How do you fuel during long runs?

Just because I can’t run for another 87.66 hours doesn’t mean I can’t talk about it.  🙂

I’ve read the general rule of thumb is to start taking in calories after about an hour of exercise.  I start around 40 minutes, when do you start?

When I ran my first half marathon, Two Cities in November of 2010, I made the rookie mistake of not figuring out how to fuel during my long training runs.  I think if I paid more attention, I probably would have not felt like death & sadness the last few miles.

I not mart.


I had gummy lifesavers and think they would have been fine, had I not had half a banana right before the start.  I was worried I didn’t take in enough calories for the amount of exercise I was about to do.  D’oh!

My time for that half mary was 2:10.

It was a huge lesson learned because after the race, I kept my fitness up and started training for my 2nd half marathon, the Hanford Half.  Which I dubbed my “redemption race.”

Since I’m a total cheese ball, I trained my little heart out for it.  My training runs were a lot more consistent, I started toying with fueling and working on hydrating.


Come race day, in February, I felt well trained and ready to crush my time at Two Cities.

Knowing I tend to dehydrate quickly, I took in water & Gatorade at ever aid station.  Along with popping Jelly Belly Sport Beans starting at mile 4.


Until around mile 10 the last 2 aid stations ran out of water & Gatorade.  Really!?

It was warm out and I could fee myself becoming dehydrated.  It was really tough to stop & and ask a sweet lady who was cheering in front of her house for a glass of water, but I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the finish line if I didn’t.

Turned out to be a very wise decision.  I set a PR (1:53) which I have yet to beat, and placed 3rd in my age group.  It was a small race, I’m not that cool.  😉


Then I continued to train for the California Classic, which was a 2 day race in May.  I rode a metric century on Saturday.img2011052100012_thumb

And then ran a half marathon on Sunday.


This is when I felt like I finally had everything dialed in.  I started taking in Jelly Belly’s at mile 4 along with water & Gatorade at every aid station.  Towards the end, I stopped and chugged 2 cups.

When I saw Mike around mile 11 I told him I was confused because I felt fine, but had chills even though it was warm out.  He said that’s a good thing!  It means your hydrated & you body is able to cool off in the heat.


I finished feeling so good!!  Well I was quite sore, but I felt amazing otherwise.  My time was 1:58.


Then a few weeks later I got a visit from the injury punk.

I’ve only done a handful of longish runs and still take my beloved Jelly Belly’s with me.  My favorite flavor is Lemon-Lime.  I swear I can taste salt, which I love.  My drink of choice besides water, is Gatorade Lemon-Lime, but only in powder form.  It just tastes so much better than the bottled stuff.


If you can’t tell, I’m really into fueling and now I have to grill you!

What is your fuel of choice?

When do you start taking in calories?

What is you favorite drink while running?  Flavor?

What’s your distance & time PR?


7 Comments on “How do you fuel during long runs?

  1. I have never had luck eating while running. I tried chews and raisens but I prefer to just drink gatorade and water. Do you ever get stomach cramps eating on the run?? Technically I only have a 5k race PR (19:52 in college) because I got injured right before my half marathon debut last month. But I did a 13.1 mile training run in 1:50 this fall so that’s what I want to crush!

  2. Love lemon-lime Gatorade too! In fact, I have my husband stationed between miles 6 and 8 with a large bottle. Then i just have gu a few miles later, although last time the gu felt like it was going to come back up. Maybe I’ll try gummies. Did you find boots yet? You’ve given me the bug. I need a new pair!

  3. I used a mixture of water and Gatorade in my Camelbak for the Marine Corp Marathon in October. It was great.. I had been training with it, and worked well. I’ve never tried the beans, but I use the clif shot BLOCKS. The gel is awful and almost makes me vomit, but the blocks are much better. This goes for any type of
    gel such as the “gu”.

    I ran the Seawheeze half marathon in August (BTW, if you can do it, It’s awesome. Lululemon has their stuff together. It was impressive, especially for their first half marathon). Anyway, they were giving out Vega instead of Gatorade. It didn’t agree with me and was quite sick after I finished. Lesson learned!

  4. @Jade no I usually don’t get stomach cramps, but I do get heartburn.
    @Wendy No boots….yet. Let me know if you find some!
    @Jody Ooh I forgot about Shot Bloks! I love the Margarita with salt. Have you tried that one? I saw a few reviews on Seawheeze, I’ll have to see if there’s one in the bay area.

  5. I just laughed so hard when I read “I not mart”! Thanks for the’s still making me laugh! Lol!
    I love grape Gatorade. I love gummy bears, too. If I eat much more than that it gives me the worst stomach cramps mid-run so I don’t do it!

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