I addressed what to drink / eat on a run a bit here, but since I love talking about running and eating – let’s discuss! Remember, everyone’s body (and belly!) are different so you must figure out what works for you during training.
How many miles of running require you to eat during the run?
This often depends on how you eat/drink before and how long it actually takes you. The rule of thumb big toe is to fuel during your run if it will be 90 minutes or longer. That could mean 6 miles or 16 miles depending on how fast you are!
If you are probably fueled before a run you should be okay going out for 60-70 minutes without a sports drink or food. But, if it’s hot (or super dry) you may at least need water – especially if you’re not properly hydrated to begin with.
At what mile should I start eating?
Again, this depends on your speed. At about 45 minutes into a long run you should start fueling and then every 15-30 minutes from there (depending on what you’ve figured out works for you).
What should I eat on a run? Gels? Hamburgers? Chia seeds? Chews?
I’m going to be a broken record here and say you have to figure it out for your body.
I prefer gels because I’ve learned I can’t chew and run. I have taken Fig Newtons on long runs and just walked while eating them, but I always end up smashing them during the run and it’s a mess – or rather, I’m a mess.
But, I just read in Mile Markers that Kristin Armstrong loves Pop Tarts on her long runs! I want to try that.
I’ve seen people eat all kinds of things during races -
Some runners like to plan their route so that it passes a convenience store. This way you can grab whatever sounds good to you right then and it’s easier to carry a five dollar bill than a pack of Pop Tarts!
Ultimately, it depends on your body. Make sure you go into a run well fueled and hydrated. Then, play around with different timing and types of fuel. Don’t skip fueling – it’s science. And it can mean the difference between hitting the wall and having a great run.
Here is a good resource on hydration from Runner’s World
Question: When do you start eating on a run?
What do you eat?