How Much Should You Eat While Running?

There are lots of nutritional products out there that promise you quick energy on the run, but a baseline question is: how much do you actually need to eat while training and racing?
Here’s the quick dope: for endurance activity of 90 minutes or more, you should ideally be taking in 4 calories per minute to help offset your stored fuel losses. This fuel needs to be easily accessbile to your body, which basically means we’re talking about sugar — food that would be low in complex carbs, protein, and fat.
4 calories per minute translates into 240 calories per hour. Taking in that much new fuel will delay the loss of glycogen, and help delay the point at which you bonk and hit The Wall.
The problem is that few of us can take in so many calories every hour. The average sports gel, for example, is about 100 calories — less than half of your hourly needs.
Still, every bit helps, so experiment in training with what you can easily digest and how much you can take in.
At a minimum, you should aim to gulp down a sports gel or comparable product at least once per hour.

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About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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