Saturday, August 11, 2012

Do you eat before you run?

Today was a lesson for me about my hubby.  He's been bugging me about going out with me when I go on my runs, saying he wants to get in better shape and spending the time together would be great.  

Okay then, game on.  

So for weeks I've been inviting him to go on runs with me, but he always has a reason/excuse for not going with me. 

Okay, fine, you'll go when you want to go, I'm not going to push you.

So this morning I told him I would be going on a run and he can join me if he'd like, it was only a couple of miles and we would be back in time for him to shower change and hit the road.  He agreed and asked if we would be eating beforehand.  I told him I was just going to grab a small pack of fig cookies and then head out.  He shrugged it off and did the same thing as me.

Now sidebar: I have been playing around with my pre-run eats and have them narrowed down to a couple of things, one is a piece of toast with almond butter, fig spread and sliced banana on top.  It's easy, lots of good natural fuel for my body to use during my workout.  I have also been eating the fig newton snack pack as a pre-run snack before my runs in the afternoon.  They actually give me a pretty good fuel boost, don't weigh me down or make my tummy upset and pack less sugar and chemicals than gels and chews.  

I had never tried having the fig cookies before a run in the morning, so I was curious to see how my body would react to it.  So we ate our cookies, grabbed the water and set out.

Now mind you my hubby and I haven't run together in months.  I think the last time we ran together was in December, so I wasn't sure how he would do on this run.  It was only 2-3 miles, but it's a steady grade up to the out and back point.  His pace is naturally faster than mine, his stride is also longer than mine as well, so I had to really push myself to keep up with him.  It was actually a nice change of pace.  Hahaha...that's a knee slapper!

We got through almost half of the run and he was petering out...and quick.  So I suggested that we turn around and head back.  Since it was downhill going back, it wasn't too bad.  There is one final hill climb (pretty steep, actually) just before we hit home, then we were done.  He walked up the hill and I ran it.  When we met up at the top he told me that he was feeling light-headed.  
Okay, no worries, drink the rest of the water and we'll walk it off.

We got into our place and he was getting worse and feeling like he was going to puke.  He took off his shoes, I got him outside in the cool breeze, sprinkled a patch of salt on his hand for him to lick up and drink the other half of a container of coconut water I had in the fridge.  I needed to get electrolytes in him and pronto!  Water and coconut water mix is what I had him drinking.  He was progressively getting better, but still not 100%.  He felt good enough to shower and change.  I made him a PB&J sandwich for him to munch on and some ice cold water, which he took with him as he headed out the door.

Just before he left he told me that he needs to eat before he exercises.  ::hit palm on forehead::  Why didn't you tell me that before?!?  It  makes sense looking at it now.  I don't eat as much as my hubby (think: he eats twice as much) and his metabolism is pretty quick, even for his age.  (Oooo...he's gonna hate me for that comment. Oh well!)  So a small amount of fuel is perfect for me because it will give me the boost I need until I need to refuel again, whether it be after a short run or during a longer run.  So the fact that his body was zapped and he started to feel poorly when we got home, makes sense, his body had consumed the fuel and needed more before we got half way through the run.

So, moral of the story is: with my hubby, he needs to eat something more substantial before he runs, whereas with me, I can have something smaller and still be properly fueled.  Lesson learned.

Question for you:  Do you eat before you run?  What do you usually eat?  Is there a tried and true meal you eat before you run?

1 comment:

  1. I just eat a Luna Bar before a long run and only drink water during. My longest run is 12 miles and I've never felt the need for an energy boost during. I was doing it at a race cause all the cool kids were. However, I ate a Tader Joes fruit snack not a gel.