So I do a lot of my runs in the evening time. This can be difficult after a long day at work – because some days I want to just go home and nap. Wednesdays have been especially difficult for me since starting with my running group. I leave work around 3:30-4, so I get home, and I want to eat, well we don’t run until 7.
At first I tried not eating. That was not the way to go. I would be super hangry and miserable when I was running then not eating dinner until like 8:30-9. Then I tried eating before but could feel my food moving around in my belly – and that made me feel icky.
So then I started playing with the amount and the timing – I found if I ate before 5:30 and in the right portion- I was fine when I ran.
But the key there was: ‘THE RIGHT AMOUNT’. I try to do a combination of simple and complex carbs, and protein before I run .
Some things I have found that work well for me:
Let me elaborate, I am a foodie. So I’m not just making a PB & J- well sometimes I do. I like to have a tasty little meal. I do either a tortilla or whole wheat English Muffin or bread. This is one of my favorite “light meals”
This is two Mission Carb Balance tortillas with egg whites, corn, beans, cheese, and a tiny bit of BBQ sauce from Trader Joes (I know it sounds weird, but it was really good). This met all of my requirements of having complex carbs: (tortilla, and beans), simple carbs (corn), and Protein (egg whites and cheese).
When I have them I add slices of avocado, and I have found if I do this and maybe like a KIND bar- I only need one taco.
I also like doing my DIY breakfast sandwich- whole wheat english muffin, cream cheese, canadian bacon, an egg, and some cheese- with a glass of almond milk . When I want to be good I throw avocado in instead of cream cheese.
I also (almost) always make sure that after I have ran, regardless of the distance- I eat a small amount of something after I’m done. It can be something as simple as a string cheese after a 3 miler, or something as rewarding as truffle mac n cheese after a half marathon (this only happened once, but it will happen again).
This is still a trial and error issue for me – I’ve had a few instances where I have eaten wayyyyy too close to my run, and was ready to hurl halfway through my run (yeah that’s zero fun) but I think the second worst thing after that is running when you’re reeeeeally hungry.
If you’re a runner it’s important to play around with this- especially on race day. I’ve gotten hungry a few times during long runs, and even one of my longer races- it’s not good. Doing thing like this during training can help prevent hunger as well as prevent feeling like hurling halfway through a run.
Remember food is your fuel as well as the buidling blocks for repairing muscles and tissues that are inflammed, aching and tired after runs. Give your body what it needs after a major bout of physical activity!