Fueling long runs - success


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15-30 mins before seems to work for me. I only have small snacks (nuts, an egg or fat and protein) as my run time is usually 60-90 minutes.

I well remember the fatigue feeling in my muscles - even my arms when running - that felt like my body couldnt produce sugar/glycogen fast enough. I was fine as soon as I stopped running though. I only experienced this feeling during day8-12. The only time I feel a bit shaky now is if I have had coffee earlier in the day then exercise in the afternoon - seems to stuff up my blood sugar a bit???? but I just ignore the feeling.

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Thank you Juzbo, that helps so much. I am also feeling energetic (if not cranky) and it is Day 11 for me. Yesterday, I went for about 3 miles and ended up walking most of it due to low energy. I usually get energy after I start running in the afternoon, but yesterday, my WO just dragged. Hoping it gets better by Sunday and that the expo at packet pick-up with motivate and energize me today!

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I have also found that I can run 10-12 miles on nothing but water. The other day I did a 2.5hr trail run on a pre-run meal of 2T of coconut butter, a sweet potato, and 2 poached eggs! But I was starving at that point and that wasn't a good idea. I ate half a Lara Bar and was good to go again. Adapting not eating like this didn't happen overnight, it took a few weeks. And it took a few hits and misses to find the best pre meal. And while you might not need food for a run under 10 miles, it's sometimes a good idea to test your foods on a run of this distance. Thus the point of this post :)

I've found that if I do eat something that upsets my tummy while running, I'll know it's wrong about 30 mins later into the run. My tummy starts to feel heavy, or I start burping up the food a little. So what I'll do on a training run in the 9-10 mile range is a food test. I run the first 5-6 miles on nothing but the pre meal, then eat about 100 calories of the food being tested, then run another 3-5 miles. That way if the food upsets my tummy, I'm close to the end of the run and no big loss. I can walk if I need to or just suffer it. If the food passes the test, then I move on to the 15-20 mile range, etc.

You (meaning anyone here) might be surprised to find what you can tolerate pre-workout. You'll have to experiment to find the right balance of food, amount, and timing. But the Whole30 guidelines are a great place to start experimenting.

I recently tested Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips on a run with success. They are plantains, sunflower oil, and salt. I ate half a serving with no issues, and I'm trying them again in a training half marathon this weekend. I double checked, the oil is Whole30 compliant. They aren't oily on the fingers, store nicely in a sandwich bag in my fuel belt, and are easy to munch on the run. The only downside is they can stick to your teeth, and might need a mouthful of water to wash out of your mouth.

Your mileage, minutes, macronutrients may vary :)

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Thanks to everyone who posted on the adaptation time of 3-4 weeks. Yesterday was day5 for me and I had a terrible workout. I am a distance runner so I sort of know the "phases" my body goes through where i hit a wall, and then find more energy, etc. Well after 1 mi I hit a wall and never really got any more energy. Also my muscles were cramping afterward and today they are sore! (I never get sore muscles, especially after such a short run). I was also exhausted afterward, couldn't get enough to eat (could tell my body wanted carbs) and ended up just going to bed and slept for 11 hours.

I'm happy to hear this is probably normal. Maybe I'll try slower jogging or walking for a few days. I am feeling more energetic and like working out, but clearly my body's not ready for much yet.

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I went for a 10 mile run today and had one egg plus 1/2 cup of egg white and some peppers about 30 minutes before. Only drank water and felt fine. I am in day 8 of the my whole30. I has been doing low carb before Christmas and was having great success with my energy. It took me the first week of the whole30 to feel better and finally get all the "crap" out my body. I've been running for 27 years and will turning 50 this year. I am hoping to PR and win my age group in many races. These foods have been the best investment in my body and training. It's been nice to get of the Gu's and Gatorade.

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Day 13 for me and I ran a half marathon this morning without eating anything during the race. I had a HB egg, half avocado and a little pumpkin upon waking at 4.15 am. Had a Lara Bar (ginger) at 5.45 am and started the race (a VERY chilly one at that) at 6.45 am. Not my fastest race, but I did have steady energy throughout the race! Really wanted something about mile 12 and treated myself to not one but TWO banannas at the finish line. Then broke out the celebratory beef jerky (Steve's Paleo) for a warm drive home.

Surprised about how well my energy did considering the wind was 14 mph, and set the wind chill at 32 degrees F/ 0 C. So I know I ws burning extra calories trying to stay warm on my polar bear like run (can you tell I don't like the cold).

Thanks for all the suggestions and help, it was a great first 13.1 miles of the new year!

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I'm on day 7 of the WHOLE30 and also training for a May 5th marathon. I tanked on this weekend's 10 mile run having no energy. I'm also always hungry in spite of eating tons and tons during my meals. I'm 5'1 and now 103 pounds (down 7 pounds since on WHOLE30), 52 years old. I'm very active - having run 10 marathons and about 20 half marathons in the past 10 years as well as a Tough Mudder, and 2 stints at Shaun T. INSANITY program. I just ordered the larabar to help me for this weekend's run....but how do I keep from feeling so starving - I mean the kind where your belly hurts - not craving kind. I've not had issues with cravings.

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I'm on day 7 of the WHOLE30 and also training for a May 5th marathon. I tanked on this weekend's 10 mile run having no energy. I'm also always hungry in spite of eating tons and tons during my meals. I'm 5'1 and now 103 pounds (down 7 pounds since on WHOLE30), 52 years old. I'm very active - having run 10 marathons and about 20 half marathons in the past 10 years as well as a Tough Mudder, and 2 stints at Shaun T. INSANITY program. I just ordered the larabar to help me for this weekend's run....but how do I keep from feeling so starving - I mean the kind where your belly hurts - not craving kind. I've not had issues with cravings.

Whatcha eating? Can you lay out a day for us?

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Sure...This was yesterday's which is similar to most days.

3 eggs with peppers and onions and a side of bacon. Black coffee. An orange. - breakfast

Full can of tuna with paleo home made mayo, cut up apple, cut up cabbage, carrots. Half cup cantelope. Unsweetened almond milk. - lunch

Pork chop, gigantic yam, half a plate of broccoli. Rooibos tea. - dinner.

Handful of almonds between meals.

I'm 5'1 and 103 pounds.

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Hah! I just totally did a triple-take. I thought all you'd had for lunch was almond milk.

Was yesterday a training day? If it was, it is probably low on food/carbs. We like to see a carb and protein-rich "mini meal" post workout, especially for the endurance folks.

For a regular day, though, it actually looks pretty good. I noticed that you're only on Day 7...so that may have something to do with it. Especially if you used to follow standard endurance recommendations for fueling rungs, it may take 10-14 days before the performance turns around. Give it another week and let us know if it doesn't get better?

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Thanks! Yesterday wasn't a training day - it's my day off. Saturday was and I even had two dinners Friday night because I was still so hungry about an hour after the first (chicken breast, broccoli, yam).

I was such a bad eater prior, in that I barely ate (bread w/PB for bfast, plain greek yogurt for lunch, burger and salad for dins) - only because I'm so lazy and not really into food. So, maybe my body is in shock from all the good stuff I'm giving it!

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It depends on how hungry you are after training and when your next "real" meal is scheduled, so adjust as necessary...but I always brought .5 mashed sweet potato and about a palm of roast chicken to the gym with me for right after. I'd get home about an hour and a half later for dinner. Note that i was NEVER an endurance athlete, so your caloric needs are going to be higher than mine (relative to size anyway). It makes perfect sense that you needed 2 dinners on a training day (it's why we recommend a mini-meal post workout) 2 dinners, extra post workout mini-meal. Same need, different name.

How's your fat intake? 1-2 thumbs/meal added to cooking? The chicken/broccoli/yam thing could either be REALLY low on fat, or right where it needs to be, depending on how that stuff was cooked?

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germsie, when I was on Day 7 of my first W30 I was TANKING runs as short as 3 miles. It was really bad. A daily dose of sweet potato made me feel better in general but my runs didn't stop sucking til a few weeks in. I think in addition to Renee's food recommendations that you just need some more time to get there.

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Renee, Linda, Trays -- thanks so much. I was actually dreading my runs because of the tanking situation. I felt better yesterday - added more of the homemade mayo to my lunch and lots of olive oil on my dinner salad. I have to say the past three days were awful with the hunger feeling. And, I realized today that the bursitis pain I always felt in my hips during my sleep after long runs has subsided!!! That in itself makes this journey so worth it. :)

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I just want to throw out another quick testimonial for being a "low carb endurance athlete". I've been eating GF/DF for 5 years, and in early 2012, I switched to a "metabolic efficiency" diet. Which although not strictly paleo from an ingredient perspective does recommend less than 50% of your calories from carbohydrates. Since I was already GF/DF, I basically switched to paleo with an occasional corn chip or tortilla and occasional GF bread. During this phase of my diet, I ran a 50 mile ultramarathon setting a new PR; completed a double century bike ride, finishing with a new PR of >22mph average speed; raced in a "Quadzilla" (4 marathons in 4 days), coming in 2nd place overall, finishing with a new marathon distance PR; and to wrap up my year I completed an Ironman, setting new swim and bike split PRs.

I am convinced that the biggest change I made in my training/preparation for all these endurance races was changing my nutrition to be metabolically efficient. My body no longer craves carbohydrates for aerobic efforts. And nutrition, not training, made the difference.

On January 1st, I started Whole 30. I'm only 2 weeks in, but I feel fantastic. I think since I was already eating pretty close to this, I haven't had a lot of the tougher detox symptoms that most experience.

I haven't done a "long run" yet, but I have done a handful of 8 to 10 mile runs, and I've found my energy is back. I don't fuel during any runs shorter than 15 miles. For runs over 15 miles, I average about 100 calories of fuel per hour, usually in the form of nuts and fruit. On races I use a great product called "Generation UCAN", which is specifically designed to have a reduced insulin response.

So... the point is, you can absolutely adapt, and can get to a point where for Half marathon and shorter distances you can even race with no "additional fuel".

Good Luck to all!

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Wanted to share, day 18 & 19 (week 3) finally feeling strong during my trail runs! I do notice at mile 4, I need a little boost (not sure if its because its mental, my normal GU fuel or my body really needs something) ate a few raisins & almonds, & I was good to go!! Farthest is 7 mile trail run, looking forward to see when my body does or doesn't need extra fuel when my miles increase. I am training for my first ultra marathon, 50k!

Good luck to everyone!

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I have also found that I can run 10-12 miles on nothing but water. The other day I did a 2.5hr trail run on a pre-run meal of 2T of coconut butter, a sweet potato, and 2 poached eggs! But I was starving at that point and that wasn't a good idea. I ate half a Lara Bar and was good to go again. Adapting not eating like this didn't happen overnight, it took a few weeks. And it took a few hits and misses to find the best pre meal. And while you might not need food for a run under 10 miles, it's sometimes a good idea to test your foods on a run of this distance. Thus the point of this post :)

I've found that if I do eat something that upsets my tummy while running, I'll know it's wrong about 30 mins later into the run. My tummy starts to feel heavy, or I start burping up the food a little. So what I'll do on a training run in the 9-10 mile range is a food test. I run the first 5-6 miles on nothing but the pre meal, then eat about 100 calories of the food being tested, then run another 3-5 miles. That way if the food upsets my tummy, I'm close to the end of the run and no big loss. I can walk if I need to or just suffer it. If the food passes the test, then I move on to the 15-20 mile range, etc.

You (meaning anyone here) might be surprised to find what you can tolerate pre-workout. You'll have to experiment to find the right balance of food, amount, and timing. But the Whole30 guidelines are a great place to start experimenting.

I recently tested Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips on a run with success. They are plantains, sunflower oil, and salt. I ate half a serving with no issues, and I'm trying them again in a training half marathon this weekend. I double checked, the oil is Whole30 compliant. They aren't oily on the fingers, store nicely in a sandwich bag in my fuel belt, and are easy to munch on the run. The only downside is they can stick to your teeth, and might need a mouthful of water to wash out of your mouth.

Your mileage, minutes, macronutrients may vary :)

Thanks for your share! I'm currently testing pre-run snacks, curious what you're currently eating or tried, to test out. The plantain chips, did you eat this mid-run?

Thanks!!

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Yes, I eat the chips mid-run. They've worked great for me so far. I love the salt.

I look for in-run foods I can easily carry, not goo up my hands eating, won't stick to my teeth too much, are good for expected weather (as in something that won't melt or freeze, depending in the day), and is desirable to eat. Sometimes food that sounds great at mile zero sounds awful at mile 20+ so a variety is good for really long days. I don't worry so much about macronutrient ratios in run or race. For me it's more important to have fuel I want to eat that won't upset my stomach and keeps me feeling good.

I've had success with the plantain chips, dates, raw cashews, Lara bars (purchased and homemade), coconut butter stuffed dates (cool weather), dried mangoes (warm weather), raisins, pre-cooked sweet potato (not steamed to mush, but still with a 'bite'), all I can think of now. I carry these iin little sandwich snack bags.

Doesn't work for me: meat jerkeys, nut butters, anything with sunflower seeds, anything savory or spicy. I will stress again the need to see what and how much works for you. It takes time and willingness to fail a few times.

I did a cold long run recently and had a sweet potato mashed with a few tablespoons of coconut butter waiting for me afterwards. It froze up a little and formed an almost solid mash with all the fat. Wow was that GOOD, like a sweet potato-coconut bar! ! So I'm trying to think of a way to make it portable in upcoming cold long runs.

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One whole food fuel I've used on long runs and long rides is to "stuff" a date with nut butter and protein powder. I make a dough with a nut butter (e.g. macadamia, hazelnut, almond) and mix it with a protein power (e.g. pumpkin or hemp) then I wrap this inside a pitted date. These can be made to a ratio of 50% CHO to 50% PRO/FAT which is "metabolically efficient" at about 100 cals each. I store them wrapped in wax paper or a wax paper bag. They are tasty and full of balanced fuel.

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Ran 20 miles today on water only. About an hour before my run I ate a couple tbsps each of Cashews, Macadamia Nuts, Raisins, and a smallish 6" banana.

I'd say my run was "good" but not great. My goal was 7:50-8:00min/mile. I ran the first 11 miles in 7:49/mile pace, but then I started fading. I don't think I was low on energy, but it started raining, the wind picked up, and it was cold. So mentally I felt sluggish for the next 6 miles.

If that had been how it ended, I would have chalked it up to a below average early season run. But at mile 18, I ran 7:31, mile 19 at 7:49, and mile 20 fastest of all at 7:25! I ended up averaging 7:59/mile for the entire run, which is right around my marathon race pace, but not a marathon PR pace. Again, this was WATER ONLY for 2:40 at a solid zone 2 workout pace for me.

This is day 27 of my Whole 30, so if you're wondering if "it's possible" to run long runs on a whole 30 program... this is one example of it being possible.

Although this is my first whole 30, I have been eating a very similar diet for the last 10 months. My pre-Whole30 diet was near-paleo gluten free/dairy free (with an occasional ~1/month cheat), but more importantly it's been about 50% FAT, 30% Protein, and 20% Carbohydrates. I eat mostly green leafy vegetables: ~6 cups per day. I rarely eat fruits: most days NO fruit, some days like today 1-2 servings. I probably average 5 servings of fruit per week. I also rarely eat higher CHO vegetables, like Sweet Potatoes. In fact, I've only had my first serving of sweet potatoes on W30 last night for dinner and this morning as part of my breakfast. The point is my average daily CHO intake is ~90g. Granted, being only 135lbs with a BMR of about 1,200 kCals, I don't need a lot of calories anyway.

Although I've never confirmed this, I don't believe I am in nutritional ketosis, but I do believe I have reached a state of "fat adaptation" that allows me to achieve these types of performance results.

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Any particular Larabar? (flavor) I've got baby food but haven't tried it yet. Earth's Best is the organic brand here. I used to do peanut butter/honey, I wonder if almond butter? or almondbutter/honey? would work? Also I don't like gateraide, or the like, what about emergen-c?

And I did 10/miles yesterday and I didn't have anything. I think I probably should have had something a couple hours in. (I am pretty slow, at a 14-15 pace, so it takes me a while)

The eight I did last week was fine with nothing, but the 10, I felt a little light headed the last two. I'm at a mostly fast walk/run stage.

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