I had my long run last Sunday morning and I was able to finish a distance of 25 kilometers. I did not carry my hydration belt or brought with me any sports gel. I brought only a small amount of cash wrapped in small platic bag and tucked inside the small pocket of my running short.

I had already planned out for my pit stops/stores/fastfood chains along the roads of the The Fort, McKinley Hill, Lawton Avenue, and Bayani Road. However, my favorite pit stop is always that small convenience store inside the Philippine Army Golf Course along Bayani Road which is specifically located at Hole #1. My hardcore running buddies know this place.

Suman From Pangasinan (Google Images)

Whenever I stopped in this place, I usually eat boiled banana, boiled egg, and drink one bottle of Gatorade drinks. However, last Sunday, instead of eating the usual food being displayed, I ate the local suman, two pieces, and drank the usual one bottle of Gatorade drinks. The food I ate and the drinks filled my hungry stomach and I was back on the road to continue my run.

Suman Sa Lihiya (Picture From Google Images)

I observed that the suman whose ingredients are glutinous rice, salt and/or sugar, and coconut milk with the Gatorade drinks had given me an extra boost for my run! It could be that the food was enough source for my carbohydrate intake (rice & sugar), protein (coconut milk) and the salty taste (sodium source) for my running workout. I am not a nutritionist but I felt differently as I had more strength for my last 10 kilometers due to the aid of this local food called suman.

It is easy to prepare this kind of delicacy if you have the time but they (cooked/finished product) are also available in malls in Metro Manila. There are so many sites in the Internet that will guide you on how to prepare suman depending on the locality where it is made or sourced.

I still have more time to experiment on the effects of eating suman and how fast I could eat them during my running workouts. This will replace my practice of eating hard boiled eggs and instant oatmeal at the halfway mark in a marathon race. I intend to eat at least one or two pieces of suman every 10 kilometers during the MILO Marathon Elimination on July 4, 2010 which will be prepositioned by my support crew instead of ingesting those expensive sports gels and other usual foods that I take. The suman ingested to the stomach could be heavy but I think it will be the best food for my endurance runs.

If my idea and experimentation will work, I will add suman as one of the foods to be served in my ultramarathon races under the auspices of PAU. Runners could try eating suman also in their running workouts or marathon races and try to observe if it works for everybody.