Long runs can be a wonderful way to build your endurance, strength, and to add miles onto your weekly training program. But why do you feel sick or so worn down right after your long run? Try what I do and eat during long runs to help replenish calories and increase energy.
I totally recommend long runs for so many of the benefits. Long runs are also a super stress reliever and a good way to learn more about yourself and what you’re capable of. If you’re going to be out running for more than an hour, however, you will need to start consuming calories and learn how to eat during long runs.
Of course, everyone on their fitness journey should start with the right nutrition plan and consult your doctor before you try any activity like this.
Know Your Calorie Facts
Most experts agree that after running for an hour you will not be able to replace calories faster than you burn them. You’ll burn around 500 calories an hour and you’ll have to eat during long runs a lot to replace those calories. And if you’ve ever run on a full stomach you know that it’s not a good idea.
However, you do need to consume additional calories to be able to continue working out. A good estimate is around 200 calories an hour. That means eating, or drinking, 200 calories every sixty minutes. Most, if not all, of those calories, will ideally be carbohydrates. Your body burns them quickly and they’re easy to digest while you eat during long runs.
Sports bars and gels are an easy resource to eat during long runs; however, they can get boring and expensive. Why not try some real food sources instead? Just make sure you have your Runners Hydration Belt packed and ready so you can eat during long runs.
Here are a few fun foods to eat during long runs. I have linked most of them so you can just click and order.
#1 Dried Fruit
Dried fruit like raisins and apricots taste lovely. They’re easy to chew and digest and they’re certainly light enough to carry in a bag or in a pocket to eat during long runs.
One cup of packed raisins has almost 500 calories. Try banana chips, dried apple and papaya and dried pineapple too.
This is one of my go tos when I am training for a marathon. Easy all around.
#2 Jelly Beans, Gummies and Pop-Tarts
Now there are sports related jelly beans and gummies. They contain calories and electrolytes too. They’re called, “Sports Beans” and they’re made by Jelly Belly. They’re fun to eat and to provide the calories you may need. However, there’s also good old-fashioned jelly beans too you can eat during long runs.
Many runners run with fruit to eat during long runs. Bananas are a favorite, however, grapes and apples work too.
Just be sure you have a place to store the peels and cores. And don’t over pack your Runners Hydration Belt
I’m not a big fan of carrying the fruit because of the size and the way you have to package them to eat during long runs. You should bring something easy to get to.
#4 Peanut Butter and Honey Tortillas
If you enjoy peanut butter, make your own wraps. The tortilla makes them easy to hold while you run and a whole wheat tortilla has added fiber.
They can get a bit messy but they’re a tasty way to get your calories while you run.
I make these for my kids when we go on hikes or on our travels.
#5 Pretzels and Cookies
Finally, some people find that pretzels or cookies work well for them. Consider pretzels dipped in chocolate for a salty-sweet crunch. This chocolate dipped, peanut butter filled pretzels are a combination of sweet-salty-goodness.
Make sure, if you’re consuming something dry like plain pretzels or cookies that you have plenty of water to drink.
The Finish Line
It’s important that you experiment to find the right food choices for you to eat during long runs. You will also find the right timing. I am a firm believer that anything distance after 10 miles you need to start to replenish. While some people may feel they need to eat every thirty minutes you may feel better if you only eat before and after your run.
Some people love to eat nuts and fruit while they run and others struggle to digest and perform better with liquid calories like Gatorade. Experiment to find the best solution for your needs.