Have you ever been a few miles from the end of a long run when everything starts to fall apart?
How I look during a bad long run…
You start to feel shaky, lightheaded, and loopy. All of a sudden, you realize you’re crashing… hard.
Running low on fuel during a long run is common. That “out of it” feeling is from low blood sugar from not enough food both during and before the run. If you don’t want to feel like a zombie at the end of tough workouts then proper fueling is key.
Get it right and you’ll feel powerful as you finish strong with solid negative splits. Get it wrong and… well, you’d make a great extra in the next World War Z movie.
The topic of intelligent fueling is complex but today I want to simplify things for you. Below is a recipe from our Nutrition for Runners program to help you fuel before and during long runs.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s quick and easy. Fifteen minutes to prep with no fancy ingredients and you’re done!
Best of all? The recipe is vegan and can be gluten-free so it’s perfect for those with modified diets.
If you’re interested in more information on this topic, download our nutrition Q&A audio seminars here.
Let’s dive in.
Long Run Energy Bites Recipe
These energy bites are great for when you want on-the-run fuel that’s a little more substantial than your usual energy gel or drink.
Dates provide quick-release carbohydrates for immediate energy, in addition to some fiber and slow-release carbohydrates for sustained energy.
Oats and almonds also provide some fiber (but not too much – you know what we mean), keeping you full and energized after the immediate boost in blood sugar.
The fat and protein in almonds also contribute to satiety, making these bites great for the tail end of a long run, when you tend to get hungry for something besides just carbs.
Don’t worry – the fat and protein content aren’t high enough to cause any GI issues – although of course you’ll want to test this out before race day.
Makes 16 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes active + 1 hour in fridge
Cook time: none
*vegan, gluten free with GF certified oats
- 1 & 1/2 cups packed pitted dates (about 1 lb)
- 1 cup toasted, unsalted almonds
- 1 cup rolled oats (GF certified if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process until very finely ground and mixture holds together when pressed.
- Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving excess plastic wrap hanging over the edges of the pan.
- Place the mixture in the pan in an even layer, then cover with the excess plastic and press down very firmly to pack the mixture in.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour to set, then turn the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board, peel back the plastic wrap, and cut into bite-size squares.
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Runners, what other fueling options do you rely on to get you through hard workouts or long runs?
- Do you have a “go-to” fuel that’s not an energy gel?
- What do you eat for more staying power during a long run?
- Which foods agree best (and worst…) with your stomach while running?
Or, have a question about this recipe? See you in the comments!