Thursday, July 9, 2009

How I Refuel

Training for my first half marathon this fall has taught me many essential components on the fundamentals of proper running. The biggest mistake that so many people make when it comes to running, is not maintaining proper conventions before during and after a run. Throughout my experience, I have learned that certain aspects are unquestionable if I want to stay strong and injury free, such as stretching, rest, ice, and fuel.

Today, I want to touch on the later of the list. Fueling my body is significant because if I wasn’t doing this correctly, I wouldn’t be able to perform. My endurance would lack, my speed would be effected and I would probably kill myself in the process.

So how do I fuel? On the weekdays, I run first thing in the morning (I’m talking 4:30am people!). These runs are considered my central runs because I am completing the same mileage and timeframe. (5 miles in around 43 min) I find that it’s not necessary to put anything solid into my body for these runs, mainly because I am not ready to eat so early in the morning. Instead, I choose a light, balanced snack before bed, like fruit. Fruit has slow releasing carbohydrates that will provide me the energy I need for my early morning runs. I hydrate, of course, with sports drink, before and after my run.

Re-fueling is even more important to keep in mind. Directly after my runs, I am still not quite ready to chow, so I take about 30 min to shower and get dressed. By this time, I am more than ready to eat! My breakfasts are very standard and pretty large for two reasons. One, I have found that this particular combination works best for my body to refuel and two, because I need to replenish the calories I extracted as well as add nutrients to build on.

Here is an example of a typical breakfast after my run…..

High Fiber Cereal- ¼ Cup. Fiber Twigs
¼ Cup of Another High Fiber/Protein Cereal (Kashi, Puffins, and Granola are some of my favorites)
½ Cup of Total Bran Flakes
½ Cup Organic Soy or Almond Milk
Berries!!!! (Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, and/or Raspberries)

Protein- Cottage Cheese. I like to pair this with either a piece of WW toast or fruit (like ½ a grapefruit or apple)

Caffeine- Always one cup of coffee with stevia

This breakfast may seem like a lot to some, but I would be dissatisfied with anything less. This combination of carbs, protein, and fiber keeps me energized and fueled for 4-5 hours and ensures that I am well nourished after a hard workout.

Now that you’ve seen my method, how do you refuel after a run or exercise?

Today’s breakfast was particularly exciting because I had a new cereal to try. I just love cereal and get very excited when I have a new one to open.

This was Organic Cinnamon Squares by Cascade Farms.

They taste just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch!!!!!!!! (Kristen, this one’s for you for sure!!!)

Best thing, no added chemicals, dyes and NO HFCS!!!! And the nutrition stats are commendable. Such a great addition to my breakfast bowl this morning!

And onto the other aspect of the day, dinner!

On the menu: Apricot Tofu Stir Fry

I used a recipe from Rachel Ray, which a few slight modifications and it turned out beautifully. I loved the addition of dried apricots in the mix.

Don’t worry, I added chicken for Toly. He’s not quite ready for tofu yet. ;)

On the side: Organic Rice a Roni Parmesan and Romano Risotto and sautéed Kale (in lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper)

I'm not usually a fan of rice, especially pre-packed processed rice mixes, but this was mighty tasty and contained no artifical preservations, MSG's, or other nasty chemicals. The ingredient list was quite impressive and actually very natural. I reccomend this if you haven't tried it yet.

If you enjoy the flavor of apricot, I highly recommend this recipe. It’s very easy and tastes phenomenal!

Even though our 6 year relationship anniversary is tomorrow, Toly suprised me with my present tonight!!! own camel back!!!

I am so excited to start using this baby. Now I will be absolutely hydrated and fueled for my long runs and the upcoming 1/2 marathon. He knows me all too well. :)

Well, hope you all are enjoying you week. It’s almost over people! YAY for the weekend!

See you tomorrow.

RW Quote of the day....

"In the longest run of all, your life, you're going to be a winner. "


  1. omG - I need to find that cereal!! :D:D:D:D What a sweet gift!

  2. Great posting! I agree- first thing in the morning, I go with either a nice snack the night before or half a piece of fruit in the morning. Fueling= super important!

  3. Thanks for the tips on refueling! It'll be precious info for me when I'm ready to run my own race (soon)!
    Most of the time, ppl just focus on the training, but they forget that fueling plays half of it!

  4. Wow, I can't believe you run 5 miles on an empty stomach! It seems like you have really found what works for you, which is great.
    I'm going to have to search for that RR recipe...apricot stir fry sounds awesome!!

  5. I'm glad you found a fueling system that works for you! I love that Cinnamon Crunch cereal--just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but I don't feel guilty. Haha!

  6. Great post - I agree about fueling and refueling. When I trained for my first half my favorite pre-fuel was a pb&j either on 1/2 a bagel or one slice of wheat toast with 1/2 a banana. Refueling usually always included accelerade and lots of water plus some healthy carbs and protein.

    I LOVE the plate your dinner is on.

  7. I think your breks looks perfect, esp for running 5 miles! Gosh, I'd prob be eating more than that. :)

    I don't think I'll ever be ready for tofu, lol. Have a great weekend!