As my mileage slowly increases each week, I’m starting to need to think more about fuelling my long-runs.
Part of my challenge is that I gave up eating sugar approximately 18 months ago, which is one of the best health decisions I’ve ever made. Stay tuned for another post following soon with my experiences of going sugar-free.
Being sugar-free means that many of the common methods of fuelling, such as energy gels, bars and sports drinks are not suitable for me to use as a running-fuel. Having tried to stick to my whole food diet as much as possible (see previous post, Whole Food Binge), I’m looking for whole food alternatives as much as possible.
In my research, I came across Matt Frazier, who runs a blog called ‘No Meat Athlete’. While I’m not vegetarian, and have no interest in becoming one, he and his co-bloggers share some amazing recipes on homemade energy gels, bars, smoothies and drinks. The first I intend to try is the Energy Bar formula which boasts a comprehensive guide for making an energy bar using a mix & match approach.
I also came across this great article, How not to Bonk in a Marathon by Jeff Gaudette, whose online training plan I am currently following. He explains why and how the body can sometimes reject fuelling during a run. It’s very informative, check it out.
So far, I’ve been using raisins, having a small handful towards the end of the first hour. As I’m not yet running longer than 90 minutes, I’ve only been fuelling once in the run. Next weekend I’m tackling 18km, my furthest yet, so will try the raisins again, as they’ve been working for me so far, but I’m sure I could easily get sick of them! My current plan is to aim for 100 calories per hour.
So, tomorrow, I’m off on my long run, raisins at the ready…. we’ll see how I go.