Thursday, August 27, 2009

TiaRT: Pre-Long Run Fuel

I haven’t participated in Runners Lounge’s Take It and Run Thursday in awhile, but I just remembered it was Thursday and popped over to see what the topic is:

It's the morning of your weekly long run... what do you eat and why?

I’ve tried various foods (or lack of foods!) over the years, and I’ve pretty much settled on what I think works best for me.  In my high school summer running years (6 am practice!), I would often show up without having eaten anything, or I would eat some Frosted Mini Wheats if I needed a little boost.  Our long runs probably only got up to around ten-ish miles, so in the scheme of things, it wasn’t that far and I was able to get by without fueling pre-run. 

This whole marathon business is a little bit different.  For runs of eight miles or less (maybe even up to ten?), I can get by without eating anything, especially if I’m in some sort of a time crunch and just need to get out the door.  However, with my current schedule (hello, evening shift!), I’m never really pressed for time.  My go-to pre-long run breakfast is pretty simple and very similar (if not the same) as what many runners eat.  Toast with peanut butter and a banana.  Sometimes the toast (usually whole wheat) is traded out for an English Muffin, but English Muffins tend to sit a little heavier in my stomach.  Not a good feeling, but it depends on the day.

For beverages, I usually stick with water, although I did have coffee before my eight mile run today.  Before my 17-miler on Monday, I sipped on some Gatorade prior to heading out the door since I knew it was going to be a little on the warmer side.  I have yet to achieve a perfect hydration plan, but I’m working on it!


This week is a cut-back week in the great Pfitz 18/55 plan, which is very welcome!  I think I hit 47 miles last week, which may be small for some people, but for me and my 40+ hours on my feet job, my legs a little tired!  However, I just looked my Sport Tracks and since I did my 17 miles on Monday, then jumped right back on schedule without a rest day, I’ve done 38 miles in the past four days…that’s nothing to sneeze at!  Definitely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow!

Tuesday was an evening run in Princeton with the Rocket Scientist and his marathoning friends.  They run a tad bit faster than me (especially faster than I’ve been running!), so I was a little worried about keeping up, but it ended up being fine.  No worries!  Strides afterwards were quite funny since I have no leg speed whatsoever and came in a few seconds after everyone else, but at least I had good form??  Haha.

Tuesday, August 25
8.27 miles in 1:03:09, avg pace of 7:38

I drove home on Wednesday and headed to the dentist, where they cleaned my teeth with water…it was basically like they were power washing my teeth and it took about a minute.  Does anyone else have a dentist who does this?  It was the actual dentist who did the power washing, not the dental hygienist, and I kind of miss the feeling of my teeth being all scraped and the gunk removed.  I’m not sure how I feel about this dentist…I have to go back in a couple weeks to get some cavities filled (boo!), but I might try someone else for my next go-around.

Anyway!  That was quite the tangent.  I had a relaxed five mile run after I got back from the dentist.  Didn’t push the pace at all, and it felt good.  Go recovery!

Wednesday, August 26
5.22 miles in 43:42, avg pace of 8:22

I woke up this morning and I did NOT feeling like running…at all!  However, like a good marathoner in training, I headed out the door anyway.  Why is it that you have some of the best runs when it is the hardest to get out the door?  My legs felt light and springy…almost too much!  Should have kept the pace down a little, but too late now.

Thursday, August 27
8.00 miles in 1:03:19, avg pace of 7:50

I think part of the pacing problem was because I picked it up as I ran by a prison area.  The trail I run on goes by a fence with signs that say “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections:  Keep Out”…or something like that.  The Rocket Scientist says it’s the fence to keep people like me out versus keeping prisoners in.  Anyway, as I got to this part of the trail, I heard lots of gun shots…or what sounded like gun shots to me!  Maybe a shooting range is around there somewhere…but you never know!

Off to get ready for work…stay tuned tomorrow for some more of my good eats this week!


  1. That's great that you've pretty much figured out what works for you. Some people are lucky to find that fairly easily and some of us struggle! :-)

    Thanks for participating in my TiaRT question!

  2. Running by a prison? I would pick up my pace too!

    I haven't tried the pb/toast/banana snack - I don't usually run that far though! Will keep it in mind for 1/2 marathon training.

  3. Great job keeping up with those guys! I can't eat anything within 3-4 hours of running or I get intense I'm pretty used to running on an empty stomach and finding energy somewhere in there :) I feel like my dentist has been slackin' the last couple times too. I'm not sure if that's because they care more when we're children or what...I'm cavity prone so I totally understand!!! BOO!

  4. Wow! You do deserve a rest day! :)

    I would miss the scrapey-feeling on my teeth if they "cleaned" them with water. I've never heard of that!

  5. Wow girl! You've sure been running alot this week! Great job! I would pick it up too if I was running by a prison hearing gunshots!

    Never had the dentist "powerwash" my teeth but I think I would like it! I hate all the scraping they do!!

    I am still working of figuring out my pre run fuel but I think a little bread and pb is a good start!

  6. haha running by a prison. dont give them any ideas!

  7. You are keeping some very impressive paces in this heat and humidity. Your doing great!

  8. Hahaha, I think our new local marathon course routes runners by a prison. Maybe it's the same idea: motivation for speed!

    Hm, I'm not sure about the powerwashing idea....I'm kind of a scraping fan too. That sounds gross.

  9. 38 miles in 4 days is Definitely not something to 'sneeze at' - ha! NICE runs!

    hope the wkend patient load isn't too high over there!

  10. Wow, great numbers! Very impressed with your paces because they are like my paces! Haha!

    Hope you have a good weekend!

  11. 38 miles in 4 days?!?! that's crazy impressive. :)