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.