Do you ever bank your run calories?
Let me explain…
I have been VERY focused on my nutrition lately as I am testing out the new 4 Week Gut Protocol nutrition program. This program, created by Autumn Calabrese, helps you identify any potential food sensitivities. The nutrition program has completely helped me revamp my nutrition and I’m eating healthier than I have in years (or maybe ever!?). I’ve also lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks. My kids are eating healthier too! (Follow my progress on Instagram and check out the highlight on my profile to catch up).
Since I’m a runner, I am running along with 4 Week Gut Protocol & the strength program, 4 Weeks for Every Body. Last week, after my first long run on the program, I was totally wiped. I later realized that I was not fueling enough. This past weekend, I fueled better and felt a dramatic difference in my energy level and recovery time afterward.
It also helped me realize that because pizza was NOT an option (it’s not part of the gut protocol plan), I didn’t feel tempted to “bank” my calories for a later splurge, as I often do.
What Does “Banking Your Run Calories” Mean
Have you done this? It’s very common. Instead of properly fueling and refueling your long run, you “save” those calories for later. This is a dangerous practice and it affects more than your recovery times.
This mindset leads to:
😣Lower quality nutrition overall
😣Longer recovery times
😣Increased risk of injury
😣Possibly weight GAIN during training
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run 10+ miles with friends who don’t carry water or take any nutrition with them. They claim they’re not hungry after a long run and don’t eat much. This may seem impressive in the moment but it’s not a good strategy.
The Best Way to Fuel For a Long Run
Here’s the formula for proper fueling on a long run:
🥯Small meal before run
🏃♀️Fuel every 35-40 minutes with carbs and electrolytes during any run over 90 min
🍌Protein, BCAAS & carbs within 30 min of completely the run (I use Recover for this and blend with fruit)
🍳 Balanced meal with protein, carbs, veggies and healthy fats at next meal
The goal is not to create a massive calorie deficit when you run long. The goal is actually to have as little of a calorie deficit as possible with QUALITY nutrition. THIS is how you run faster, perform better and feel awesome during your training!
You may be asking – what if I don’t run over 90 minutes? Even when running in the early morning, it’s better to fuel with a small snack before you run than it is to run on an empty stomach. Immediately after, follow with a healthy meal and/or Recover. Trust me, these “extra” calories will help you recover faster so you can train smarter and run faster. Plus, you will be less hungry later in the day and less prone to snacking in the afternoon and evening.
As a runner, you are an athlete. Fuel accordingly!!!