Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fueling & Refueling

My friends at PROBAR asked me to send over some of my "PRO" fueling and refueling tips so they could share them with their followers, and I figured I'd turn my thoughts into a blog post because I assumed you might be interested in them too.

{FYI: I am not paid by PROBAR [although they do keep our cupboard stocked with their deliciousness] and hopefully you know I always gotta #KeepItReal. Also, I am NOT a professional of any sort - this is just what has worked for ME. As with everything in running, you've gotta figure out what works for you, I'm just sharing some of the things that work for me!}

Pre-Run Fuel

I am a morning runner. I love getting out and getting my run or workout done before most folks wake up. (It probably doesn't hurt that my Fibromyalgia doesn't allow me to sleep much so getting out of bed by 4am is just a normal part of life for me.) With that said, I had to find a way to fuel before said runs that didn't need a ton of time to digest, that would sit easily in my tummy, but would still give me the energy I needed to get my workout done.


I love BASE bars in the morning. I tend to roll out of bed, grab a BASE bar and my phone before plopping down on the couch to eat and check social media. Normally I try to eat one at least an hour before heading out to exercise. These bars are packed 20 grams of plant protein and plenty of real, recognizable ingredients. They are my go-to pre-race fuel, my every-day breakfast, a life-saver when the hangry rolls in, you name it! We always have a couple boxes on hand in the cupboard (just remember, if you are going to keep them in your bag or car, they do have a chocolate coating and will melt if left in a warm place for too long). Lately I have been LOVING the Frosted Peanut Butter and Frosted Coconut flavors.

Run Fuel

I feel like I am weird in this regard (don't worry, I totally claim the fact that I fly my freak flag high), but I have a major texture thing. Even if something tastes delicious, if it has a weird texture (too slimy, too soggy, too anything) I can't handle it. Well, let's just say running gels remind me of snot and I can NOT handle them. Once I started getting into longer distance running I had to find a fuel that worked for me. Thankfully that is where BOLT chews entered the scene!


With electrolytes, B vitamins and complex carbs for sustained energy, they provide fast fuel-ups that last through the home stretch. I have a sensitive stomach and these sit very well during runs for me (I'd assume it's thanks to the REAL FOOD that PROBAR uses to make their products). I normally bite them in half and eat them on the run without any issue.

I make sure my fuel is in my #FlatCarlee photos so I don't forget it on race morning!

For me, I normally take 4-5 chews (one serving, which is half a package) every 5-7 miles. I know that is a broad range, but let me explain. If I am running on my own, I normally have a faster pace than say if I am running with the hubby. When I am running faster I tend to take fuel every 45 minutes or so. If I am running with the hubby (which I have been doing a lot lately because he has been training for longer distance races and my thought is if he is willing to run, I am willing to run his pace with him), we normally have a slower pace. When I am running slower I tend to take fuel every 60 minutes or so.

I have found that if I'm running less than a half marathon I usually don't fuel (that is, unless I am racing the half distance... if I'm running for time and going all out, then I'll take chews with me). It seems to be once the distance hits 12ish miles is when I start bringing fuel. Since a marathon is currently the longest I've run, I thought laying out my fueling for a full might be helpful. When running with the hubby, we normally take one serving around Mile 6, one serving around Mile 12, one serving around Mile 17 and one serving around Mile 22. The hubby loves the caffeinated chews (specifically the Berry Blast flavor), while my favorites are Pink Lemonade or Strawberry. (FYI: I normally bring hydration with me on runs over 4 miles, especially since we live in SoCal where it gets toasty and dehydration can play a HUGE role in your workouts.)

Post Run Fuel

I'll be honest, I'm normally not hungry after a run. I'm not sure if it's because my abs have been engaged during the workout so my stomach needs a break or what. (Although the hubby never seems to have this issue and can smash on just about anything after he's done.) I have found grabbing a banana and some Nut Butter is the perfect way for me to get some calories and protein back into my system. This has been my go-to after runs and hikes and even as quick, easy lunch when I'm out and about. My favorite flavor is Superfood Almond (it sort of tastes like peanut butter and jelly already combined) and I tend to just squeeze the nut butter on the banana before I take a bite. SO SCRUM-DIDILY-UMPTIOUS!

Again, I have no idea if any of this is the "proper" way to fuel, but it works for ME (and maybe, just maybe, some of these ideas might work for you). I know there are "rules" for fueling (something to do with the ratio of carbs to fats and proteins), but I'm more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of gal (or maybe one that just has to learn from her own mistakes ;)).


How do you fuel before, during and after your runs/ workouts?


Bree at Clarity Defined said...

I tend to prefer fruity gels/gus with caffeine as I never could quite figure out how to handle/carry gummy type fuel and I had a hard time digesting sports beans.

With triathlon, I really liked salt sticks on the ride and I'm currently playing bringing those back in during my marathon training (and still figuring out my nutritional needs at distances past half marathon distance). I carry water and can refill at water fountains, but I feel like I'm still needing more electrolytes? I'm not sure the gels are enough?

I've been listening to Chris McCormack's I'm Here To Win and in the bit I listened to yesterday he was talking about fueling. He likes Coke! Haha, true that everyone's needs are different. :)

Hetty said...

I'm sorry that you can't sleep well. Praying for you. Keep on running.