How I am Combating My Running Fuel Problems
Yesterday I wrote about my on-going struggle with properly fueling with food before a run.
Ali ( from Hit the Ground Running) left a comment that got me to really think about WHY this is a reoccurring issue for me.
I think there are three main reasons:
- I worry about having to go to the bathroom during a run
- There is “no time” to eat before my evening runs
- I believe deep down that I don’t need to eat before a run
The Problem: Needing to use a bathroom.
There are plenty of places to stop along my normal route to use a bathroom so this is such a silly worry. I just get really annoyed when I have to stop in the middle of a run to go. Plus, most of the places along my run are establishments where I have to buy something to gain access. Sometimes I forget my debit card/cash and that complicates things.
The Fix: I will start keeping cash in my Flipbelt (I wear it on every run). When I use it up, I will simply have to make it a habit to replace it. By keeping cash in there all the time I won’t have to worry about remembering my debit card.
If you haven’t heard of Flipbelt, check it out. I seriously LOVE it.
I wear it on all of my runs of 10 miles or less. (On longer runs I use a belt that can carry water bottles).
The Problem: Not having time to eat.
My favorite time to get in my daily runs is right when I get home from work. I’m not a morning person at all so running before work just is never going to happen. Running after work is a great stress reliever for me and it also helps me make the transition from my “work brain” to my “home brain.”
I always run before doing any night time errands. I sometimes feel like I need to just get out the door right away so that I have time to get everything else done afterwards.
The Fix: It’s just silly to think there is no time to eat. I just need to have small snacks ready to go. My weeknight runs are always 6 miles or less so I really just need something small like a banana or trail mix ready to grab and go. I can snack quickly while I’m changing into my running clothes and still be out the door in basically the same amount of time.
The Problem: Believing that I don’t need to eat.
As some of you already know, I struggled with disordered eating for a long time. It’s been over two years since I first met with a therapist and actively began recovery… but it is a never ending process.
Sometimes, old thought patterns crop up and present themselves to me as perfectly normal. I guess this is one of them.
The Fix: Now that I am conscious of this being a problem, I can properly address it by reminding myself that without fueling right I will not only get a crappy workout in but that there are real dangers – like blacking out/fainting/losing periods of time. None of those things are things I want to experience these days. Especially when I am out on a run alone.
Plus, I will remind myself that fueling in general is so important for healthy brain functions. It makes me so sad when I have zero recollection of something that happened in the past that I really should remember – like going to a Justin Timberlake concert with my best friend when we first moved to Miami. Let’s just say that my brain was not shooting on all cylinders at that time.
Thank you to Ali for making me really think about all of these things and come up with fixes.
These certainly aren’t earth shattering fixes or revelations, but hopefully they will help me on my journey to become a better runner. And maybe, if you struggle with the same things, they will help you too.
What do you carry with you during a run?
– Phone, cash/debit card, earbuds, key, TP and sometimes Twizzlers