Learn to fuel

Well…I wouldn’t say that my long run this weekend was a failure, but it definitely was not my best. I blame the fact that I had to run on a Saturday rather than a Sunday. Hey, I can blame something can’t I??? I had a very busy weekend (see previous blog post) and I had to plan my run on Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning. Even Friday night I had a feeling that tomorrows run wasn’t going to be my best. I didn’t eat that great (and when I say that great, I think I munched on Brookside’s dark chocolate and acai all day and my dinner was healthy but not a dinner you eat the night before a long run (http://paleomg.com/buffalo-chicken-pasta/). Anyhoo – I let myself sleep in a little bit so I could get as much rest as I could for my run and then made myself breakfast so I could get as much energy as I could. What I found myself struggling and experimenting with is fueling myself while on a paleo diet (stay turned for experimental foods). So that was one big problem – I have been eating paleo, but I haven’t been eating the right paleo foods for fueling. So anyways, before I walked out the door I said to myself, “self – if you make it 6 miles, that’s ok. A run is a run.” So I set out for 6 miles and needless to say I was ready to turn around at mile 3. I am very harsh on myself so I wouldn’t let myself stop and pushed myself to keep going. I ended up running 7.3 miles which is the same mileage  I ran last weekend. I’m glad I got the mileage in with my race 5 weeks away, but I didn’t feel great about it.
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This week I will keep researching foods to eat that are paleo friendly as well as running friendly. I want to be in tip top shape and feel great on race day. Last week I did some research and found a few foods I will try next weekend:

– Sweet potatoes

– Winter Squash

– Beets

– Parsnips

– a blend of sweet potatoes, apple sauce & coconut milk

– bananas

– apples

I need to get a few carbs in my body somehow so lets see what will work. I also have been researching about what to eat during the run to stay fueled – so far I have come across:

– Vfuel

– Lara bars

– Nuun tablets

I will also experiment with each of these in my next couple of runs. See what keeps me going the best, so stay tuned!

Fueling in the 2 weeks before race day and especially on race day is EXTREMELY important. If you don’t eat right for your body, you could crash very quickly. I definitely do not want to see a DNF next to my name because I didn’t fuel properly. Rookie mistake. But I am new to running while on a paleo diet so this one will certainly be challenging.

Here are a couple tips – paleo or not – that will help you fueld on race day:

Tip #1: Make sure to take in adequate fuel the day before your long run. While you are at rest, your body will have adequate time and energy to absorb and store those nutrients you ate, and then you’ll be able to rely on this fuel for the following day. And don’t forget to eat a carb-rich, low-fiber, easy-to-digest, familiar breakfast the morning of the race!
Tip #2: Fuel at regular intervals and before you need to. Wait until you’re out of gas, and you won’t be able to recover from feeling hungry or weak. Your muscles will be forced to play catch-up, and you won’t be able to bounce back and finish the run feeling strong. If you’ve ever had a long run that started strong and then got slower and slower, it may be time to consider what you did during the first few miles of the long runs that you didn’t do during the last few miles. Many runners head out the door with a full tank but, feeling great, they neglect to re-fuel over the next few miles. If you don’t start fueling within that first hour, it’s likely that your empty-tank will catch up with you, and you’ll bonk. Not only will you hit the wall, but once your muscle glycogen stores are depleted, it can be very difficult to adequately recover during your run (and you may have to walk or crawl the last few miles). My advice to avoid this whole mess? Aim for 30-60 grams of carb per hour (and start using your chews, gels, or sports drinks early and often).
#3: Don’t be afraid of fuel. Maybe you’ve tried a product in the past and didn’t care for it or it didn’t sit well with you. If that’s the case, know that there are always new products coming out. Try a variety of products and brands. For ideas on the many different fuel options available, check out this post on energy gels and this post on alternatives to energy gels. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different products and see what works for you. Whatever concentrated form of fuel you are taking in, remember to dilute it with adequate water (or else it won’t be absorbed, and you will get nauseous). Lastly, find out what gel/product your race will be handing out. If you can tolerate or like the brand that the race is handing out, you’ll know that you won’t need to pack your own on race day. But if their chosen brand doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to plan ahead. In addition, you might try to find out at what miles the race will be handing out product and mimic that in your training to practice for race day. (runnersworld.com)
Are you eating paleo? What do you eat before your runs?
Any suggestions for fueling? Paleo or not? I would love to hear from you!
How do you recover from a bad run?
good luck out there and listen to your body!

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