Whether you’re training for a half marathon or are simply about to head out for an hour-long run to help kill stress and clear your mind, you’ll want to be sure that you’re taking steps to sustain your energy level as best as possible.
Long runs can be exhaustive as you’ll quickly deplete the blood glucose in your system and once you do, you’ll be left using stored fat as a fuel source. While this may seem great, if the intensity of your exercise is high, that fat may not provide fuel fast enough to keep up with your demands.
As such, you need to consider alternative strategies. Here are four ways to ensure you have endless energy during your runs.
Try An Energy Gel
The first and possibly best way to stay energized during your runs is to utilize one of our energy gel’s. Our SHOT Energy Citrus Gel for instance is dairy free, vegetarian-friendly and contains all natural ingredients.
It’s designed to help provide you with fast energy that won’t leave you crashing halfway through your run. These gels are also light on your stomach, so they’ll help you avoid cramping up before your session is over.
Carb Load Prior To The Run
Another strategy is to try carb loading prior to the run. This means that for the day or two prior to doing the run, you focus on increasing your intake of complex carbohydrates in effort to ensure your muscle glycogen stores are fully saturated.
Since it’s your muscle glycogen that will provide the most fuel for use during intense exercise, the more storage you have, the more energy you’ll sustain.
Don’t be afraid to take your carb intake up to 200 or more grams in the couple days before a long run. As an active individual, you’ll need to have this much.
Sip A Sports Drink
A sports drink can also be a great way to keep your energy levels up and help you get through that session. Sports drinks are also going to provide you with the electrolytes your body requires to maintain proper energy and mental focus.
In addition to that, you’ll get some fast acting carbohydrates that will keep your body going. Best of all, they also help ensure that you meet your hydration needs.
If you are able to hydrate during your run, these are a perfect option.
Tend To Your Pre-Workout Nutrition
Finally, also be sure that you are tending to your pre-workout nutrition. What you eat the hour or two prior to a long run can make a big difference in how energized you are during the run.
Be sure that you get a good dose of carbohydrates coupled with lean protein in the meal prior to the run. This will help to keep your energy level stabilized and also help to prevent muscle tissue breakdown thanks to the protein that meal contains.
A great pre-run meal might be a whole wheat bagel with some turkey meat or an egg white omelet alongside two or three slices of whole grain toast with some jelly.
Note that you’ll want to keep fat out of the picture at this time as too much dietary fat will just slow the delivery of those carbs down, meaning less energy for you.
So keep these tips in mind and you’ll find that you perform better during your runs while enjoying them more as well.
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at anytime!
Shannon Clark is a qualified nutritionist and a regular contributer to HB Insights. She specialises in weight control and management as well as optimal fitness performance. She's devoted to helping readers obtain their own personal best health and fitness and stays on top the latest trends in the industry.