Figuring It Out

Posted: March 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm

You know what I have learned about running in the past couple of months? It’s hard and provides a great personal challenge? Yes. Although, I’m not talking about the run itself. I’m talking about all the details to figure out for the strongest and most comfortable run! But first, a recap of the day.

I headed out to Group Power (a weights class) this morning after breakfast. I loved class today. A new instructor to our gym led part of the time and she picked the best music tracks. I also increased my weights a bit this week after just reacquainting myself with the class last week. I forget how killer these classes are. They work ya good!

After my weights, I headed out to a park to meet up with our friends from playgroup. I had a total mommy fail moment. I assumed the weather would warm up like it has been the past week. Um, no! It actually got colder and windier from when I left the house this morning. We hung out for about 20 minutes and then I had to call it quits because I didn’t want Makenzie or Braedon getting sick. 

Thankfully, it got warmer again as the day went on. Thursday means another run day for me! Also thankfully, I received a special product in the mail just in time.


My run Tuesday left me with some unattractive chafing in certain places that shall not be pictured. Namely, the underside of my “milk makers” and what the hip-hop group D4L calls “laffy taffy” (inner thighs, right?). Anyhoo…chaffing. That stuff hurts! I have heard all you runners talk about it, but I had no clue. Ouchity ouch ouch. Stingity sting sting.

The company 2Toms sent me some of their roll-on Sport Shield to try out and protect against chaffing. I tried it out on my 3.5 mile run today.

 I didn’t feel any pain from the current spots and don’t feel any additional chaffing either. It’s the first product like this I have ever tried, but I liked it a lot. Not only did it fulfill its purpose, but it did so nicely. It wasn’t greasy and didn’t make my clothes nasty. It felt light-weight on my skin, despite being a long-lasting and waterproof product. I also appreciate that the company 2Toms makes sure their products are non-toxic and contain no animal products. You should give them a try! Or you can enter their giveaway on Facebook for a YEAR supply of their products. Click HERE to learn more.

So, not only have I learned the joys of chaffing to worry about with running, I have also been working to learn the best pre-run fuel for me. I’ve tried a few different things.

All of these worked well, but I want to try a variety of options to see what really leaves me feeling the best. I know from past experience I like something with quicker carbs coupled with something that has some staying power (protein or fat). Today I tried another combo that fits that bill – mini PBB (peanut butter banana) sandwiches.


Mini PBB sandwiches sounds so much nicer than peanut butter smooshed between banana slices, doesn’t it?

It will still be trial and error to decide what works the best. I know I had the apple and yogurt before my PDR on Tuesday. Ideally, I think I would do best with a bowl of oats about 2 hours before a run. Yet…I run in the afternoons, too far away from lunch and before dinner, so snack it is. I will figure out the perfect combo soon enough. 

Question of the Day – How do you fuel before a workout?

*2Toms sent me their product for my own personal review. The opinions expressed are completely my own and not compensated for in any way.


61 Comments to “Figuring It Out”
  1. Kacy says:

    I’m terrible at before run fueling. I get terrible stomach aches almost every time I run over 7 miles and I can’t figure out why. I definitely say stick with what works and it’s great that you’re paying attention to how each thing makes you feel. I need to start doing that more!

  2. Mac says:

    I usually have something simple if it’s a run in the morning, which it usually is, like two hard boiled eggs or a slice of peanut butter toast or a small dish of yogurt.

  3. For some reason, those little pb banana sandwiches look so cute!
    I usually exercise about an hour or so after my breakfast, so I fuel with that: usually oats, peanut butter, and a banana.

  4. Love all the snack combos!!! I usually work out in the morning on an empty stomach ( I never used to be able to do that – don’t know how that happened) or right after breakfast on the weekends. So I guess I don’t really fuel up!

  5. Coco says:

    I run first thing in the morning and either have nothing, a choc protein shake, or PB toast. Somehow the idea of a “year’s supply” of anti-chafing products is funny! How much do you need. 😉

  6. I don’t eat before I workout since it’s first thing in the morning. I’ve tried before but I get cramps really bad when I do.

  7. It depends what time my workout is, if it’s in the morning (like 5:30 am) I’ll have 1/2 or 1/3 a granola bar, just to get some fuel. Other wise it’s usually a whole granola bar for an afternoon workout! 🙂

  8. I love that anti-chaffing “stuff”. Jason gets a brand called Body Glide. When he does a triathlon, he runs sockless so he started using that. I realized the necessity when running 6+ miles in the heat. Ouch

  9. I chafe between my legs which is why I wear longer compression shorts or capris.

    Before a short morning workout I’ll usually have a few drinks of juice (I keep a bottle of Naked juice in the fridge) but for longer workouts I’ll havea banana/PB, small bowl of oatmeal, piece of toast/PB, or something like that. I usually just need a little something to keep me feeling good.

  10. Dorry says:

    That’s one of my favorite combos, too. If I’m running more than 8 miles, I need something more, though. Sometimes I’ll just add the banana and almond butter to a corn/rice cake. It works better for me than bread, which I could never eat before a run. But I know a lot of people like the sandwich thins…I’m sure you’ve seen that pictured on blogs a million times. 🙂

  11. Why didn’t I ever think of mini PB sandwiches? Looks so much cuter!

  12. Lauren says:

    I love your mini PB & banana sandwiches. They look more fun & less messy than throwing PB on a full banana.
    I usually run in the afternoon a few hours after lunch. Sometimes, I’ll have PB & a banana. Most of the time, I eat a small snack of dried fruit like raisins or dates.
    I’m still trying out what works best for me though!

  13. i find that i have my best workouts in the morning post an oatmeal & pb breakfast. so cliche, i know….

    Have a good one,

  14. Lisa says:

    OMG! Mini PBB sandwiches look amazing!! Why didn’t I ever think of something so clever!? 😉 haha. I’m not sure how you can eat Chobani before a run though, I think I would yack. I definitely cannot do dairy before working out! One of my favorite things is just a spoonful of peanut butter 🙂 But now I think it’s going to be Mini PBB sandwiches!!

  15. I have to be careful about what I have before I run/workout because I get terrible cramping. Vega has a really good sports drink (maybe you can only get this in Canada? I’m not sure) that you drink before a workout or sometimes I go with their Vanilla Almondillo Shake N Go smoothie.

  16. jobo says:

    LOVE Power. Can’t say it enough. And the PBBs look so tasty, great idea too. I don’t fuel up enough before workouts, I hate to admit it; I usually work out so early that I can’t really eat a full meal or even a full snack. I usually go with a handful of nuts and then fuel up right after my workout.

  17. I don’t eat very much before a workout; I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I usually am ready to eat right after, though! The exception is if I’m going on a long run, which hasn’t happened in a looooong time. Too long. 🙁

  18. when i first started running, and didnt have the muscle tone in my legs i used to have now, i had the WORST chafing in my legs.. they would turn red, and basically blister (TMI, i know) lol. Sometimes i get chafing under my arm pits if i dont wear a long enough shirt- so roll on lotions definitely help!

    bananas are the number one fuel for me- and just like your picture, bananas and nut butters are PERFECT <3

  19. Anne Marie says:

    I majorly need a workout plan so that I can commit… It’s still to dark to run before work in the morning and when I come home I make dinner, eat, and crash!!! I don’t know how you do it with the kiddos.

    Cute nanners 😉

    • Tina says:

      I can go at 8:30 in the morning with child care. That’s how I manage. It would be the only way. If I worked, it would be MUCH harder. You all amaze me with your early am or late afternoon workouts!

  20. It totally depends on how hard-core the work out is, but for a “normal” workout (~1 hour) first thing in the day I will usually eat a banana and a scoop of PB.

    Your mini banana sandwiches are far cuter though – I may try grilling those up next time! 🙂

  21. I love the mini PBBs – so cute!

    I usually fuel before morning runs with a toasted english muffin or bagel thin, some PB, and some sliced banana… I get too sluggish with oats (probably because I like to add a lot of brown sugar to it… :))

    For afternoon runs, I usually have a smaller version of that. Half of a bagel thin w/ PB (no banana) or half of a small whole-wheat tortilla with PB. I’ve found those combos to work the best for me, as long as I don’t eat them too soon before running!

  22. Honestly? I’d always fuel with a handful of dry cereal. I tried banana, a pb sandwich.. all of it made my stomach feel too “heavy.” And then I would just supplement with gatorade and sports beans, especially when it was really hot.. gatorade is a MUST! I would buy the lighter kind and dilute it a little with water. I swear, it works wonders. WONDERS.

    • Tina says:

      I always hate Gatorade because of it feeling too sweet, but like the idea of diluting it. I’ll have to remember that as the heat turns up and I increase mileage. Thanks!

      And I have noticed that anything bready gets kind of heavy feeling.

  23. Kristina says:

    I usual eat a half a lara bar or a smoothie before a workout-something semi light an hour before or so.

    • Tina says:

      Oh. Larabar. That’s a good idea. Love those and they have a good combo of things to fuel you. May have to give that one a try. If only they weren’t so dang $. But just used before a run wouldn’t be too bad.

  24. I am really bad at fueling before a workout or run! I know I need to pay more attention to it, but it is so hard sometimes because a lot of the time I rush right from work to teach an aerobics class or I rush home and try to get a run in before it gets dark.
    In a perfect world, I would fuel up with carbs like oats about an hour before my run.

  25. Groff's Girl says:

    I am totally still trying to figure out my morning fuel! I usually run at 4:45am (that should change a bit now that I am done working) so I have to get up and out the door quick. I keep experimenting with what I eat (usually not too much). I find I feel light headed and hit a spot where I get dizzy and weak, I usually go for water, but I am not running farther than 5K so I don’t think that should be happening. Hopefully I will get it all sorted out…but I usually go with one piece of 7 grain flax toast with some natural PB, 1/2 a banana with PB (soon to be PBB now since they are so cute), a small handful of Total Raisin Bran (I have since cut that out of my diet)…I think the PB bites will be a great one, not too heavy but still gives some protein and sugar to your body!! Good call, Mama!!!!

  26. Your peanut butter drizzle is lovely!

  27. Lee says:

    If I’m running in the morning, I usually eat peanut butter and banana on toast. If I’m running after work, I don’t really eat anything special beforehand.

    I get that underboob chafing too. I don’t know what it’s from. Too big bra maybe?

  28. Errign says:

    Depends on the workout, but if it’s early morning I like to have a piece of a bar or a few powerbar energy chews. 🙂

  29. HAHA! What a cute idea to make mini PBB sandwiches! So cute and perfect fuel!

    Unfortunately, I’m still finding it hard to break away from my “w/o on an empty stomach” rule and so normally I only drink some BCAAs before a run or cardio session first thing in the morning. I’m trying to get myself out of this “rule box” when it comes to workouts, but when I lift I ALWAYS make sure I fuel with some quick protein and medium GI carbs to get me through it. One of these days I’ll get to your point and stop having so many food rules. I’ve gotten better since comp prep, but still find myself calculating/manipulating macros and so on.

  30. I haven’t found anything that makes me feel gross before a workout yet, but i certainly prefer to run on as little food as possible. I get so tired with food in my stomach. Afterwards though, I love a green smoothie and/or a fried egg on toast.

    • Tina says:

      Those both sound so good post workout. I think green smoothies are the best after a tough workout. So refreshing.

  31. Since I usually wake up very early for my workouts I usually only have something small. Half a lara bar usually! When I go for runs on the weekend I usually fuel with oats 2 hours before!!

  32. emily says:

    Hey tina! I always workout in the morning, as soon as I get out of bed! So I don’t eat anything…I just go for it! Then when I get back and had my shower…I refuel with a great breakfast! A great workout followed by a great breakfast=great productive day!

  33. those PB Banana sandwiches are soo cute!

  34. AmyLauren says:

    Those sandwiches are so adorable- seriously :). Chobani is the best too. I’m glad you’re figuring out pre-run fuel too. Before races, I usually do a caffiene chew, but I don’t really eat anything for a few hours before I run, so yeah. I don’t like food sloshing around in my tummy and not liking me.

    It got super cold here this morning too! I’m not a mommy but I always have extra coats and hoodies because it can get chilly fast!

  35. I do a little dry cereal or a granola bar. Apples give me stomach cramps (too much fiber to break down?) and bananas make me throw up (not sure why). If I do something carby it works well for me. Cookies also fit the bill. 🙂

  36. I can’t eat too much before working out or else I get stomach problems – but they’re more like hiccups that taste like food. Gross. So I stay away from citrus entirely. I also can’t eat yogurt before either. I usually have part of a Luna Bar or half a banana or some toast/pb. If I’m running more than 5-6 miles I’ll bring some GU product to give me some more energy. 🙂

  37. It took me YEARS to figure out that i needed to learn what pre-run fuel worked for me – so smart of you to be working on it now as you’re just starting out!

    I always need something fairly substantial before a run, even if it’s only 3 miles. For me, PB w/ honey on wheat bread works best. I’ll make a full-out sandwich if it’s a longer run (say 6-9 miles) & will add banana if it’s a really long run (10+) or if I’m just feeling extra hungry!

    I’m good with a 15 min wait after I eat, but for some people, eating this much would require more wait time. I guess I’m lucky in that respect!

  38. I’m fortunate in that I have a stomach of steel; I feel like I can eat almost anything before a run or workout and still feel fine!

    • Tina says:

      Haha! I have a stomach of steel too so nothing has made me feel sick yet. Even the yogurt which most would balk at. Love a strong stomach. Now, watch. I will upchuck tomorrow from whatever I eat.

  39. Kelly says:

    I have to eat something REALLY bland because too much flavor causes me to have an upset tummy and some “tasty” burps during the run. (sorry…tmi) So peanut butter before a run is completely out of the question. I have found that a few pieces of toast with butter works well for me.

  40. I am always experimenting with pre and post-run fuel to see what leaves me feeling the best, and I think the boring toast with peanut butter and jelly (or banana) is really what keeps my energy up during a workout without sitting like a rock in my stomach. I should probably keep a journal of what I eat and how I feel during my run to really know for sure!

  41. Oh my gosh, those mini sandwiches are adorable. They kind of reminded me of jumbo Ritz sandwiches at first glance- yummy!!

  42. Unless the run is going to be over 1 hour, I don’t see the need to pre-fuel. My regular daily nutrition is adequate enough. If I’m really hungry & facing a shorter workout, I might eat something small (graham cracker, handful of Kashi, 1/2 a mini Clif bar), no more than 100 calories, 30-60min before. But I’ve really found my body’s reserves are enough to get through a <60 minute w/o.

    If my run is 1hr+, I'll take in 100-150 calories 60-90min prior. Usually a Wasa or graham cracker w/PB smear, maybe an egg on a piece of toast. If the workout is 90+min I'll up the cals to 150-200 calories, same protein/carb mix, maybe oatmeal w/nuts. For 1hr+ workouts, I'll also take in calories from Heed or gels, the amount depending on the intensity of the workout.

    I do *always* have a small, high protein recovery snack shortly after the workout, again calories based on the length/effort level of the workout. Typically they're a glass of milk w/whey, greek yogurt w/kashi, or smoothie (yogurt, whey, fruit).

    I've never tried 2Toms, but love BodyGlide. Good luck working on your run nutrition!

    • Tina says:

      Thanks for all that great input! I’m always hungry for a snack in the afternoon so I have to eat about an hour before I run…otherwise I would be starved. LOL

  43. Those mini pb banana sandwiches are so cute! I can’t believe I have never thought of that before. 🙂

  44. I love pb and banana together, perfect snack!!

    Fortunately, I haven’t had any chaffing yet with running…doesn’t sound fun though!!!

  45. marcia says:

    Before this Paleo thing..haha. I was eating oatmeal, PB and a piece of fruit and maybe a few pieces of protein ( turkey lunch meant). OR I would have something like a Larabar and an apple at least 30-45 minutes before my run. IF I was running 10 or more I would eat 2 hours before the run – the oats combo.
    Paleo fuel would be a green smoothie OR almond flour pancakes w/ almond butter and an apple or orange. 🙂

  46. I remember when I first figured out what chafing was…it was so painful! I still have some scars from chafing last summer from my sports bra and ipod holder strap. I use Body Glide and it’s worked wonders. I find that for running, I’m more concerned with fueling prior to a run and during a run. Before running I always go with toast- and peanut butter and banana is a good topping. During a run I use clif shot blox or gu. Post runs I usually can’t eat for a while so then I just eat whatever I’m in the mood for when I’m hungry again.

  47. Karen says:

    I am just starting to delve into the area of pre-run fuel and don’t really have any suggestions but I really learned a lot from all the comments people left!

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  49. Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to grasp so much approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I believe that you can do with a few percent to pressure the message home a little bit, however instead of that, that is great blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  50. […] in the universe that fit properly.) It worked well, and I went chafe-free through my day in court. Faith Fitness Fun tried out Sport Shield on some non-feet body parts. Run Wifey Run did a video review of Butt […]

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