A key ingredient to good long distance running is a good diet before, during and after your runs. I’m a big fan of pre-race meals and a bigger fan of post-race meals. My least favorite is the mid-race fuel; however, it’s a necessity when you are going the distance.
Years ago when I trained for a marathon, I experimented with a wide variety of mid-race nutrition to see what worked best for me. I tried the Clif Bar Shot Blocks and wasn’t a fan. I tried the Jelly Belly Extreme Sports Beans and wasn’t too keen on those either. Chewing and running was simply not for me. I ended up eating tons of Powerbar Gu, not because I liked it but because it was the quickest and easiest way to refuel while running. I tried a variety of flavors and ended up finding the berry-flavored the least repulsive.
This past January when I ran the 13.1 distance of the Louisiana Marathon, I packed a Gu for a mid-race snack. Halfway though the race I downed it and nearly lost my lunch. It had been three years since I’d eaten a Gu and I’d forgotten how terrible they were. Luckily, I was at a water station and could was down the foul-tasting Gu before my gag reflexes got the best of me.
Now that I’m training for a half-ironman, I’m on the hunt for a solid nutrition plan for the race. Since this race involves some serious mileage, I’m thinking possibly less Gu, more energy bars. I do LOVE me some peanut butter Power Bars but I’m not sure about all that chewing. I’m also thinking about trying some Honey Stinger Waffles. I’ve heard great things about those both in their taste and nutritional benefits.
S,o if any of you guys have suggestions for good mid-race nutrition options, send them my way. I’ll be experimenting with my nutrition plan over the next few months.
By Jen Macha