What to Eat When You’re Running

My long run this past week got bumped to Friday due to a killer tension headache that struck Wednesday and some weirdness adjusting to this semester’s school schedule. I did, however, complete a six mile trail run on Wednesday. I’m loving the fact that six miles doesn’t feel like a long run anymore and hitting the trails was a nice change-up from the paved paths and city (a term I use loosely) streets I’ve mostly been using to get my miles in. Bonus, by the time I was done running the headache was basically gone. Score! Running really does fix pretty much anything.

Friday morning I was a little tired but determined to get in ten miles. For some unfathomable reason I thought this one hilly five mile trail loop would be the perfect place. I really have been digging the trails and the challenge of hills and varying terrain appealed to me. I’ve always felt awesome when I finished one loop of this trail, how much more awesome would I feel after two? (Twice as awesome is NOT the answer. Awesomeness increases exponentially so it’s at least ten times more awesome…probably even more.)

Turns out when I finished running I mostly felt…hungry. Very very hungry. The hunger hit right around seven miles which, on that slow running morning, was a little over an hour into what would be an almost two hour run. It began as a slight rumble in my stomach and grew to an intense gnawing feeling and then, by the end, a ravenous ache.

Clearly I need some kind of sustenance during my longer runs.

This came up last year when I was training but I didn’t have time to try anything before the actual race. Races are kind of like when you’re having company over, it’s not the time to try something new. Stick to what you know works. Of course, last year I only reached ten miles during my training runs so I really didn’t know what would work or not. I didn’t eat during that race but I think I’m going to need to for this one. I’ve got just a month before my second half marathon and my question is this:

What do you eat when you’re running?

This Runner’s World article confirms my Try Nothing New on Race Day philosophy and suggests gels or chews if you feel like you need a boost during a half marathon. When people talk about eating or getting a nutritional boost (I’m not sure slurping some vaguely flavored chemical goop counts as eating) during running or long, intense workouts this is usually what comes up.

running gu 2 running gu

I have a small problem with the idea of gels and chews though…texture.

See, I’m one of those people who does not let their food mix or even touch. I don’t like many soft or chewy textured foods. Jelly beans?…NO. Sushi?….sorry, nope. Avocados?…..Oh hell no! (Being that odd green color on top of their soft, squishy texture, those weirdly popular things have a double whammy of disgusting in my books.) Even eggs that aren’t hard boiled are a little challenging for me sometimes.

I’d like to try these gel things but I’m just not sure I can do it.

So, dear readers, what do you eat when you run? Do you have a favorite brand of gel that’s less gross? Is there another food that is easy to eat on the run and good fuel?

Here’s a helpful chart for what to eat after running:   Running+Pizza+and+Beer

Psh, like I needed any help with that!


About nights7

A metamorphosis in progress...always.

One thought on “What to Eat When You’re Running

  1. […] six months ago when I was prepping for the last half marathon I was wondering what to eat when running. Mostly people recommended those gel pack things. So I thought I’d try them. But I […]


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