Fueling for an 18 mile run

Nutrition and fueling are very important during endurance training and events.  Andi and I are still working on what works best for us.  It can make or break how your event goes, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly what works for you.  It’s best to try things during your training runs and not do anything brand new during the actual race.


Pre -Run:

4:15am -wake up
4:20 am- MNS Max E and half serving of Spark  (hello ENERGY)
4:50 am– oatmeal/ coconut milk/water/apple/3 slices of turkey

4:50am-6am — water
6:00 am- 2 FRS chews

6:25– RUN!

Mile 3 -chocolate coconut water
Mile 8 -water/plain water/mini cliff bar
Mile 13 – Honey Stinger Chews (5 pieces)
Miles 14-18 chocolate coconut water and plain water.
Immediately after the run– water/ 1 small bagel bite and 1/2 serving of FRS Healthy Protein (Blackberry Acai flavor)
Lunch 60 minutes later – whole wheat pasta, marinara sauce and salsa.

Thoughts:  For the most part  I think this combination of fuel worked well for me.  I made an effort to add more oats to my breakfast ( I usually have 40g and this morning I had 50g). I also added more protein (the turkey slices).  I usually get super hungry between miles 7-9 and fueling before I got ravenous made 18 miles a bit less horrible.   😉

The Cliff Bar mini has 100 calories.  I think that was enough for then, but it went down kinda DRY!  But, that just means I probably needed more water!  The chocolate coconut water was great.  I carried it in my new handheld Nathan 22 oz. Quickdraw water bottle. ( in purple!).  Next time we go long I plan on taking in 10 of the Honey Stinger Chews.  Andi and I split a pack.  I thought 160 cals and 39g of carbs at once seemed kind of high, but our bellies told us otherwise!  We were HUNGRY!  I always am never hydrated enough, so I am always working on that.

I averaged 10:09 for today’s run!  🙂   We had some windy conditions, with the occasional wind gust to blow snow in our faces.  All in all it was a decent run.  As decent as 18 miles can be.   🙂




Cherry juice (the night before…to aid in recovery after a LONG week of being hard on my body)




Muscle strength

Spark (best stuff on the planet!)



Advocare chocolate meal replacement shake made with…

Water, coconut milk, heaping tablespoon of natural peanut butter


Mile 3 -a swallow of water (I’m guessing that wasn’t enough…ha!)

Mile 8 -water/watered down meal replacement shake (1/2)/mini cliff bar

Mile 13 – Honey Stinger Chews (5 pieces)

Miles 14-18 -gatorade (or whatever the drink was that they provided for the group…I was desperate!) and a mini cliff bar

Immediately after the run– water/ 2 small bagel bites and 1/2 serving of FRS Healthy

Protein (Blackberry Acai flavor…stolen from Jean’s office…it wasn’t my idea Jean!)  😉


2 corn tortillas filled w/refried beans, grilled green pepper & onions, tomatoes, & enchilada sauce

Thoughts:  I needed a lot more fuel!  My resting metabolic rate is crazy high (don’t hate, congratulate!), so I seriously burn through food quickly.  I definitely needed more…I’m pretty sure my stomach was trying to eat itself.  😉  All in all it was a good run though.  Avg pace for me was 10:00 miles…good pace for a long training run in this miserable weather.  I got through the run listening to NPR and oddly enough envisioning things like Forrest Gump running (Run Forrest, RUN!) and Rocky Balboa running in the snow…I have no idea why, but it just happened. 🙂  We picked it up for the last few and it was tough, but I’m glad we did….I think it was mostly because we just wanted to be done!

How did we do?  How do you fuel for your long runs?


5 thoughts on “Fueling for an 18 mile run

  1. Ultimately, the best nutrition is the one that works for you! If it upsets your stomache, it doesn’t do any good!

    Although most people recommend some kind of nutrition for longer efforts over an hour in length to include something every 30 minutes, after running several ultras and doing Ironman triathlons, I’ve actually gotten in the habit of setting a timer for every 15 minutes. Every 15minutes I should ingest something – perhaps it’s just water – but the timer prevents me from getting behind on hydration (remember, by the time you’re thirsty, it’s too late).

    Studies show that you can ingest between 200-300 calories per hour while exercising, and you should if you plan to exercise more than 2 hours. Apparently variety is the key, too.

    So for my 2+ hour runs I do this:

    15mins: Gu
    30mins: Water/Salt tablet/electrolyte
    45mins: Gu
    60mins: Water/Supplements

    Repeat as necessary! I’ll substitute bananas or whatever else aid stations have at the 15min/45min marks to add variety.

    Post run should consist of anything 4 parts carb and 1 part protein.. Believe it or not, chocolate milk (lofat) is the best cheap version of that!

    Good luck and good training! Keep trying stuff out and finding what works best for you. I’m still doing that!

    • Awesome advise! I really like that you set a timer to remind you to take in something. I try to do something every 3 miles if I am training/racing long, but it only happens from time to time that I actually adhere to that.
      Thanks again! 🙂

      • Distance is okay, but if you’re really running on some hard hills or trail running, the “time” it takes to run 3 miles can vary significantly (also depending on how you feel that day!)… Hence the timer! Better every 15/30 minutes rather than 3miles.

  2. Pingback: Long Endurance Nutrition captainchas.com

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