The fuel challenge

My legs and joints are aching fiercely right now, after running about 30 kilometres this weekend – about 10.5 on Saturday and 19 on Sunday. I would like to say I feel fit and ready for the Marathon by the Sea, but the truth is, those runs were rough.Image

On Saturday, I blamed it on the heat and improper fueling. When I returned home at about 9:20 a.m., it was hovering over 30 C with the humidex. I’ve never been so sweaty. I looked like I had just stepped out of a lake. Needless to say, this was not an enjoyable run. I was drained and probably dehydrated. I also ran without eating breakfast, which is a big no-no.

The problem I always run into is giving myself enough time to digest food before a run. So I often end up running on an empty stomach because it feels better than running with food gurgling up my throat. Knowing that I wanted to tackle my last long run with a group of friends on Sunday morning, I aimed to prepare myself.

I drank as much water as I could stomach throughout Saturday. That was good. Then I picked up some ingredients for a healthy carb-load of a supper: quinoa, chicken, walnuts, raisins and parsley all tossed together with some oil and vinegar. I also purchased a can of yummy coconut water and found my chocolate gel I recently picked up from the running room. I set those aside for Sunday morning. Then I went to bed early, asleep by 11 p.m. and set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. so I could get up and eat, and digest a bit, before our 8 a.m. run.

For breakfast I had a piece of toast with peanut butter, a banana, and more water. Then I filled one of my little fuel belt bottles with water, and the other with coconut water (a natural electrolyte).

I thought those preparations would have me ready for Sunday’s 19 K. But it wasn’t long into the run that I started to feel draggy and tired. My energy was still zapped. I had trouble keeping up with my fellow runners. I know they run at a faster pace than me, but I thought I could keep up. Usually I find the first hour of a long run pretty pleasant, but Sunday was different. Maybe I’m just not good at keeping up with others, I’m not sure. Still, I managed to finish with the group with a time of just over two hours. Not bad, but I think tackling a long run after the sweaty 10 K was not a good plan.

I have two weeks to wind down and rest properly while still doing shorter runs before my first half ever. I just hope I don’t run into any fueling issues on the big day.

Feel free to share your fueling tips and tricks… I need all the help I can get!!


Published by

April C

Writer, editor and mom in Saint John, NB.

3 thoughts on “The fuel challenge”

  1. When you do long runs take the day off before, and after. the 10K the day before was likely the culprit for feeling tired on Sunday. Kinda sucks, but that’s the best way to learn.. experiment with foods / fuels / rest days. better now than race day!

  2. “We know from many studies that children are more likely to be active if their parents are active,” says Jennifer Huberty, PhD, associate professor of physical activity and health promotion at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. Being active with your children, Huberty says, also helps give them confidence and teaches them the skills they need for a range of activities…

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