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  • Nutrition On The Run

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    Nutrition On The Run

    by Emma Padner


    You mean I have to eat….when I run?? That's exactly what I thought when I started training for my first marathon. I had (somehow) made it through multiple long races, 10 milers, half marathons without any fuel. Looking back, I never understood how I got through training cycle after training cycle without fueling during my runs, and I think most of why I didn’t was because I was intimidated and confused when it came to nutrition.


    It's difficult to know what works for your body and your stomach, what will taste good after 3 hours of running (or more), or how frequently you should be fueling. I compiled some ideas for first time (or veteran) fuel–ers along with some of my favorite running treats for when you’re hitting the pavement or trails. 






    Bloks/Gummies – coming in at about 100 calories per 3 bloks, bloks or gummies will give you portable energy that you can chew. More suitable for people who don’t love the jelly consistency of Gu, we carry Clif Bloks that come six to a pack. Some have high levels of sodium to give you an extra kick of salt on the hot days.




    Gu/GelsGu’s have a consistency that can really only be described as somewhere between jelly and Jell–O. Usually, each Gu/Gel tube will be around 100 calories, which is good for about 45 minutes of running. They come in every flavor from ‘naked unflavored’ to ‘chocolate outrage.’ 


    We carry a wide variety of flavors in Gu, a well–known brand that focuses on fun and exciting flavors that are vegan, gluten free and kosher. Gu makes some gels with roctane, which can add more sodium depending on the flavor and more amino acids that help to reduce fatigue. Gu also makes Liquid Energy packs that are less jelly and more liquidy, which can make digestion easier. 


    Another great brand we carry is Huma Gel, a chia seed–based, vegan option, that uses fruit, sea salt, citric acid, and a bit of water to create a more watered–down Gu. 


    We also have Maurten Gels, a brand that has caffeinated and non–caffeinated unflavored options. The brand focuses on using natural ingredients and including more carbohydrates within their gels. 


    It's recommended to take Gus and Gels with water. 


    Real Food – For some people, fueling with real food can be easier for your stomach. Small, sugary foods that are high in carbohydrates like dried fruits, pretzels, salted boiled potatoes, bananas, or applesauce squeeze packets can be easy to transport and easy to eat. For longer runs, some people may like a PB&J on white bread for protein, carbs, and sugar. 





    Liquid Mixes – if eating while running isn’t quite your speed, a high calorie drink mix powder can help you out on your long runs. Something like Tailwind or Maurten Drink Mix can be added to a hydration bottle and has an average of 250 calories per serving. This is an easy way to be able to get enough calories in while you are running without having to physically eat something. It's great for people who have digestion issues or problems eating on the go!


    Tailwind is a flavored drink mix powder that adds electrolytes and carbohydrates while their recovery mix contains more protein for post–run fuel. 


    Maurten drink mix comes in two sizes. Like their gels, Maurten’s drink mixes are also flavorless, and some contains caffeine. 




    I like to take some fuel about every 45–60 minutes or 5 miles. The goal is to eat 30–60 grams of carbohydrates per hour of exercise. For some people, myself included, when I begin to run longer than 2 ½ hours, I will eat a granola bar or something with a little bit more calories to keep me going. 


    The most difficult part about learning to fuel for runs is the trial and error that takes place testing various fuel types. It can take a few long runs or even training cycles to figure out what works best for your body. It might even be different for you running in the winter versus the hotter summer. The main thing to remember is that fuel is what will keep you moving during your long runs and races! Fuel is power and it’s important to discover what works best for you so you can hit those PRs!


    Continue your online visit with us, or stop by any Philadelphia Runner, to check out the great nutrition products we carry and start fueling your runs today! 

    PR Center City: 1711 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

    PR University City: 3621 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

    PR Manayunk: 4358 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA

    PR Glen Mills: 505 Glen Eagle Square, Glen Mills, PA


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