Almond Date Energy Nuggets – Back in Training

My distance training break has ended and I am back to building up for the Amsterdam Half Marathon.  While I was on “break” I decided to have some “fun” and do speed drills.  If I wasn’t going long, I would go fast.  I was focused on increasing speed without injury – the two often had gone hand in hand for me in the past.

Aside from fartleks, my favorite drills are a 90 second jog, 10 second sprint combo that I repeat anywhere from 10 to 18 times and a 30 second jog, 30 second run combo that also get repeated 10 to 15 times.  They help me with both speed bursts and recovery.  While I am increasing my distance now, I am continuing to do one of these two during one of my shorter, mid-week runs.  It also helps keep things interesting.

2013-08-07 19.14.16
My favorite post-run decadence!

I am also throwing in occasional 5k races to vary the focus of my running.  I want my head to be able to switch between the pace I need for a longer run and the push I need for a timed 5k.  I have not yet broken 27 minutes for a 5k; I am close, 27:01 at the last one.  So, that is my next barrier to break.

When I started doing longer runs, I went on the search for the energy food to take with me on my run. First I tried energy gels, but I found them pretty disgusting and they upset my stomach. And they made me thirstier, which was not a good thing when I was trying to make my water last for the run. Then I tried energy chews and blocks, the gummy-like squares. Aside from being really annoying in that they stuck to my teeth, they also upset my stomach. I was getting frustrated and concerned; I needed something to give me energy on long runs.

I decided to try to make an energy bar of my own with simple ingredients: almonds, almond butter, dates.


I made them into nugget-size chunks, that would be about the right amount for when I needed an energy infusion. I was initially nervous that the almond butter would make me thirsty, but I really hasn’t. They have been working great for me both before and during runs, no stomach upset and just enough energy boost. And, they taste really good.


I store them in ziploc bags in the freezer, and just take out as many as I need for the run. Pre-run I eat them right from the freezer – 1 for a morning 5K, 2 for a 10K or longer run.


The only problem – they are so tasty, I have to keep myself from eating too many!

Almond Date Energy Nuggets

1 cup dates, pitted

1 cup raw almonds, or unsalted roasted almonds

1/2- 1 cup almond butter

1 tsp vanilla


Place the dates, almonds, 1/2 cup almond butter and vanilla in a food processor. Process until the dates and nuts are well chopped and the mixture is well combined. If the mixture isn’t sticking together enough, add more almond butter.


Line an 8 x 8 pan with waxed paper. Press the mixture into the pan, it should be about 3/4inch thick (it may not fill the entire pan, that is ok).


Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into chunks. Enjoy!


Store in plastic bags in the freezer.


Makes about 2 – 3 cups of nuggets.


One Comment Add yours

Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s