Vegan Fuel for a Half Marathon

Posted on February 28, 2011


Yesterday, I ran my first half marathon since having baby #3 (who is 10 months old now).  The run was so much fun.  Of course, it was Disney’s Princess Half Marathon!  It felt great to race again, and I thought I would share my nutritional intake before and during the race with you.

2009 Inaugural Disney Princess Half Marathon


But first, I have to share a funny story (and a recipe).  Between babies #2 and #3, I went through a stage of making my own energy gel for long runs and races.  (Thanks to Gretchen at What a Healthy Family Eats for first introducing me to the idea). I would fill my energy gel flask the night before with half organic brown rice syrup and half organic agave, mixed with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.  It is super easy and gives you both the complex carbs to sustain energy levels (the brown rice syrup) and the quick energy (from the agave) for endurance runs. 

Fast forward to last Friday.  I found myself without enough agave to fill my flasks and short on time before the race.  I decided I would just purchase gel at the race expo when I went to pick up my bib and packet.

With all 3 kids in tow (oh trust me, they had fun getting showered with “magical” fairy dust and purchasing running bracelets and rings that blink fluorescent colors so they can be seen while training sleeping at night!), I stopped by the first booth that had gel.  I looked up and recognized the guy working the booth as the owner of one of the local running stores.  Oddly enough, I did not see signage indicating the store, so I asked if that was his store.  He said yes, then did a double take.  He asks, “Aren’t you the one who makes your own gel?”

Oh, boy.  Yes, I am THAT one!  I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of similar questions and remarks about my vegan preferences otherwise.  Somehow, I was not expecting to be remembered as the crazy vegan gel lady, especially after taking a year-long hiatus to have a baby!

Here is my log of Vegan Fuel for the 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon:

Day Before:

Ate normal meals but drank LOTS of water!

Dinner Night Before:

Large bowl of pasta with marinara and sautéed organic vegetables, bread and 2 glasses of water.  (If you eat out, skip the dipping oil, especially if it is garlic-y.  You will not want the heavy feeling and/or indigestion at 3:00 AM)!

Race Day:

2:00 AM – Started drinking water

3:00 AM – 2 Slices Whole Wheat Bread with about 2 1/2 tablespoons Peanut Butter, 1 banana and water

4:30 AM – Cup of water

5:15 AM – Clif Luna Bar*

Mile 1.5 – Water

Mile 4 – Water with packet of Emergen-C

Mile 6 – Water with Hammer Gel: Apple Cinnamon**

Mile 7 – Water

Mile 9 – Water with packet of Emergen-C

Mile 10  – Water with Hammer Gel

Mile 11 – Water

*(Clif Luna Bars are made for women.  They are vegan-friendly and contain 23 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  They are also made with non-GMO soy).

**(Hammer Gel is made with real fruit and natural, wholesome ingredients.  It is vegan-friendly and does not contain artificial colors, sweeteners or refined, simple sugars).

Post Race:

On the way to the vegan restaurant for a BIG brunch, I had 1 Banana and 1/2 an Orange (only because once I peeled it, I discovered the other half was rotten)!  Drank lots of water.

What are your favorite vegan running tips?  What do you use for fuel?  Have you been known as the crazy (fill in the blank) person?