Training Bites

The Philadelphia Marathon is less than 2 months away and my training is in full swing! Over the past few months I have completed a few 20+ mi runs and got to experiment with some different options for mid-run fuel. It has been fun to try new things and figure out what I will use come race day.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Gu – A classic pick-me-up I like to use around mile 16-18 of a long run. If I’m running a shorter distance (maybe 10-15 miles), one Gu is all that I will take with me. Chocolate is my default flavor choice – hello, it’s like eating brownie batter – although I have also tried Chocolate Peanut Butter and Vanilla which were good too!
  • Sports Beans by Jelly Belly – This summer was the first time I have tried these little beans and I love them! They come in a little re-sealable pouch that you can carry with you along your run, or you can just toss a few in your pocket and leave the package at home. I like to have these around mile 6-7 of a long run to give me a little boost – the fruit punch flavor is great!
  • PB&J – Peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog bun has become a marathon training staple, I know it sounds a little odd, but it works for me. During a 25k trail race in Memphis I had a quarter of a PB&J at the turn around spot and I swear it gave me new life. I used a hot dog bun for my first 20 miler because that was the only bread we had in the house on that given day – turns out it’s the perfect size to get nice and squished in my fuel belt. I make it a little heavy on the J and light on the PB so that my body isn’t overwhelmed with the task of digesting fat and protein. I love having half of this snack around mile 10 and then (maybe) finishing it around mile 14 depending on how I feel.
  • Oranges – My dad came through big time this past weekend when he met my mom and I around mile 10 of our long run with orange slices. The simple sugars from oranges provide a great burst of energy mid-run. They can get a little sticky but are easy to carry with you in a small snack bag.

Mid-run Fuel: Tara Tested, Tara Approved! Snacking periodically during long runs and races is very important to provide your body with consistent energy to ensure that you can go the distance. Most of all, it is important to experiment with different kinds of food, brands, and flavors so that you find what works best for you. Keep track of what you like so that you can be prepared for your upcoming training runs and races (after a Gu-less weekend last weekend I was sure to stock up)! What is your favorite mid-run fuel?

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