Do You Really Need Food on the Run?
My brother Mike linked me an interesting post in the New York Times that discussed the trend in refueling your body during exercise. This has always been in the back of my mind as something I needed to start thinking about, but I have put it off because of my relatively short durations and distances.
I often see people running around Buffalo with water bottles and gel foods strapped to their waists. Often the sight makes me giggle and make smart ass remarks to whomever I’m with about the fact that most likely they aren’t doing more than a couple of miles. I don’t quite know why, but I’ve always felt that it was a little overkill to bring all of those things on runs. It may be because typically I don’t start feeling super depleted after 5 kilometers, or even after 10 kilometers. I may have not hit that wall where refueling is something that I need to do. I look forward to it in a sick way, though, because I feel like it might be the next step in becoming a runner.
I talked with Mark a little bit about it in the past, and he mentioned that he typically does take things for anything over about an hour. It makes sense to me because I do feel pretty thirsty while running, and I could see how that would be a huge help. I don’t know if I am really interested in all of the gel products and sugar pills, as I’d
like to think I would rather have something a little more basic and natural. Though, that may be naive to think I would sacrifice convenience for natural products. After all, I am American!
The NYT article talks about specific races where they offer their takes on power foods. One race has pumpkin pie, which I assure you would make me throw up five paces away from the food stop, and another has potatoes and chicken broth. It also goes on to talk about how eating something irregular during a long distance run can really wreak havoc on you, causing serious cases of Runner’s Trots. Consistency is for sure the most important aspect of exercise, and any changes can throw you out of whack.
I am very interested to hear from some of you longer distance runners, and even anyone who takes food and beverages along on your exercises. I am curious to hear how you feel before and after and why you decided to start doing it.