Guest blogger- Angela Wozniak

Back to Blog Archives  

Race Day Fueling

My name is Angela and I am excited to guest post for MaxFlowSports! I am an endurance runner that started running in 2010 to lose weight and get healthy. I am on a mission to complete 13 half marathons this year so fueling is a topic very important to me.

Fueling for races is always a topic of discussion, something that no matter what you read, you need to take the basics of fueling and experiment to find what works best for you. The key factor to remember: you need fuel to achieve your goals. What you put into your body will be reflected in its performance. Also remember, weather plays a role too. Summer heat will deplete your electrolytes faster.

I currently run half marathons as my longest distance. Which means my races and training runs can be up to 2 ½ hours long. The rule of thumb is to fuel every 45-60 minutes of activity. Following that rule of thumb means I will refuel one to two times during an event. With this, many questions come to mind:

What to carry? What will help maintain my energy levels and electrolyte levels? Ease of use? Will it upset my stomach?

During strenuous activity, your stomach can become more sensitive. What you eat on a regular basis may wreak havoc on your digestive system during the race. Unfortunately, what will/will not upset your stomach can only be determined by trial and error. Let’s look over the basic questions. What to carry? No runner wants to be bogged down with all types of fueling, but understand the importance. Maintaining energy levels and electrolyte levels are key to keeping you from hitting a wall or cramping during the event. Another key factor is how easy is the fueling to use. I don’t know a single runner who wants complicated halfway through a half or full marathon. Lastly, no one enjoys needing a port-a-potty.

There are so many options out there it is overwhelming. There are gels, chews, sports beans, drinks, bars, electrolyte capsules. It is recommended that you have between 100-250 carbohydrate calories per hour of endurance exercise. Most fueling sources will have that amount as well as electrolytes.

Gels are convenient to carry and come in single serve pouches. Most have easy to open tops, and you can squeeze them out while running or walking, all you need is water to wash them down. Chews and sports beans are also small and easy to carry. Require minimal chewing and can be mix and matched for flavor options. I often have a small baggie that has a few flavors of various chews. Most bars are effective, but not as easy to carry and eat while running. I tend to utilize bars before and after the run, a gel at race start, chews 45 minutes in, and a gel another 45 minutes later.

Once you find products that work for you, the schedule is next. Remember to take them BEFORE you start to feel depleted. Plan out your fueling during training runs not on race day! If you know you will be running for 2 hours, refuel after approximately 45-50 minutes. Most running belts or pants have pockets that will hold the fueling you will need for a race. Always be prepared and happy running!

Blog courtesy of Angela Wozniak, www.solesisterontherun.com

Steve Hines, MaxFlowSports CEO