What I ate after a 2 hour run
- January 20, 2016
- Last Updated: February 25, 2020
- 25 Comments
- Meal and Snack Inspiration
Good Morning! I hope you are staying warm where you are – I know I shouldn’t complain about the cold being in North Carolina but it is just plain cold – not my favorite. It’s hard to stay hydrated when it’s so cold, but I have to remember to keep drinking water!
Welcome to the midpoint of the week, “What I Ate Wednesday” aka WIAW. Thanks, Arman, for letting us showcase what fuels our bodies.
My week hasn’t been too extraordinary, so I figured I’d share something a little more unique at least – a day of eats after a two-hour run on Saturday. I get really interested (and excited!) in the role of food and nutrients as fuel, so bear with me here.
To preface, a long run (or intense workout) can lead to unpredictable eats. It’s weird, really. Sometimes, my stomach will be growling all throughout the run and I just can’t get enough food in me the remainder of the day. But others, my appetite is pretty steady/normal the day of the run, but the NEXT day, I feel famished and eat twice as much as normal.
So, you just never know what you’re gonna get – I kind of just give my body whatever it craves and go with it without thinking too much. I’d love to hear from other runners how your eating habits are after a long run.
Long Run Day
6 am – Wake up. This is earlier than normal on the weekend, but I had a little sports nutrition presentation to give before my run. So, up and at ’em!
615 am – Pre-run fuel. I had a messy rice cake with pb + pomegranate seeds, and a side banana with pb. Also, a small cup of coffee. Fortunately, caffeine before a run works well for me and helps get me in the right mindset. I know some people avoid it though.
7am – I chatted with 25-30 runners about sports nutrition, then I headed out for my long run – 16 miles. I took two huma gels during the run for some extra glucose. The first, I took after about 8 miles, and then the second at 12 miles. I actually felt pretty good and probably could have gone without the second, but I’m all about getting some glucose into those contracting and working muscles.
1030 am – After the run, I grabbed an ice coffee and headed home to make a smoothie bowl.
Post Workout Nutrition
After a long run or bout of endurance exercise, the combo of carbs and protein is so so vital for replenishing depleted glycogen muscle stores (your stored carbohydrate reserves), and rebuilding those muscles that have just experienced some tough stress.
They need the protein to start the rebuilding process so you can function and perform the next day. I’ll typically make a smoothie right away because it’s mindless and gives me straight up, easy-to-digest protein and nutrients, while I build up energy to make an actual meal.
I made it with Vega One Vanilla (my absolute favorite protein powder with tons of nutrients and great taste), and added 1 cup almond milk, frozen bananas, spinach/kale, and frozen blueberries, and topped with it hemp seeds, leftover brownies and peanut butter.
And a side of these coconut peanut butter bites. I always keep a stash stored in the freezer and these things are quick life savors. While meant to be a quick snack, I amped this up pretty good and this kept me full for a few hours!
130 pm – When I was hungry again a few hours later, I made scrambled eggs with cheese and veggies over a homemade tortilla, with a side of apples – extra phytonutrients!
We did some housework for the afternoon, and I had an afternoon snack around 330 pm. This key lime Chobani flip. Have you guys tried these? They’re so good!
Dinner was literally a little bit of everything. Salmon, quinoa, veggies, roasted beets, brownies, protein bites, etc. I cooked up excess of everything to have some extra on hand for the week, though we didn’t have as many leftovers as I thought we would!
Of course, I had to end the night with something sweet. The sad truth was that we didn’t have real ice cream in the house for dessert. We’re boycotting buying some in hopes that we don’t eat it 4 nights a week. True story. So, I made due with some “protein” ice cream.
Basically, ice, frozen bananas, vega protein powder, xanthum gum, guar gum, topped with peanut butter, raspberries and honey bunches of oats. Not the same as my cookies ‘n cream ice cream addiction, but pretty good.
Are you hungry the day of a hard run/workout or the following day?
What’s your favorite dessert?
I just discovered your blog the other day and was perusing through your running posts and read this. I thought I was the only one who is sometimes a hunger monster the day after a long run! This usually happens if I do an afternoon long run, rather than an early morning one in which the hunger shows up around dinner time.
Hi Molly, I’m glad you found me! Without fail, it’s always the day after (sometimes TWO days after) when no matter how much I eat, I’m not satisfied. 🙂
Oh man 16 miles…I can’t even imagine it! I’ve done a couple of half marathons and those took me long enough haha.
I’m with you on the weird hunger thing after long runs though. Sometimes I’m hangry afterwards (although I try to keep a steady flow of glucose as well so I’m not so irritable) and other times I just want to shower and take a nap but I KNOW I need to eat something. And then there are those days when I wake up and I’m so hungry and don’t know why and then it’s like “oh yeah yesterday’s workout was pretty tough.”
Way to go on 16 miles! Impressive! And I so miss roasted beets, so you dinner looks amazing:) Especially those brownies too!
I’m normally not super hungry right after a long run but then 1-2 hours later….it’s on.
Those key lime Chobani flips are like the most amazing snack/treat ever. They are seriously soooo good. I had to cut out dairy for nursing but should hopefully be able to add in back in soon. Those are one of the things I can’t wait to add back in!
I also drink coffee pre workout. I know it messes some people up, but for me it’s the perfect energizer! My favorite dessert is froyo, no questions asked lol.
Huma gels are my favorite!! They go down so smoothly and I don’t feel like I can’t breathe because a gel is clogging my throat. I find I’m pretty hungry most days so a long run (which I did this morning coincidentally) doesn’t make me extra hungry. I do add more PB or nuts to my sandwiches or oatmeal, so maybe that’s why. A long run means I have a heavy hand =P
What great fuel! All of your food looks so healthy and yummy! Great job on the run! Also, I LOVE rice cakes with Pom seeds on top! I used to cover a rice cake in PB2, banana slices and pom seeds! So healthy and tasty!!
Thank you! One of my favorite snacks!
I think I actually get hungrier the day after a long run. The day of a long run I’ll have a piece of toast/almond butter pre-run, Gu gels with me for fuel during the run, and then usually a smoothie or protein oatmeal after, plus lunch, dinner, and maybe a snack or two. But the next day I am STARVING! It’s all I can do to not eat everything in sight!
I COMPLETELY know this feeling all too well.
kudos to you for taking that long of a run! The longest run I ever took was 30 minutes and that was hard. It seems like you did a great job of refueling with some delicious and healthy food 🙂
I try to refuel with quality foods so my next workout can be great!
I love getting an iced coffee after a workout, so so refreshing! That smoothie bowl looks amazing too. My favorite dessert is probably cookie dough ice cream! 🙂
YES! Iced coffees are so deserved after a workout…or anytime really 🙂 I think they are under-appreciated. Cookie dough ice cream is my 2nd favorite flavor 😉
Ha! I see your flip – same flavor as mine. I am intrigued by what you ate before your run. I just feel like I can’t eat anything and then I find myself famished halfway through my races. I need to find something light to eat to sustain me.
It’s really so personalized for everyone. Luckily, I have a pretty strong stomach and can handle things up to 20-30 minutes before. Have you tried eating dates (optional: with peanut butter) before or during a run?
Oh I love seeing re-fuelling posts like this!! I haven’t done a long run in ages but when I was doing them a few years ago, my appetite always felt suppressed the day of and then in overdrive the next day, like you mentioned. It actually took me months to realize the pattern though! Everything looks so so delicious 🙂 I don’t think I could ever choose ONE favourite dessert but brownies are waaaay up there and yours looks amazing!
It’s neat to try to figure out patterns with food and exercise,, but they can definitely vary!
I haven’t done long runs in a LONG time, but when I do, I am usually so hungry. Thankful that God gave me all this food to refuel our bodies and take care of it for His glory!
Amen, Emily 🙂
I always notice I am ravenous the day after a work out – not the same day as much – and especially on complete rest days. I guess it is just proof that your body is still working hard even after all those hours. Oh boy welcome to my life – I feel like I always try and make a big dinner so I will have extra leftovers for the week, and then I always end up with waaaay less than I had planned. You are a queen at smoothie / “ice cream” bowls. All the toppings!
Yep – rest days/post workout day eats are real. Like everything in site. Alll the toppings makes me happy.
Anything to believe it was a frozen dessert, right?
And as someone living 20 miles underneath you, yes it is cold. Too cold. Good for you for running outside! You’re a brave woman.
Also, I wish I was at your house for dinner! Salmon and brownies?! Count me in.
It was a little warmer last Saturday, which was nice! Salmon + brownies = superstar meal!