I am by no means an expert, but I think I have finally figured out how to fuel my body for running. Please take this with a gain of salt, I know everyone is different and different people may have sensitive stomachs, etc. It may have taken a couple of years but I think I have finally got it.
Pre run (morning):
-banana or greek yogurt
-glass of water
-One GU for every 3 miles, preferably one with caffeine
-Nuun or Gatorade and then water, traded off
Runs longer than 13 miles:
“real” solid food added in such as a banana, or half of a peanut butter sandwich
Oh, gingerbread how I miss thee
I used to only take two GU’s when running a half marathon distance, but during the Disneyland half I actually took 3.5, and felt great. I could definitely tell I had a boost of energy several minutes later. My method was when I saw a water stop near a time I wanted to fuel, I would go ahead and take it out and start eating. Then, by time I got tot he water station I was almost finished and could then take a half cup of water and half cup of Gatorade to wash it down.
My point in saying this, is find what works best for you, practice with it and stick to it. Race day is not the time to experiment with something new you bought at the expo. be sure to practice with race day fuel on your long runs, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. keep in mind there are different brands of chews, blocks, and GU’s out there, so just because one doesn’t work doesn’t mean you should count them all out. Some people prefer to eat good old gummi bears or hard candy and that’s fine, too.
Also, timing is important as well. I have learned the hard way that i need 45 minutes to an hour to digest my breakfast before I can run or I get major side cramps, every. single. time. Also timing on runs, knowing what miles to take your fuel (what works best you YOU) is equally as important.
Also find out form the race director what kind of sports drink and fuel will be on the course, and try some at home to make sure it does ok with you stomach.
Go ahead and experiment, so that you will be prepared on race day to have a great run and not have to worry or fuss with wen or how you are going to fuel!
QOTD: What is your favorite pre or mid run fuel?