Runner’s Plate: Fueling on the Road
With the official start to summer tomorrow, weekend trips to the beach or mountains, weddings, or other excursions are likely on your calendar. If you’re planning a late summer or early fall race, you’re probably going to be fitting in some long runs while away. Perhaps you’ve planned a family run before you plant yourself in a beach chair, or maybe you’ve even found a local road race to check out. Whatever your running plans are for your vacations or weekend getaways, don’t forget about fueling up and refueling properly! It will help you recover from your run and keep you energized for the day so you can enjoy your time away! And no, the beer and bag of chips on the beach is not a good refueling option so save that for later in the day.
Fueling while on the road can be a little challenging, especially if you don’t have access to a grocery store or refrigerator. If you’re headed out for a weekend getaway with plans to run, bring along these on-the-go, no-refrigerator-necessary snacks or mini-meals for your pre- and post-run fueling needs.
- Bars. Check out this post for tips on choosing the best bars.
- Biena chickpea snacks. This new snack is perfect for traveling and I love them because they only contain a few ingredients – chickpeas, a bit sugar, and some flavoring (cinnamon, lime, or sea salt). Each serving gives you 5-6g of protein, 6-7g of fiber, and a little fat for only 110-120 calories. Nice bonus – all three flavors contain added sea salt to replace the sodium you lost on your sweaty summer run. If you’re in the New England area, look for them at your local Whole Foods. If not, you can order them online!
- Somersaults. My friend Katie introduced these to me recently and I am now addicted. Made from a mix seeds and grains, they pack a lot of great nutrition into each bite. They conveniently come in individual serving packs (as well as larger bags), making them great for traveling. Post-run, pair them with some fruit (dried or fresh) to up the carbohydrate content of your meal or snack. Find a retailer here, or order on the Somersaults site or on Amazon.
- Trail mix: make your own with dried fruit, nuts, and whole grain cereal or grab a pre-made mix from the grocery store. My favorite is Trader Joe’s Cashew Macademia Delight. While you’re at it – grab a bag of medjool dates to use as fuel on your run if it’s going to be longer than an hour.
- Popcorn: I like Good Health Half Naked popcorn – it has protein, carbohydrates (with some fiber), a bit of healthy fats (from the olive oil) and a little salt without any unnecessary additives. Pair it with a handful of nuts and you’ll be full until lunch!
If you do have access to a fridge, bring along some individual yogurts, string cheese (or babybel individual cheeses), and other summer fruit such as peaches, plums, and cherries for a quick carb + protein mix.
Lastly, don’t forget to HYDRATE throughout the day!
How does running fit into your summer travel plans? What food do you bring along on trips for your fueling needs?
(Sarah holds an MS in Nutrition Communication from Tufts University Friedman School in Boston. She is working towards becoming a registered dietitian and will begin her nationally recognized dietetic internship at The Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston this fall. Sarah is a certified spin instructor and an avid runner and regularly participates in road races from 5k to a 1/2 marathons. Follow her on Twitter @SpinnerSarah and at her personal blog Food and Fitness Friend.)