Training Check-in: After the run

As the length of the training runs grow, so, too, does the need to nourish the body. Katie, who is preparing for the Fort4Fitness 10k, expressed her own struggles for fueling properly on busy days.

“This training program has been great for me the last several weeks! It’s forcing me to get out there and move when I would normally blow it off. As a busy, full-time working mom, it’s a miracle if my family maintains any sort of consistent schedule during the week. Something always comes up! But I’m learning to fit in the runs where and when I can. That means sometimes I run first thing in the morning and sometimes I run right after work. I’m really looking forward to adding more mileage, but I do have some nutrition questions as I do so.

Should I be grabbing something to eat immediately following my run, or can I wait until I get home? I’m hungry and tired as soon as I finish, but I’m not sure what would be a good choice or if it’s even a good idea to eat immediately following exercise. Any suggestions on quick energy-boosting snacks for bouncing back when I’m done?”

Christine Sorg, RD, CD, CSSD, Parkview Sports Medicine, shares some vital information for best practices following a strenuous jog.

Recovery nutrition.
Post-run recovery is important to refuel depleted muscles. You want to aim for foods that are high-carbohydrate and contain a moderate amount of protein within 30 minutes of completing the exercise.

Runners should consume the following:

  • 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrates/kg body weight within 30 minutes of finishing the run, then at 2-hour intervals for up to 6 hours following.
  • 10-25 grams of protein within 30 minutes - 3 hours of completing the run.

This has shown to aid in protein synthesis in the muscles. For those not running or working out within the next 24-48 hours, timing may not be as important. The overall goal is to replenish the muscle stores of glycogen, and rebuild the muscle for the next exercise.

On the go.
If you’re waking up early to get in your run, or going at lunch, or straight from work, having something quick and easy available can be key. Consider one of these portable snack options to refuel within 30 minutes of completing your long run:

  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Fresh fruit and low-fat milk
  • Bagel with nut butter + water
  • Sports drink with a handful of nuts
  • Fruit and nut sports bar + water
  • Trail mix with dried cereal, nuts, and dried fruit + water
  • Graham crackers + nut butter + water
  • 6 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt + fresh fruit + water

And don’t forget to keep moving!

More resources:
Share your training setbacks and successes in the comments section or by tweeting at @parkviewhealth with #runthefort.

  • Want to sign up for the race? Start here.
  • Need a training plan? Get yours here.
  • Experiencing sore muscles? Get help here.
  • Questioning your cross-training? Find motivation here.  
  • Feeling the heat? Get help here.
  • Want nutrition information? It’s right here
  • Experiencing chafing or blisters? Relief is right here
  • Questioning your training surface? Read about treadmills here
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