Two Lives, One Lifestyle


Fueling Up For a Run by Katie
May 2, 2010, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Katie, Nutrition, Run, Team in Training

For once, I was prepared for my long run!  Yesterday I bought a water bottle belt with one big bottle and a pocket for snacks.  The water bottle was a good size and the pocket can fit about 4-5 gels and my key.

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When my alarm went off I still felt really tired but as usual, the thought of running by myself versus with a group got me up and at ‘em. I had a thick slice of Great Harvest with PB and J and organized my stuff.

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So you’ll never believe it but continuous fueling and hydrating really improve my running.  It’s been a struggle through the season to find something that works for me.  I tried 4 different brands of gel and 3 types of gummies, all of which caused digestive grossness. Running is hard enough; a churning stomach is no help.

I finally found the Honey Stinger’s gummies to be okay.  At least, they caused the least amount of stomach aching.  This weekend, I tried the Honey Stinger’s gel, which is basically watered down honey. I prefer the gel stuff to the chews because it is one big gulp and done.  Holding the gummies + chewing while breathing + holding my pace is too much to do at once.

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What is your fuel of choice?

Google helped me learn that as a starting point, about 30 g of carbs every 30-40 minutes after the first hour is an average energy intake during long distance running.    I had one Stinger gel at ~5 miles and one at ~9 miles.  I could totally tell when the first one kicked in and made sure to take the next one before I needed it.

I’m going to venture a guess and say that staying hydrated on the run also helped. I used a half tablet of nuun electrolytes since hydration doesn’t just mean water but balanced electrolytes (salt, potassium, etc).  These tablets don’t have added sugar like Gatorade which was fine since I was getting enough from the gel.  The reason for using half a tablet was to prevent stomach cramping from too many electrolytes (Stinger has some electrolytes).  Once it’s hotter outside and I’m dripping sweat, this will be even more important.

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Not like it’s rocket science, or something I’d never heard before but seriously- WHAT a difference!  Between the stomach aches and my long-distance sports inexperience, I was all confused about what to eat and when so I went with way too little.  Once you figure out what works for you, it can make all the difference in the world.

How much of a difference you ask?  Enough to run my best long run yet!  Obviously some of this is from training but I’ve never been able to keep such a steady- and fast (for me)- pace.

  • 1st 6.5 miles:  9:23/mile pace @ even splits
  • 2nd 6.5 miles: 9:09/mile pace, negative splits each mile

I’ve never felt better after a long run- I didn’t even nap yesterday!  The 18 mile run really broke me down.  But the last two weeks have helped build me back up and restore my confidence a bit.  I think it was a good lesson in treating my body well and respecting the distance.  Intuitive eating and eating for fuel has taken on so much more meaning with training, but that’s a whole different post!

What has running (or whatever your exercise of choice is) taught you?

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Figuring out the fueling is so important. Some people run better on full stomachs and others do not. Some need sports gels and others do not. It does take practice and work to figure it out though! Good job! 😀

Comment by Andrea (Off Her Cork)

I think that’s why it was so confusing… everyone was telling me different things, I was reading a ton of conflicting opinions, etc. Finally I just had to do my own trial and error!

Comment by Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle

That’s a great question. I think all of my exercises have taught me that if things get hard I can KEEP GOING. I can finish it and make it home okay. 🙂

Comment by hundredtenpounds




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