December 13, 2020

Fuel Like A Boss For Long Runs And Races

Gut training is one of the most effective ways of increasing performance from the marathon to 100 miles and beyond. Basically, think of your race as a long-haul flight, and you need to learn to refuel mid-flight.

There are tons of real food to sports nutrition options and various different methods for fueling. No one fuel is the best, except for whatever works for you. During your long runs, experiment with lots of different foods, take notes on what works and what doesn’t. Refine your choices over a 12-16 week period before your “A” race and have back-up food options available, especially for longer races.

The gels and food sources you use during training will inevitably become boring and less appetizing the longer your event is. Plan for that by finding that food or fuel source that will always sound appetizing, even during the late stages of a long race where almost nothing sounds good. For coach Zoe, this means always making sure her crew has pickles and Oreos ready. For coach TJ, that means salty chips and coke.

Every run over 90 minutes is an opportunity to train your gut and figure out what works best for you. Although the best food for you is the one you’ve tried and are comfortable with, there are best fueling practice guidelines every athlete should follow for fueling for races, long runs and workouts. We’ve teamed up with Registered Dietician Kylee Van Horn of FlyNutrition to give you the 101 to start fueling like a boss. 

For more on how to implement this into training, you can listen to our in depth Q&A on youtube with coach Kylee here.



1-3 hours before the run

How much:

300-500 calories (the more you eat, the more time you may need to digest before activity)


High Carb (60-100 g/hr)

Low fat (<5g)

Low fiber (<5g)

10-15 grams of protein

 We like waffles with almond butter, cereal with almond milk and almond butter, or pancakes with EXTRA maple syrup on special occasions!



Starting at 30-45 minutes into activity

How much:

250-350 calories per hour (can be divided up in 15/20/30 minute increments) — some female athletes may be able to tolerate 180 calories per hour without experiencing performance loss, but we don’t recommend doing anything less than this.


Carbohydrate: 40-90 gr/hr (mix of sugars — glucose, sucrose and fructose)

Sodium: 250-500 mg/hr

Fluids: 16-20 oz/hr (as a starting recommendation, read more here on hydration.)

Low Fat, Low Fiber (<5g/hr)

Protein can be introduced in small amounts during longer events, after 3-4 hr (8-10 gr/hr)

We really like Spring Energy Cannaberry and Hill Aid, as well as birthday cake GU. Zoë likes GU Liquid Energy.

For hydration, we like Huma electrolyte, GU Roctane, and Strawberry Lemonade Skratch.

Post-run we’re big fans of smoothies with a bit of protein powder (right now we are liking Gnarly Nutrition!) as well as tofu scramble and cookies!