Hi fellow moms! I’m Bethany and I have one 4 year old daughter and am pregnant with my second child due in June. I just ran my first half marathon before finding out I was pregnant, and plan to stay fit through this pregnancy. I blog over at Gluten Free Running Mama (www.gfrunningmama.com) about living gluten free as a runner and a mom. I live in the Midwest and currently am a substitute teacher, enjoying the adventures that working in a different school every day brings.
I never thought I could run further than a 5K, but then I ran an 8K and thought “I can do this! And I can run a half marathon!” So I signed up and started training. And then I realized I needed to come up with a nutrition plan since I had recently gone gluten-free. My husband was always carb-loading before a big race, but it’s a little more complicated if you are doing it gluten-free. I needed an alternative to the normal spaghetti and bread meal. At this point in my training, I had yet to find a gluten-free noodle that I liked, and carbs never made me feel that great anyways.
I found that I could run well after eating some chicken and rice. Just plain rice, no seasoning, just rice. A potato went well with this meal, with some cheese and sour cream. This is what worked for me. I ate A LOT of chicken and rice leading up to my race. In fact, after getting sick from something I ate, I vowed to only eat the same things that I knew were safe, until the race!
I love to run in the morning, after eating something really simple and easy. I found Larabars were gluten free and there are a TON of flavors. I started trying those out and they worked well for me! I sometimes paired it with a banana if I had a longer run. Another thing I found I liked was greek yogurt, with cocao nibs in it. I found this brand while on vacation, at a health food store, and now I order them on Amazon. I mix in a bunch with my yogurt and it’s just sweet enough, and the yogurt has a lot of protein in it to help me stay fueled.
When it came to nutrition while running, I also had to figure things out before my runs were long enough to need fuel. My husband is a big fan of the liquid gel fuel packs that you can easily eat while on the run. I tried one that was gluten free, but it was too sugary for me! And something in it did not like me and I got sick. So I had to find different ways to fuel while running.
I started researching gluten free fueling options and found Jelly Belly Sport Beans. Luckily, I live by a Jelly Belly factory so I tried a few flavors and found one I liked. I started eating half a bag before running, and then at the others as I ran. I just folded up the bag and kept them in my fuel belt.
I also wanted a more natural form of fuel so I threw a few dried fruit in my fuel belt and those worked out well for me too. I like raspberry, but I also tried strawberry too. Fruit pouches are another fun thing to try. They are easy to eat on the run, and are a more natural form of fuel. They are pretty large, but once it’s empty, it folds up pretty small.
For some reason when I started running, I chewed gum. So I needed to find an alternative and GLEE gum is gluten free and was good, so I stuck with that for a while. I don’t need it for every run anymore; I just bring it in case I’m struggling. That little extra flavor helps my run sometimes.
In all the running groups I’m in, everyone has their own nutritional plan for running, so I think it’s pretty much trial and error for everyone. Just make sure you try things out before race day, just in case the result is not good!
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