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Question for runners

I'm not an great runner, but I am getting into it. I'm on a training schedule to get ready for a 10K, and one of my runs to train for it requires me to run 6 miles.

How many calories should I injest beforehand to hold up throughout this run? Normally before a nice long run, I have a low carb energy bar (about 170 calories). Is this too few? What should I eat? How long before should I eat? What are some good energy bars? The lower the cals the better. I do understand that I need carbs, though, so I am willing to eat the higher cals. I would just like to REALLY keep it low, or atleast within reason. None of these crazy 300-400 cal bars.

Wed. Oct 10, 2:17am

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Well, depending on your speed, you'll probably be running for an hour to an hour and a half at the most (it can be done much faster than an hour, but as you said you're not a great runner, I'm guessing it's closer to an hour).

At that amount of time, you'll probably burn anywhere from 900-1,500 calories (depending on your weight, intensity of running, and time spent running) ... but you don't need to ingest that much beforehand. In general, the most important thing for a run of this distance is that you get enough hydration ... hydrate a couple hours beforehand, and take in some kind of sports drink like Gatorade perhaps halfway through.

I don't think you need to take in too much solid nutrition before a medium distance run like this. I think the sports bar you mentioned will be sufficient. I generally just eat a banana and bagel or something, or a Clif bar. Dairy isn't usually good beforehand -- for me, it causes gas.

After the run, it's important that you get some carbs and protein -- chocolate milk is a good way to do that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 5:37 AM

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OP Here

The training log says that it will be my "Tempo Run". That means a warm-up mile, 3 miles at 9:52, and one cool down mile.


Hahaha. So based on that specifically (sorry for not including it before), what should my intake be?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 10:17 AM

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Your plan to eat a 200-calorie mini-meal with mostly carbs is still the way to go, and you should try to get 8oz of some Gatorade-type drink during the run. Afterwards, you'll probably feel distinctly unhungry for maybe an hour, but then the hunger monster will attack - so force yourself to have something afterwards (5:1 ratio of carbs to protein is supposed to be ideal) to keep it from getting out of control when it hits, but you should pretty much anticipate the desire and need for a big meal afterwards. This is why I like doing my runs at 10am or 6pm.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 10:31 AM

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if i'm doing my run in the evening i eat a banana before i head out, or sometimes i eat a slice of bread with a schmear of pb. and of course a GU for extra boost. if i'm doing my run on a weekend morning i do it on a totally empty stomach except for my GU. 100 cals. but it's important to eat about 300 cals no later than a 30 min after you finish. this will keep you from your blood sugar getting too low.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 10:49 AM

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The suggestions above are perfectly ok ideas, but taking a step back for a moment, I think you're overthinking this. You don't really have to have a special plan to exercise for an hour. Basic common sense will get you close enough: don't start out in an already messed up state (such as dehydrated or not having eaten anything for a long time).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 2:44 PM

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2:44 is right- you're not going to be out long enough to need an energy bar beforehand- have a decent, regular meal a couple hours before you run and you should be fine. If you really really really feel like you need something, raid your halloween candy and eat a snickers mini-bar just before you run.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 4:24 PM

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I run and workout a lot and my only goal is to have energy, not calories necessarily.That means bananas and maybe some mineral water so I have some carbs and electrlytes.I also find that a huge salad 6-8 hours before with lots of vegetables gives me what my body seems to want. You have to listen to your body above all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 7:38 PM

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