5 Things You Must Do . . .


. . . To Tame the Rungries

It’s so frustrating when you have the most awesome long run . . . and then you want to eat everything in sight for the rest of the day (unless, of course, you’re naturally thin — I most definitely am not).

I’m not into starving myself or exercising more if I’ve eaten more than I should, but it’s also hard to see my hard work at maintaining my weight go down the drain because of the rungries.

I am not a coach, any sort of medical official, or a nutritionist. But I have gone from gaining weight training for my first half to getting back down to my goal weight and more or less maintaining it, all while continuing to run and train for half marathons.


Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and sharing five of the ways I’ve learned to tame the rungries.

Don’t wait to eat
I always have a snack with me for post long run. Even if I’m planning to go out for a bite with friends. Getting some calories in you quickly can make a world of difference in your hunger levels.

The rule of thumb is that you should eat something within 20-30 minutes after your run.

Running fuel and a smoothie for post run

Consider liquid calories
Smoothies or chocolate milk. A lot of runners simply can’t eat immediately after a run, but if you wait too long, chances are you’ll be hungry all day and overdo it on the refueling.

Even if you can’t eat, you probably will enjoy a smoothie or some chocolate milk. Everyone always raves about chocolate milk. They had some after Firecracker 4 (read about that here), so I figured let’s see what everyone’s talking about. Can’t say as it did it for me. I didn’t even finish it.

However, after my run-in with the rungries last weekend when my post run snack was a smoothie, I’m not sure I’ll do that again.

Or maybe I will, if I follow the next point.

Get in a mix of carbs and protein
They say the golden ratio is about 3 or 4 (carbs) to protein. So if your snack has 10 gm protein, for instance, you’re shooting for about 30 or 40 gm of carbs. And don’t go overboard on the protein, either. They say you can only absorb about 25 gm at a time.

Which brings me to my next point!

Healthy protein, carbs & fats — Check!

Refueling isn’t done once you’ve had your post run snack.
One snack does not a refueling strategy make. That snack just begins the refueling process.

You should try to follow up that snack with an actual meal within a couple of hours. Don’t toss all that hard work down the drain by overindulging. Of course it’s fine to treat yourself — but it’s so easy to go way overboard on the treats.

Indulge wisely after a long run

Craving a beer? A burger and fries? Some ice cream? Go ahead, make your day (sorry, couldn’t resist) — just don’t go for all of that. Unless you just ran 20 miles . . . then I’m pretty sure you can eat whatever you damn well please.

Even if you did run 20 miles, choose your next meal wisely. Get in some protein to soothe those hard worked muscles (eggs and salmon are great choices, but whatever sounds tempting to you should work). A side of carbs — brown rice, quinoa (which also has lots of protein), sweet potatoes — will all help you to restock your glycogen stores so that you can rock out the next run. A little healthy fat — avocado, nut butter, olive oil, coconut oil — they’ll all help you feel fuller and have many other benefits as well.

And don’t forget to keep hydrating, too!

Don’t forget to fuel on the run
If you’re doing a short easy run, you probably don’t need a snack afterwards at all. If you’re running for an hour or longer, you probably do need a snack.

At the beginning of a training cycle I will usually run up to about 8 miles with nothing more than Saltstick Fastchews and water. As I get closer to my race, however, I prefer not to deplete my glycogen stores so much so I will usually eat something on the run.

Rather than take a gel every 30-45 minutes, I like to get a little in every mile. I once attended a seminar and the speaker likened fueling that way to an IV drip. No matter how you decide to fuel, if you’re running more than an hour and you find that you’re starving the rest of the day — and you’ve followed all the previous points — try eating on the run.

So let me know in the comments:

What’s your go-to immediately post run snack?

What treat do you crave as the miles get longer?

What’s your go-to post long run meal?

27 thoughts on “5 Things You Must Do . . .

  1. I am never hungry after a run so I have a hard time picking out the best things to eat later on. You would think I would be better at this since I taught nutrition for several years. I guess it’s the old adage “do as I say, not as I do”…haha. Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love these tips! Now I’m craving some avocado sushi…

    It usually takes me an hour or two to get hungry after a run… but I try to have a protein bar/shake as soon as I can! Then later on I have a big salad with tofu, avocado, nuts, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I make a very simple protein bar (oats, protein powder, chia seeds, almond butter and applesauce). I have that and some fruit. I do like smoothies, but it just didn’t seem to satiate me last week — or maybe it was the fact that I’m up to 8 miles and wasn’t eating during the run yet. Changed that this week!


  3. Great tips… I find it hard to eat after a run during the summer, so I’ll usually get a shake in me post run. A couple of hours later… I’m usually craving tacos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I run during the week after work and I usually eat a banana before the run (or a bar if I don’t have a banana.) Afterward, I eat my normal dinner.

    On the weekend before a race or a long run, I eat my normal oatmeal and a gu after each 4 miles. Afterward, I crave chocolate milk and carbs (bagel or dessert.)

    I didn’t gain weight after my first half. But as I have aged, I have put on weight so I don’t think it is running-related but who knows.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate milk. In fact I’ve never had any not even as a kid. I only starting drinking chocolate milk because other runners raced about it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of people are like that. Sometimes I’m like that. I can usually eat something afterwards, though.

      It’s funny, I like smoothies, but it doesn’t really seem to satisfy me after a run.


  5. I’ve done a decent job at maintaining my weight while training. This time around, however, I seem to be gaining weight and I’m not so pleased about that. I need to fuel properly but I don’t want to overdo it. It’s a delicate balancing act!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s absolutely a delicate balance — can’t even imagine it when training for a full — and it seems like a lot of us are struggling this summer.

      I actually read something in a magazine that a LOT of people (not just runners) are struggling with weight right now, might be a blog post at some future date . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s strange, but the only thing that really stops the rungries for me is shrimp and potatoes. There is something in shrimp that not only satisfies but fills me up too. Post run I always reach for that chocolate milk and a banana and am disappointed when they don’t have it after a race. Smoothies don’t quite do it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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