Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fuel

So I have never quite been able to get the hang of fueling on the run. My first summer of running longer distances, I would run 8-10 miles without even bringing water with. When I started training for my first marathon, I dumped little bottles of Propel in the ditch at various spots on my route. My method has pretty much been to drink (and eat) when I feel like I need it. I cannot tolerate the texture of gels/Gu, and the sports bars always feel like a big brick in my stomach.

A lot of the professionals recommend that you start replacing and refueling before you feel like you need it. As I start checking off my long runs, I'm trying to get the hang of this, and also trying to figure out what sort of fuel I should be using.

Sunday, I ran 13 miles. My mom picked up some Sport Beans from Target for me (isn't she nice?). I also loaded two of the bottles of my new fuel belt with grape G2 and two with plain water. After 6 miles, I took the Beans with plain water. At 9 and 12, I drank half a bottle of G2. I liked the Sport Beans. They tasted good, they sat well in my stomach, and I felt an energy boost after taking them. The main drawback was how cumbersome they were to eat - you can't just dump the bag in your mouth. Well, maybe you can, but I can't. I had to take a couple at a time, chew them up completely, and then have a couple more. And they got stuck in my teeth a little bit.

I think I will try to continue having my first "snack" at 6 miles, and then every 6 miles thereafter. At every three in between, I'll try the Gatorade. I might need to move up to a full calorie Gatorade, we'll see how it goes. I really like the lighter taste of G2. My mom also bought me some Sharkies from Target, and from feeling the package, they are a little softer than the Beans, so I'll try those this weekend on my 15 miler. Anybody have any other suggestions for fuel?

On a somewhat related note, the 13 miler on Sunday? Best long run ever. I was really nervous because I haven't run more than 10 miles since summer. But the weather was perfect and I felt really strong for most of the run. At about 11.5 miles, my hips and legs started feeling pretty sore, but I was able to keep my pace and my fastest mile was the last mile! Wahoo! It was a huge confidence builder going into the marathon training.

11 comments:

tfh said...

I'm still experimenting, but I found during my last long run eating (well, gel-ing, b/c I can stomach it) every 60 minutes and drinking every 2-3 miles worked well. I've tried the Clif Shot Bloks, and I liked them, but it's so hard for me to chew during my runs, even when I stop to walk. It kind of grosses me out to try. I can deal with the Gu if I don't think about it.

aron said...

i completely agree about fueling before you think you need it. i sip off my gatorade every mile, just a small sip but when i hear my garmin beep i do it. i think its really helped me. i use gu now but for a while my stomach couldn't handle it and i was eating luna moons. i always follow the fuel with plain water. i have heard that some people just suck on moons/blocks/etc to make them melt rather than having to chew on them.

finding what works for you is most important and you are definitely on the right track for that :)

Marlene said...

I find Sharkies much easier to get down than the beans. Keep experimenting and you'lkl figure out what works best for you.

Great job on the long run!

Kita said...

Wow girl, keep up the good work.

BeachRunner said...

Good post. As my runs get longer, I am starting to experiment myself. Some say that a mini Snickers bar (or Milky Way, etc) can be a great energy boost on a run too.

Beth said...

Great blog! I just ran my first marathon at age 41 and have the bug to train for more...I will visit often to read your updates...

Beth

Sarah said...

Congrats on a great run!

Where in Target did your mom find the Sport beans? I have been meaning to try them.

I usually do Gatorade and some mini-Snickers on my long runs. I do a 4 mile loop that end up back at my car...so I usually get something to drink and eat every 4 miles.

I Run for Fun said...

Great job on the run! Apart from GU and gatorade, I eat 1/2 a banana or an orange or 2 toward the end of the run. They seem to work well for me.

MCM Mama said...

I usually fuel every 5 miles or so if I'm running a really long run. If I'm doing less than 10, I tend to just use gatorade. The only thing I've had success with is Gu, so I'm no help.

RunToFinish said...

that was like reading my own history.. I have never used anything for runs, so I'm going to start experimenting because everyone says it's a must

Laurel said...

Nice job on the 13 miles!

As far as fuel, I am a chocolate GU girl all the way. But only chocolate, I can't stand any other flavor. I just pretend its pudding. That usually does it for me.

It depends on the distance, but I usually do every 6 miles. Unless I am doing 20 or more, then I fuel every 5 miles.

As far as gatorade, I have two bottles. One is just water and the other is 3/4 gatorade-1/4 water. That way it's not so heavy. It seems to work better than full strength for my stomach.

Hope you find what works!