I admit I don’t fuel myself as much as I should when I train for my long runs. But when I do, I really rely on Gu. What is Gu Energy Gel? According to their website, “GU Energy Gel provides athletes with a dose of 100 calories to deliver high-quality, easily-digested and long-lasting energy for athletes in every sport and at all levels.” After running over 7 miles, I find my body aching and needing energy to fuel my run. I carry 1-2 Gu’s with me in my running belt and tear one open when I’m ready.
Many running experts say you should take this every few miles, but after running several races I find myself getting away with even 1 for a half marathon distance and 2-3 for marathon distance. I’m sure the recommendation from experts is the right route, but this works for me.
My favorite energy gel flavors from Gu are Strawberry Banana and Vanilla. They’re actually really delicious and I even eat them when I go hiking or have no snacks lying around
What is your favorite energy pick me upper for training and races?
When people ask me what I eat before a long run, they’re surprised to learn it’s not toast, oatmeal, or anything like PBJ. I love to eat SWEET POTATOES. I eat them every Saturday before my long runs and then sometimes before a 5-7 mile run on the week days. I was introduced to eating sweet potatoes to fuel my running when I asked my naturopath what is the best gluten-free and/or paleo food I can eat prior to my runs.
For background information – I try to eat gluten and dairy free after my naturopath diagnosed me with gluten and dairy sensitivity last year. I chronicled my experiences on my other blog, tummytimegirl.com. However, due to being surrounded by friends and family who have little to no tummy sensitivity issues like me, and especially being in a relationship with a person who eats just about anything, it’s hard to stick to this diet. I find numerous benefits to being gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo as a runner so I will try to continue to incorporate this to my diet as much as possible.
So, why is sweet potatoes so darn good for running? Sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and are an excellent source vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron. With all these benefits, I genuinely feel a difference when I eat this prior to my runs.
They are also really easy to prepare. I usually do not have the energy to bake or boil them at 5am on Saturdays so I settle with just microwaving them for a few minutes. I will try to also start carboloading on sweet potatoes the week prior or night before a long run and see how that effects my performance.
Here is a great article that explains the health benefits of sweet potatoes.
What is your favorite food to fuel your runs? I would love to hear!