With so many different running supplements and nutrition on the market, I thought I would post here the things I have tried and what I use during my runs and races.
For quick fuel before a run, I highly recommend Sun Maid golden raisens (http://www.sunmaid.com/products/products_golden.html). They will give you a quick energy boost, and will satisfy any small hunger. Since I usually run in the early morning hours, I want something to eat that is quick and easy to digest.
On race days with more time (3 or more hours), I have used the following, bagels, pancakes w/syrup, fruit, PB&J sandwich.
Before a longer race, I like to take a couple endurolytes. I have also tried anti-fatigue pills, Race Caps, & race day boost before major races. I can tell a difference with race caps and race day boost. I am not sure I notice anything from anti-fatigue pills. All of these supplements are available from the Hammer Nutrition website. Click here for 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!
During a Run
Food: During longer runs, I will take a Honey Stinger or GU. I have just recently started using the Honey Stinger (http://www.honeystinger.com/benefits.shtml), and I have seen an energy boost after taking it. I also like to use GU engery gels – http://www.gusports.com/html/gu_energy_gel.htm. I have tried a few other gels, but these two seem to work the best for me. I haven’t really used anything besides gels, since other food items seem to be too heavy and hard to digest while running. I have used Clif Shot bloks and sports beans, but I didn’t really like the chewing factor. Sports beans do give you a quick sugary rush.
Drink: My drink of choice is GU2O (http://www.gusports.com/html/gu2o.htm). I use my 7oz or 10oz fuel belt flasks and I also add some endurolyte powder to the mix to get more endurolytes in my drink. This helps so that I don’t have to take as many pills during a run. Without endurolytes, I will definitely get calf cramps during longer runs. I have tried a few other products like Hammer Heed, gatorade, and Infinit (a built to order sports drink), but they didn’t work as well for me as GU2O.
Supplements:During my run, the only supplement I really use is endurolytes. During long runs, I will take 2 capsules every 30 – 45 minutes to help with cramping. If I don’t take these capsules, my legs are definitly not happy.
Food:Right after a long run, I usually can’t eat much, but soon after I do get hungry. Snickers marathon bars are great for a post race snack. I had a few after the Las Vegas Marathon, and they tasted great and were really filling. Any other finish line fare is good, especially bannanas, bagels & oranges. I have been at some races that have snow cones and smoothies.
Drink: For my long training runs, I like to start off with a Gatorade Rain, it is light and refreshing. The taste is not overpowering and it helps replenish what I just used during my run. I then like to follow this with a recovery drink. The Clif Shot Orange Mango recovery drink(http://www.clifbar.com/eat/eat.cfm?location=shot&id=305) is great and I can really tell a difference. One other recovery drink (believe it or not) is chocolate milk. I have consumed chocolate milk after long runs, it also really makes a difference. I know you don’t believe it, google chocolate milk and recovery drink, you will be surprised. 🙂
Here is some of the equipment that I use during a run.
Fuel Belt – I use the 4 bottle fuel belt for long runs. http://www.fuelbelt.com/fuel_belts/4_bottle.html
Road ID – Provides information that would be crucial in case of emergency. I have the ankle bracelet, you can attach a timing chip to it. I haven’t had to use it, but it gives my wife peace of mind that in case of emergency she could be reached. http://roadid.com/
Headlamp – Since I normally run in the early morning hours, I use a headlamp for safety
Shoes– Nike Equalons have been my choice since late last year. Previously I ran in the brooks Beast. Both shoes are great for over pronators.
GPS – The Garmin 305 is a great running tool, add sportstracks logging software from http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/index.html for a great free logging software. The garmin training center allows for you to create workouts and upload them to your Garmin to focus your training.
Stretching – I have problems with my calves cramping up, one great stretching tool for calves is the prostretch (http://www.medi-dyne.com/stretch.htm).
Post Race: The Stick – One thing that is essential to have after a long run is the stick. (http://www.thestick.com/). I have the travel stick, it is great when you have to travel to your race. It is only 17″ long and costs $25.95 and worth every penny!