Stay Fueled & Energized During Your Race!

Written by Sarah Koszyk

Race day is coming next month! We are excited to run the Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon on November 24th and fly through the streets. You have already been running and training for the event. As you start to increase your mileage and distance, you’ll need to stay fueled and energized. Here are some tips on how to fuel during your long, extended runs that last for 90 minutes or more.

(*For shorter runs that last less than 90 minutes, you do not need to fuel like this).

Longer runs require more energy expenditure. Your body gets its primary energy source from carbohydrates. Carbs are an athlete’s best friend! When you eat carbs, they get broken down by the body and absorbed as energy. Glycogen is the form of energy that gets stored in your body for later energy use. Your body only has so many storage units of glycogen. As you continue to run, your body will use up the storage units you have. You’ll need to re-fuel and ingest some more carbs during your run to maintain your energy/glycogen levels.

Here is quick way to know how much energy you need to consume during a run that lasts longer than 90 minutes:

Consume 0.3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight for every hour you run to improve endurance performance.

For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds will need to consume 45 grams of carbohydrates every hour of running.

You can get the carbohydrates through liquids or foods. Some examples are sports drinks, block shots, fruit, bars, jelly beans, gummies, Gus, gels, potatoes, crackers, and more. The source of the carbohydrate is your choice. Consume what works well with your belly.

Important tips:

  • Experiment NOW with different types of carbohydrates during your longer runs.
  • Find out what carbs work best with YOU! We are unique and individual. NOW is the time to experiment.
  • Do NOT try anything new the day of your race. Only stick with consuming the carbs that you know work with your gut. Save all the freebies for another day. (I’ve had clients try new carbs the day of the race and never finish the race due to digestive issues).
  • The above recommended amount of carbohydrates to ingest each hour during your extended runs of 90 or more minutes is optimal fueling. If you are not consuming anything, you do not need to go from zero to hero. Just like you are training for the main race, train your body with your food. Start small and work your way up. For example, 1 gel packet provides about 24 grams of carbohydrates. Maybe you just stick with 1 gel every hour and never make it to 2 gels. That is OK. The main goal is to consume something so you stay fueled and prevent bonking.

Have an amazing race and stay energized! What are some carbohydrate sources you enjoy during long runs?

Sarah Koszyk is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach at MV Nutrition and Eating Free, San Francisco’s premier weight loss clinic, where she specializes in adult and pediatric weight management and sports nutrition. Follow Sarah on her blog, Family. Food. Fiesta.where she provides recipes, videos, and health tips for the entire family. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.



 Inca Superfood Power Bar

These power bars are homemade and full of energy! You get Omega-3s from the Sacha Inchi Seeds. Both the pichuberries and sacha inchi seeds have protein. And the entire bar is laden with carbohydrates galore. Straight from Peru, this power bar will keep you energized for hours! Check out more Peruvian Power Foods from the latest book by Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD: Peruvian Power Foods: 18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes, and Anti-aging Secrets from the Amazon to the Andes

½ cup dried pichuberries
½ cup cacao nibs
½ cup sacha inchi seeds
½ cups shredded coconut, dried
½ cup dates, halved and pitted
¼ cup yacon syrup

Small bowl
Food processer
8” x 8” baking dish
Parchment paper
Chef knife

Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.  Working in batches. Grind the mixture in a food processor to form a course paste.

Press paste into a parchment-lined baking dish, holding a second piece of parchment over the top of the paste to ensure a smooth surface is formed without sticking to your hands while you press down.

Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting into bars using a chef knife.  Store in the refrigerator.

Check out our Peruvian superfood ingredients.

Yield: 12 bars

CALORIES 104; FAT 5.4g (sat 2.4g); PROTEIN 2.7g; CARBOHYDRATE 15.0g;  FIBER 3.5g; SUGAR 8.8g; SODIUM 9.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 0mg

Recipe from Eating Free

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