run

During a long run, your body needs fuel to help sustain your energy and performance. Your body will burn through the energy you get from the pre-run meal fairly quickly, so it is important to refuel during your run. The best way to do this is to eat and drink as you go. Carrying a few energy gels or chews can help give you a quick boost of energy. Energy gels are easy to carry and provide an immediate energy boost. It is also important to stay hydrated during your run. It is recommended to drink water or an electrolyte beverage, such as a sports drink, every 30 minutes during your run.

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Post-Run Refuel

It is important to refuel your body after a long run. Eating a healthy meal within 30 minutes of finishing your run can help your body recover and repair itself. Eating a combination of lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats can help replenish your energy stores and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself. Examples of post-run meals are grilled chicken and brown rice, a turkey sandwich, or eggs and toast. As with pre-run meals, it is also important to stay hydrated after your run. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day following your run.

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