Running burns more calories per hour of activity than most other forms of exercise. Experts estimate that the average person burns about 100 calories every mile, depending on a runner’s weight and efficiency. Especially if you’re marathon training, that means you need to consume a LOT of calories – probably a lot more than your neighbor in the break room at work. Just think, if you’re running about 45 miles a week, that’s about 4,500 more calories you need to eat a week. That’s about 650 additional calories per day in addition to the calories you need just to exist.
Now, that calorie amount of course varies from person to person. Runners who weigh more tend to burn more calories per mile. And if you’re doing any kind of interval training, that means you’re burning more calories than during a normal run – and even for a long time afterward.
It’s hard to eat all those calories with only three meals a day. And besides, rungry and hangry often go hand in hand (if you want to know what those terms mean, hang out with me around 2:30PM on days when I’ve run tempo repeats. By 2:00, lunch was a long time ago). So, to eat enough calories to fuel your training, that means eating high calorie snacks that are both filling and satisfying.
The Internet (aka Pinterest) has lots of recipes for healthy snacks. But as much as I’d like to think I have all the time in the world to make my own protein bars and toast my own granola, reality consistently reminds me that I do not. So that means I often rely on prepacked snacks to both keep my calorie counts up and stave off the hangry between meals.
Clif Bars are one of my favorite snacks. My current favorite flavor is Sierra Trail Mix with Peanut Toffee Buzz running in a close second (the caffeine really gives me a kick!). Clif Bars balance carbs, proteins, and fats so I stay full for a long time. And I almost always have them on me. The bars average about 250 calories – which is a lot. For non-runners, that might be a meal replacement. But for runners, it’s an easy way to make sure we’re getting enough food.
And Clif bars have lots of flavor options so I rarely get bored eating them. We have Sierra Trail Mix (yay!), Peanut Toffee Buzz, Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter. Clif also makes Mojo bars and Luna bars which we carry.
Food is fuel. Eat to run!