energy balls?????

I saw energy balls advertised. I was wondering if they would give you enough energy during long runs. I don't want to rely on energy drinks, what else works during long runs? I am starting maraton training. after a good 2 hours run I wouldn't mind a "snack".image......Any experience?????



  • There is so much on the market. You can also try to make your own stuff, pleny of recipes. It is really very personal, what you like or not like and what your stomach can handle or not. Some people can eat about everything during a run, others can't eat anything at all without getting any stomach cramps. Just experiment and see what works for you. I started with gels on really long runs but seem to do better on chocolate milk.

    That said.. during long runs it is essential that your main goal is training fat burning. That means that you would require very little food during a training actually. During a 2 hour training on a slow run, you would not need anything at all. Training without food, teaches your body how to use available energy storages as well.  


  • Foamy bananas. 33p a pack at your local supermarket.

    I bet energy balls are a bit pricier ?

    Up to 15 miles or so - I won't bother with anything.
  • cougie wrote (see)
    Foamy bananas.

    There's a joke there, But  it's Monday morning

  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)
    cougie wrote (see)
    Foamy bananas.

    There's a joke there, But  it's Monday morning

    Haha thats what I was thinking.

    The pieces are there, I just dont know how to put them together. Too early.


  • image Grab some coffee and come back later.
  • Thanks, I have been running up to 2.5 hours and feel light headed with just about half a liter of sport drink. Thought that food might be easier, My stomach seems fine with eating....... I don't like chocolate and don't like milk!! Those energy balls are about 2 pounds each I think. They are full with nuts.

  • I would suggest that 1/2 a litre of sports drink over 2 1/2 hrs (16 miles?) is way too little.

    I realise everyone is different and some really can get by on a few hundred ml every hour but if your light headed then dehydration is far more likley to be the culprit than low glycogen (energy). I am at the other end of the spectrum and take on the best part of a litre every hour. Realistically you should be able to go 3hrs+ before you run out of glycogen and actually need some carbs, even then you shouldn't be feeling light headed, just knackered.

    Try taking on more fluids both before and during your next long run (even if you don't feel like it) and see how that goes. 


  • It depends on your training and goal I guess. If you train (too) fast you will use another energy burning system than during a slow long run. I guess that this is the main reason why people get into trouble during a marathon or ultra. People tend to depend on food and energy drinks and stuff like that during a long run. I have been on a 4 hour training run the other day and just drank 200 mls of chocolate milk. Mainly because I wanted to drink something different than water to be honest. I did not need anything at all. Of course I carried along water in my salomon backpack. The ultimate goal of a long run is training your body: to be on your feet for a long time and to become an energy saver. 

    I did extensive testing with a glucose testing device during several long runs to see what was happening with or without food. Well the most remarkable thing was that glucose levels remained absolutely steady without food during a slow run. 

    Note: I am talking about a slow steady training run here!

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Jelly beans are my drug of choice - one per mile.  Probably not needed, but they help your addled brain with the countdown.

    I'd not be taking on something nut-based during long runs - I find anything like that hard to digest and likely to give me stomach cramps.

  • They remind me of fat balls that I feed to the birds in the winter. Nom nom.

    Very interesting on the glucose thing Max - I'd not think to test that.
  • Max out of curiosity do you, or have you done a lot of your training before breakfast or long time after meals?

    I only ask as I read an article (on I think?) where an ultra runner had specifically concentrated his training in time periods where he was naturally low in glycogen (1st thing in the morning being the best example) in order to promote fat burning on longer/ lower intensity runs. The similarity of using a diabetic style blood sugar level test made me wonder.

    I only ask as this is something I have recently been trying to follow in order to increase efficiency of fuelling on LSRs and ultimatley races.


  • @ roger

    I am not really strict in things, I just train, and think about it and.. test stuff as well. Because people were telling me that they were light headed, and complained about the fact that they NEED food because of 'low sugar' I decided to test this (hahaha I am a doctor). Guess what.... no low sugar levels at all. Remember that the body is excellent in maintaining balances within the body (note: I am talking about healthy people here!). 

    Add the fact that you want to train the body to be a fuel saver during longer runs and it seems silly to eat and drink sugar and stuff like that during a long run. Why would you?

    Running in the morning is OK. Indeed, glycogen levels are low in the muscle. You can experiment with running in the morning if you have the time. Remember that speed work is asking a different type of fuel burning of the body than a long slow run. But experiment with both. Feel the sensations within your body and don't be afraid to 'run low'. How are you doing with your experimenting lately?


  • Not too badly at the moment thanks, admittedly it is not quite as scientific as my OCD would like, as I am a bit of a mong in the AM and often end up halfway through breakfast before I remember what I am trying to achieve. That said If I don't get out before brekkie then I will give it about 6hrs after eating lunch and then train before tea in an attempt to promote more efficient fat burning.

    I must admit that after about 2 months of this, mostly concentrating on improving base level fitness, high intensity runs and cross training (double spinning sessions so also quite high intensity), I have realised that I feel fine for 2hrs+ and as long as I stay well hydrated I neither need nor in fact want anything to eat, sometimes I have to be reminded to have some tea!

    I recently started to build up my LSR milage again for a spring 50k so will see how that goes on the same system, given results so far I am hopeful this will go well.

    Train hard - fight easy! Or something along those lines....


  • PS what do you use to measure blood sugar?image

  • @ roger: sounds good image Just experiment, with foods, different sorts of food and learn how YOUR body responds to several things. Don't forget to take some high quality proteins after your run, especially when you did not eat a lot before the training. I use the Roche Akku check for measuring. It is always good to measure to get to know your body. Perform a test during a whole day with a fasting measurement, one and two hours after a certain food etc. Write everything down and you will see that you learn a lot! Watch out for foods with spikes in glucose levels and use things like combining a carbohydrate with fats (f.e. a veggie/fruit juice is not too bad when combining it with something like avocado since the fats will cause less spiking). Experiment, learn and enjoy!


    Happy running

  • Great in depth comments! I do run 3 times week on an empty stomach, before breakfast early morning due to work/ family commitments etc. I don't run more than about 12 k (includes also sometimes speed training) and never had any problems. More fluid might be the answer for long runs. Funny how much of an anorak you become......image

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