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Clean Quick Energy Source During a Long Run

12 June, 2018 | Blog

As a long distance runner, I’m always looking for new ways to try and improve my performance. As far as what counts as improvement, I consider anything where my pace quickens without harming my endurance, or my endurance improves without a change to my pace, or when I just generally feel less fatigued the day after a long run. Any mix of these is great too.

Recently I’ve ben testing different mid-run pick-me-ups to see if they have any positive effects. But, I have also been trying to adhere to a vegan lifestyle over the last several months, so my options are somewhat limited.

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Here’s what I have discovered thus far.

Chocolate Rules

I have always loved chocolate. Basically, anything that was even remotely made of chocolate was a big winner in my books. However, as I try to eat a more healthy diet for the sake of my running, I don’t eat much of it anymore.

Then, when I went vegan, it all but disappeared completely. Lately though I have heard many people sing praise to dark chocolate and how it helps them break through their personal wall.

Though not milk chocolate, a lot of dark chocolate still has some animal byproducts in it. As a vegan that’s a deal killer. I was able to find some vegan friendly chocolate that allowed for me to experiment with it.

I have to say, I am very impressed. It really did give me a bit of a lift when I was barely hanging on. The biggest drawback seemed to be that the good stuff is not cheap, and that it does have a fairly short lifespan as far as its boost goes.

But, it did what I wanted it to do, so no real complaints.

Granola

I find this a great treat when not running, but would it be useful as an in run supplement? At first thought, it sure doesn’t sound like it.

One reason why this was recommended was that is covered two important qualifications. It was vegan and it was easy to nibble since it was in small little chunks.

Aside from those two positives, I am having a hard time finding any others. When I gave this a try, it was awful. I think as far as energy it might have been useful. I couldn’t really tell. Instead, I was doing all I can to not choke due to having all the moisture sucked from my mouth. It was like dropping an iPhone in a bowl of rice to remove any moisture.

Verdict: Heck no!

Energy Gel

The last thing I tried was a vegan energy gel. I cannot remember the exact brand, so I’ll need to contact a friend to find it again. But, the main question is did it work?

The first feature that stuck out was that it was really easy to carry and to use. It was like a mini Capri Sun without the annoying straw. It also tasted OK as it was some kind of berry mix.

Much unlike the granola, I was not completely drained of any much needed moisture. So, we’re off to a good start.

Concerning the boost, it did seem to help me push through when I was at my worst. It didn’t seem as useful as the chocolate, but it was better than nothing. Maybe it was all mental, but who cares if it works. 

The biggest drawback seems to be this stuff is not cheap.

So, at the end of this experiment, I would say that there are ways to help you push through when the going gets tough. But, granola is certainly not one of them.