I've received a few inquiries on how I fuel during the week before my runs and before my weekly long run. I've become a creature of habit since I've figured out what works for me, so most days look the same. Just like in training, consistency and good habits are key in nutrition to ensure you are properly fueled and to help avoid GI issues. My biggest thing with training is practicing what I'm going to do on race day, so these are habits I keep even if I'm travelling for a race.
Below you'll see how I fuel during a typical weekday (I run after work usually), and a slight difference in my nutrition the day before my long run.
Coffee: I always have a bulletproof coffee. This is super easy to make. I brew a little less than 20 oz of coffee in my Healthy Human Life Tumbler (keeps it hot for hours). Then I pour it into my Nutribullet or Vitamix container, add 1 tsp of ghee butter, 1 scoop of Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin, and cinnamon, and blend for about 20 seconds. It turns into a foamy latte! This combo gives me some protein + the fat in the ghee butter allows the caffeine to release slowly in your body throughout the day instead of all at once causing you to crash later. Trust me - try it!
Lunch: All da veggies. I get most of my carbs from veggies and whole foods (let's be real, I hardly evah eat processed stuff). My typical bowl of goods contains the following:
- Roasted chicken, deli turkey, or hard boiled egg
- Roasted veggies (brussel sprouts, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
- Brown rice, quinoa, or roasted sweet potatoes
- Spicy Black Beans or 2 tbsp of Hope Foods Hummus
Sounds heavenly right? Most of my bowls look pretty gross when I put them back together for lunch after meal prepping on Sunday, but its an easy way to not just prep, but to create any combination I feel like with what I have on hand.
Here's my favorite bowl combo (pictured below): 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup spicy black beans, roasted butternut squash, roasted red bell pepper, roasted chicken, 1/4 -1/2 avocado mashed. It's like a burrito bowl where everything is good for you. DO IT!
Afternoon Snack (pre run): If I need one, this is usually yogurt, an apple with string cheese, half of a granola bar, or a protein ball (recipe coming soon!). This is my pre run snack, so I don't want it to be too heavy. I try to keep this under 250 calories and 1.5 to 2 hours before my run. If I'm feeling a little sluggish, I'll drink a Rootz Nutrition Energizing Superfood 30 minutes before (use code SUGARRUNS10 for 10% off your order!). The Rootz brand has really clean ingredients, so they're one of my preferred supplements.
Dinner (post run): I try not to get crazy here, but this is usually a filling meal that has lots of protein, some carbs and tons of good fat. I love the Fartlek Chili from Run Fast Eat Slow and topping it with mashed avocado. I also really like spaghetti squash boats (so many good carbs in this one), zucchini noodles mixed with Banza chickpea noodles + turkey meatballs, turmeric chicken stir fry, or even just some simple chicken with brown rice + broccoli. Don't be scared of veggies - there's tons of articles that say avoid veggies and greens leading up to a race, but they are full of carbs. EAT THEM! As long as a particular veggie doesn't cause GI issues for you, there's not a reason to avoid them.
Evening Snack: If I'm a bit hungry (which is usually the case), I will eat an evening snack of a few dark chocolate squares with some peanut butter, or I love these Good Culture cottage cheese cups. I add berries + peanut butter and it has 17g of protein to help me fall asleep fast.
Typical Day Before Long Runs:
The only thing I switch up from the above is my evening snack. I eat homemade banana ice cream for my evening snack before every long run. Here's my recipe:
- In a food processor, combine 2 chopped and frozen bananas, 1/4 cup Califia Almond Milk (any flavor), 1 tbsp Justin's Honey Peanut Butter. Pulse and blend until combined. Add almond milk as needed to get a creamy consistency.
Why? Bananas are full of simple carbs to fuel you for your long run and it feels like a treat. I usually top it with some berries and dark chocolate squares.
Morning of a Long Run
I get up at least an hour before my run and immediately drink water. Then I eat a Honey Stinger Waffle and half of an apple. About 30 minutes later, I head out for my run. The apple provides simple, easily digested carbs that hit my system right away and the waffle is the only product that doesn't upset my tummy.
I'll continue to share some recipes that I use in my diet. If you are concerned about your nutrition, please be sure to speak to a professional before proceeding with any dietary plan. If you are reading this the week of your race, do NOT change your nutrition now. Stick with what your body knows and maybe try some of these tips for your next training cycle :)
What do you eat before a long run?
Are there any foods you avoid before a run?