Long Run Nutrition
It is important to focus on consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates, fluid and electrolytes to sustain long endurance exercise. Digestion is not our bodies’ top priority while pumping blood to our working leg muscles. Given this, we need carbohydrates that are easy to digest. We want to avoid fat, protein, and fiber because they slow the digestive process and can create an upset stomach.
Examples of simple carbs that digest well during a long run:
Dried fruit (apricots, raisins, dates, cherries)
Energy gels (GU, Clif shots)
Squeeze applesauce packet
Salted boiled potatoes
Sports drinks—provides CHO and hydration
The timing of when to refuel is also integral for sustainability and performance. You want to beat exhaustion before it arises. Refueling before energy is depleted allows us to experience the maximum benefits from the calories consumed.
When to refuel & how much?
Less than 75 minutes: NO fuel necessary
75 minutes to 3 hours: 30 to 60 grams of CHO per hour
90 minutes to 3 hours++: 30 to 90 grams of CHO per hour. Simple carbs are necessary for optimal performance. The amount of carbs depends on the person (very individualized).
Are you a runner with more questions and need guidance to establish a fueling plan that works best for you? Contact me if you want to maximize your performance.
Guest author: Ciana Bonfiglio