Running Question

So, I am training for a half-marathon and yesterday was my longest run to date: 8 miles.  I felt great while running and great after, but about 2 ours after my run I hit a wall.  I went to an event yesterday and had to leave early because I was so out of it.  I felt dazed, confused, and in general, just foggy.  I kept getting in people’s way, and felt like I couldn’t form a coherent sentence.     I didn’t eat anything before my run (which I never do); drank water before, during, and after I ran; and ate a veggie patty, broccoli, and some bread after my run.

On my way home I grabbed a chocolate milkshake and spent the next two hours on the couch.  Then I felt normal.  So my question:  How do I avoid this next time?  I would like to not be a zombie or have to drink chocolate milkshakes after every run.  What do I need to add? Gatorade?  More food?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Running Question

  1. I tried running for about a month and I decided that I just can’t find anyway around feeling like crap after it and wanting to devour a huge burger or something. I hate running. I do yoga because I actually feel good after it and have more energy after. But I am very proud of you and your half-marathon training!

  2. Sounds like a nutrition issue to me. If you’re running longer than an hour, it makes sense to have something in your stomach first (I generally have some coffee with soy milk and sugar plus a Clif bar or bagel if I’m going longer than 4 or so miles). You should also take in some calories as you go, probably (I’ve run as far as 10-11 on just water, but I feel MUCH better if I have some Gatorade or some dried fruit along the way), about an hour in, and then every half hour or so. For example, on a recent 9-miler, I ate about half a dried fruit bar (Archer Farms Pomegranate, I think) at my half-way, then the other half about two miles later. After you run, eat a snack with some protein and carbs (I usually don’t feel like it right away, so I drink a can of V-8 then eat a regular meal after I shower).

    In sum, I think that you should work some nutrition into your run (dried fruit, Clif shot bloks, GU, etc.), and work some protein into your after-run routine.

    We talk some about nutrition on a joint running blog some friends and I write: newsightsrunning.blogspot.com and check out frayedlaces.blogspot.com for her nutrition history (me, I’ve got a stomach of steel, but she’s really struggled to perfect how she eats on the run and in and around her training).

  3. I have to agree with the above commenter. You definitely should have something to eat before you go for a run. I was like you and don’t normally eat before workouts. Gatorade (or other form of carbs) during and after long runs made a huge difference for me when training for my runs. Good luck!!

  4. I know this sounds crazy, but all my friends who run long distance cross country say that chocolate milk is the best recovery drink. There’s things in it that replenish your system better than other drinks.

  5. I don’t eat before running either, and I think I was pretty wiped out after my first few long runs. I think the thing that helped me ease into it was making sure I had enough mileage during the week, and it was just a case of needing a few weeks to get used to it.

    Also, you might try running a little slower during your long runs, so you don’t leave it all out there on the road.

    Good luck!

  6. Desert Flower

    You definitely needed some protein. Unless you’re a vegetarian, try including some chicken or fish in your post run meal. I would eat before going, too. I happen to be a huge fan of carbs pre-run.

  7. I never eat before runs, and I’m usually ok. I always make sure to have a lot of protein after a run though. I’m a vegetarian, so that means a protein bar, tofu, tempeh, eggs, nuts or some combination of the above after a long run. I also suggest you try taking it easy when you first go for long runs, since you don’t want to find yourself hitting the wall DURING a run without any energy to get yourself home.

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