What you eat AFTER a run is as important as what you eat during your long run

The last two long distance runs I did were a real cause for concern. Weeks 6 to 8 of the marathon training plan I’m following called for a 20K, 22K and 24K workout, respectively.

I felt great during the 20K. I had my bottle of water and my gel. I was confident that the following week, the 22K wouldn’t be a problem.

Week 7 came and I didn’t finish 22K. After fueling with my second gel, I was hit by nausea at 19K and continued feeling sick hours after my run. It culminated in a vomiting fit that evening.

I did some research online and decided to tweak my hydration and fuels. I would include a sports drink aside from my usual bottle of water and chuck the gels and go for real food.


Week 8 came and it was time to do 24K. I had banana, dates, and pretzels. As for hydration, I went for water, coconut water and then a sports drink.

I finished 24K in the morning and felt like my tweaking did wonders. I also enjoyed the variety of flavors my real foods offered. That evening though, many hours after my run, I got nauseous again. And I vomited again.

Because I wiped the slate clean in terms of my fueling and hydration in the past two runs, it meant that the problem didn’t lie there. It must be something I did AFTER my run.

Week 9 called for a 29K run. By this time I was feeling very anxious. I don’t want to keep vomiting every Sunday. After some careful backtracking over what I did and didn’t do, I decided that the only thing I would change was that I would eat a light post workout meal. The last two times, I filled up because naturally I was very hungry and tired.

That Sunday, I did my run with my usual real foods. I also included one gel but now I found myself getting turned off by the taste and texture of that gel. I made a mental note of picking another flavor for my next run. I finished 29K (to my surprise) without nausea.

I ate lightly for lunch (a banana and peanut butter sandwich) and dinner (minestrone soup). I anxiously waited that evening to see if I was going to end up vomiting again. By 9 P.M., my husband and I rejoiced because I was out of the “danger zone.”

I’m glad I got it sorted out. And I’m truly glad that these things happened now so I can prevent it from happening on race day. I think the beauty of the long distance run is that it not only provides endurance but wisdom to really get to know our body.

Lila
Posted by Lila
February 7, 2017 21:11
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4 COMMENTS

  1. I was told never to mix energy gels with isotonic drinks on race day as it will upset your stomach.

    Myth or fact? I never did had the guts to try it. =(

  2. I’ve never done it myself. When I eat a gel, I always chase it down with water. This is also the direction on their labels. Plus most running sites / experts also advise this. So I’ve never mixed gel with the isotonic drinks. One site I read says it’s got something to do with balancing things out – too much sugar in both.

  3. Ok. Good to know, so I guess I will never try it then.

    But on the side note, when I do long distance running, I carry mini packets of salt with me (those from Mac’s). I mix a little in my water at drink stations so I don’t get cramps.

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