Now for a few specifics about when to eat and how much.
While we vary in how much we weigh and the intensity of our long runs, if you are running less than 75 minutes, you may have enough stored muscle glycogen (aka easily accessible FUEL). At longer than 75 minutes, the sugar in your blood and liver glycogen become fuel. TO have sugar available in the blood stream requires consumption of relatively easy to access carbs (which breakdown to sugar). Simple carbs are easier to take in and turn into “blood sugar” so they seem to be the preferred carb while running.
You could choose to drink your carbs in the form of sports drinks or you could choose bars, gels, goos or gummy type candies. After about 60 minutes of a long run, you should start to consume about 100 calories and after that, 100 calories again every 40-45 minutes.
Knowing these rough guidelines, now comes time to read labels and experiment. For example, I like the Cliff Bloks. There are 30 calories a piece. I’ve found that taking one Blok every 15 minutes starting at the one hour mark gives me the extra boost I need. I find eating any more than that challenging so I could top this up on two hour runs with taking in a bit of sports drink to wash down the Bloks.
Since our long runs will be greater than 75 minutes now, and moving into the 2 hour zone, now is the perfect time to start practicing your feeding strategy!