Categorized | Nutrition, Running

Follow us on Twitter @runitfast

Follow us on Instagram @runitfast

The Unspoken Rules of Being a Badass: A Runner's Guide

What is Your Fueling Strategy?

Fueling before and during races seems to be a topic that runners like to discuss at length. It’s such an interesting topic with a variety of responses. What may work well for one person, may not work at all for another. And, as Sally Brooking puts it, “How you decide to fuel is also related to your particular training/running/racing goals”.

Figuring out fueling before and during shorter distances can be a little more simple for the most part, however it can have it’s own challenges depending on the runner.  What becomes more complicated is attempting to understand what your own body can handle while running for hours on end.

Ultra marathons require a little more strategy and planning. Sometimes we have to find out the hard way what works and what doesn’t work. The suggestion of always trying something new in a training run or a race that you don’t care about seems to work well. However, unfortunately this is not always an indicator of that particular fueling method will work in the actual event.

I’ve been running races since 1995, marathons since 2004, and ultra marathons since 2007. I’m still trying to figure out what works for me and am regularly experimenting with different products, foods, and fluids. I asked some veteran and top performance ultra runners what they fuel up with the night before and during the race.  I’ve learned a lot from friends and others over the past several years when it comes to fueling.

Joe Fejes

The day or night before I try to eat at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant which has a wide variety of my favorite salads, soups and pastas. I stay away from ice cream and anything that is odd or heavy. My favorite prerace breakfast is hardees ultimate omelete biscuit or a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from Waffle House. During a 50 or 100 miler I get most of my calories from liquids such Boost, V8 and Gatorade, although I also will eat fruit and cold salty potatoes if available.-Joe Fejes

Jacqueline Melchoir

The night before my race I try to eat pasta, salmon with a pinch of spinach. Race morning I try to eat a half a bagle, with peanut butter and honey and I love drinking a can of Verve for a extra boost. During my run I drink NUUN and gatorade and depending on the distance will have 2 gels. Jacqueline Melchior

Bill Keane

*Pre-Race – I normally fuel up on red meat protein and high carbohydrate foods. The family likes to go out on Friday’s to one of our many Chihuahua restaurants and that means lots of TexMex starches and cerveza grandes.

*During a Race – I will eat steadily cycling thru GU Gels, oatmeal cookies, crackers (Nabs), raisins, beef jerky, and augment that with whatever aid treats the race provides. As for race fluids, I have run on Conquest for 20 years. I am down to my last can for Hinson Lake. After the Conquest is gone, I may have to get a new hobby. I will also go through a lot of S-Caps and Excedrin.

*Post Race – I always do some serious rehydration which always means more beer. This regimen had gotten me thru 258 ultras todate. Bill Keane

Sarah Woerner

The day before i try to make sure i really focus on hydrating well and try to stay away from caffeine after my morning cup of coffee. For my dinner, i almost always eat a steak and salad with some bread. i usually have a granola bar a little before bed. On race morning, i have to have a cup of coffee and usually eat a couple granola bars and some fruit. I can also do pb toast or some cereal but not much milk.

During the race, i drink G2 or diluted gatorade/powerade if possible. Heed can really mess up my stomach. I don’t eat much at all in a 50k, maybe a gel or two and some orange slices at the aid station. For longer races, i eat more solid food like pb&j, chips, etc and try to space my gels out because i can only tolerate a few of them. At Pinhoti 100, i ate mostly solid food including an egg and cheese sandwich! -Sarah Woerner

Jon Obst

The day before a race, I like to have a steak or chicken along with veggies, pasta and red wine-something substantial and healthy. Race morning PB&J is my staple with strong coffee. During a race, I use a lot of gu’s throughout and solid fuels, like burgers ,pizza, potatoes, meat, soup, especially in a 100, 24hr.-Jon Obst

Janice Anderson

The days before the race I try to eat easily digestible foods, plenty of calories, and usually a beer or two. During the race always depended on how close i was running to my max. Shorter races-just fluids (like CLIF now-Conquest used to be the only thing) and gels. For longer things (100s) usually gels for awhile, but by mid-day- cheese sandwiches, potatoes, salty stuff, fruit, chicken broth, and anything that looks good at the aid stations works. Oatmeal is my go-to now before the race. it is very easy on the stomach but lots of good carbs/calories-Janice Anderson

Jennifer Vogel

I stay way from gluten and dairy at all costs the night before. I usually make a noodle bowl with rice noodles, a pretty salty broth, eggs and some veggies. For racing I use all Hammer products. Hammer gels in races 2-8 hrs. Perpetuam mixed in after the 8 hr mark. Fruit or anything fructose will shut my stomach down. One beer or alcoholic drink during peak training or racing season, especially in the heat, makes me violently hungover.-Jennifer Vogel

Sally Brooking

The night before a race I usually eat pasta or pizza and try to limit myself to two beers. I try to stay away from greens ie salads. Race day I eat oatmeal and a banana in the a.m. Shorter races I may eat Gu and anything that looks good on the aid station. Longer runs, I like cheese, beef jerky and Gobstoppers. I am not particular as to what I eat or drink unless it’s HEED or Hammer Gel products….I stay away from those at all costs. A beer during the race is not out of the question-Sally Brooking

How do you fuel up the night before and during a big event? The more we share with eachother, the more it will help by giving us ideas of new things to try so that we can perform at our best.

Comments

comments

Run It Fast - The Club (JOIN TODAY)

This post was written by:

- who has written 7 posts on Run It Fast®.

Beth has run over 70 marathons and ultras including three 100 milers. She blogs about cooking and recipes for runners at Beth Eats 2 Run

Contact the author

One Response to “What is Your Fueling Strategy?”

  1. Bill Keane says:

    Well Done, Beth, Well Done

    This is a subject that is really deterministic. One size does not fit all.
    You used a good format to present the information that lets the reader compare “Best Practices” from experienced ultrarunners. I was able to see common threads throughout the article of likes and dislikes. We all run different races together.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply


Run It Fast on Twitter

twitter button free