Thursday, May 12, 2011

Running Fuel for Sensitive Stomachs

It seems as though I have been reporting stomach issues on every single long run this year.   In the last 5 months, nothing I eat seems to help. I have had to forego my beloved shot blox because they wreak havoc with my stomach.  Pretty much all I can consume during a run anymore is Nuun..and it does not have the calories I need to fuel my body. 

In exactly one months time, I am running my 4th half marathon and then I'll be in full-on marathon training.  Those runs are going get long..and I need to figure out my fuel and FAST!

With a 17.5K run on th eschedule for Saturday, I figure there is no time like the present to look for some options.   Enter Google...I quickly typed in "running fuel for sensitive stomachs" and hit enter...
Immediately my screen filled with forum posts of people who described themselves as just like me...though many were mucgh worse off...I usually just feel like I'm going to puke.  I rarely feel the need to bolt to a restroom (unless my pea-sized bladder needs it - pardon the pun)
Here were some of the suggestions I found:
  • Raisins
  • Bananas (lots of potassium, but sounds messy)
  • Gu (Gels are soooo sweet, though)
  • Honey Stingers
  • Fig Newtons
  • Larabars
  • Fruit chews (the real fruit ones not the kiddie gummies)
I am also trying to figure out where my stomach issues began, because when I was training for San Fran and the Last Chance Half last year - I didn't have issues at all.  They seem to have magically appeared over the winter.   Looking over my diet, I can see that I changed my breakfast.  When I was getting ready for a long run last fall, I used to have a plain bagel with peanut butter.  Nowadays, I am addicted to oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins and almond milk.  Perhaps it is a breakfast fuel thing?!?!  Part of me would really like to go back to my bagel breakfasts, but since November, I've been gagging anytime I try to eat a bagel.   Overdose, perhaps, since I tried to be consistent all last summer...

Regardless - I have to do something and I think it is going to have to start with a trip to the Running Room at lunch (one distinct advantage to being back downtown again).  Maybe by calling on their experience, I can come home with some of the commercial products to try.  Then, I will follow it up with a grocery store trip to pickup some of the more unconventional ones from the list. 

My biggest goal is to run Footstock without feeling like I'm going to die (especially on the 3 mile long superhill at the mid-point).  It is my first half where I am on my own (my Saturday runner girls are in the 10K that day so we won't be together for long)

Do you have a sensitive stomach?  what works for you mid-run?  I'm open to suggestions - please help me write my shopping list!


  1. I have a terrible race only stomach issue. I can be fine for all o my long runs and then am punished with miserable race experiences. :( I'm going to try fig newtons next I think.

  2. The fig newtons seem to do the trick for me. Guess we'll see on the long haul but for now I'm really pleased with them.


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