Running Nutrition

Running Nutrition

Well, folks, I’ve been wondering the same thing most endurance runners question when competing: what should I eat?! And after some trials and

And after some trial and error, I think I’ve found nutrition that works for me. And what can I say, everyone was right when they said its ‘trial and error’ and it’s ‘different for everyone.’ I discovered these nutrition lessons after running the BMO Marathon, Tenderfoot Boogie 50km, TrailStoke 50km and Squamish 50km this summer.

Let me share my nutrition lessons so that you might not have to make the same mistakes I did. First, what not to do:

  1. Don’t try eating food during a long run that you don’t normally eat. I eat a very clean diet with minimal refined sugars or processed foods, but opted to try “junk food” for easy fast carbs and fats during two ultras. I figured “30grams of carbs in 6 jujubes- easy! Mars Bar? Awesome!” My digestion system fought back viciously- “what is this garbage?! Get out of me!” Lesson learnt: Don’t try this on trail
  2. Don’t eat too little or too much. Too little food will make you “bonk” if you are running for hours. The amount of carbs, fats and calories you are burning is HUGE! You need to replenish or it will just weaken you. Too much food will bring about the description mentioned above, “Get out of me!!!”
  3. Don’t fall victim to the random temptations at the aid stations. Sure that weird food could be delicious but have you ever tried running off a buffet dinner?! That random assortment of food probably doesn’t compliment each other.. Unless you normally eat pineapple with salted potatoes, energy gels and miscellaneous baked goods (in that case smorgasbord on!)

What to do:

  1. Practice eating foods during training runs to see how your body handles it.
  2. Try eating foods you regularly eat with higher carb amounts. I loved eating dried fruit last run!Try to stick to eating around 100-200 calories an hour or more. The goal is to replenish 60% of the carbs you are burning.
  3. It’s okay to make mistakes on trail! If your tummy is upset one race- make sure you bring tp for emergencies or know where any outhouses may be! Don’t quit, try something different the next race!
  4. You are awesome and believe it!

My favourite foods for racing as of now: dried figs, dates, craisins, homemade energy bars with all natural ingredients, bananas and electrolyte/carb drinks. Next thing I want to try eating? Seaweed for sodium… Heck, maybe I’ll just bring a kappa roll. Good luck to you all and we’d love to hear what nutrition works for your run!

Run happy, live happy, be happy,

Shannon Penway
Kintec Race Team

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