from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.
Lao-Tzu

Thursday, May 17, 2007

fueling

Energy gels are not it. The first I took during the marathon gave me a tummy ache, although I had tried it out before without problems. The second one, at mile 23, made me nauseous. In between I had a half a Cliff bar, or less, and I had to force myself to swallow.

If I ever run an ultra, the biggest problem is going to be fueling. I can see myself with a little backpack perhaps - a quesadilla or two, salsa, guacamole, some chicken enchilada, a small bottle of condensed margaritas. No, make that a big backpack.

Oh well. That would not work either. I simply do not like to eat while running, even if it's during walking breaks. I did most of my runs, even some big ones, on an empty stomach. I ate before all the races, but just because I had to.

I am a food-happy person. I enjoy eating. I love to go out. Every meal is a feast. I am always hungry. Here I found the one circumstance where my appetite fails me. It's running, and running requires fuel.

22 Comments:

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Steve said...

You're right Lia. A free entry isnt worth the endless guilt. I will fork out the $ 70.00 and play by stupid rules. The race is on July 29th .

I have the same problem with fueling. Not so much the gels , but with not drinking enough OR drinking too much.

When I eat or drink too much, I can't breath, especially during a long walk. The key for me is to walk on an empty stomach , but still have enough carbs and fat to burn and not become dehydrated.

Did you say ULTRA??

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Deene said...

I don't like gels that much either but when i absolutely have to eat something during long runs I found salted almonds or pretzels worked well for me. Clif makes clifbloks that weren't too bad either. i like the condensed margaritas idea - maybe margarita flavored gu, best if frozen?

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Robb said...

I also run on empty. I crawl out of bed and hit the road in the dark and usually get home before the sun comes up. I eat after I run.

I have been experimenting with different gel, gu and jelly beans...and drinking a variety of gatorade flavors. I have had no issues with any of them so I don't know.

Frankly, I'd be just as happy with a hot coffee at the halfway mark.

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger JustRun said...

"If I ever do an ultra..." Listen to you. :)

I agree, it takes a lot of experiementing. Currently, there is only one kind of Gu I can use while running (vanilla) the rest make me sick. I do like my gatorade, though.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

Keep messing around with it. My current favorites are clif-bloks (which come in Margarita flavor,though I haven't tried them), peanut butter crackers, and chocolate soy milk.

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger RunBubbaRun said...

Ultra, know you are talking...

Nutrition is hard to figure out.. I'm still experimenting.. Try different brands.. I can only stomach cliff bloks and gels.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwichs seems to work for most people..

But anything goes, everybody is different. That is why it is so hard to figure out..

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

Catching up on the last few post! Again congratulations!! I really enjoyed reading your race report...very vivid! Happy to hear the journey continues!

Cheers

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Annette said...

I have to agree about eating while running. I don't know how people do it.

Now, what was that about an ultra? :)

 
At 5:27 PM, Blogger Randy said...

Lia where are you going to run with that backpack...I want to follow, sounds like a smorgesboard or how ever you spell it instead of a marathon and a heck of a good time...I like how you fuel.

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Randy said...

I want to know how anyone can get one of those clif bloks down while running....they are more than a horse would want to munch on it seems.

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Desiree said...

I think you were really on to something with the margarita idea. Love it. ;)

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger Chad said...

I have a hard time as well. The energy gel's work ok for me, but I don't like them. I think you have to experiment with flavors. Also - some don't have caffeine - that can make a difference.

On long hikes I'll go with dried fruit to avoid the gel - you might try that. I know someone that swears by apricots as being high in calories.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

I run on empty a lot as well, but it isn't so easy when you are trying to go more than a marathon distance. You might be able to get by with a 50k, but a 50 miler, or more is definitely going to take some serious fuel. I started by practicing running right after eating. I would eat a big dinner and then head out for a run 15 minutes later. I have been known to eat large quantities of food before a track workout as well. It doesn't always feel good, but a little suffering before goes a long way on race day.

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Jess said...

I right there with you: I hate eating while running and I think those gels have the consistency of snot, so they don't go down that easily. Maybe you could try those jelly beans? I've never had them, but some runners swear by them.

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger MaryGinder said...

You cracked me up with the backpack full of quesadillas. I will follow you - well, I will be 10 or 20 miles behind you...

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger maniac hippo said...

I'll join my dear friend backofpack in endorsing shot-bloks. They work for me, but everybody is different. Part of the fun of all of this is working through the puzzle of what works for each one of us.

As far as ultras, it's easier than you suggest. Most aid stations HAVE all the stuff you mention. You just spend a minute eating there, then stuff a couple things to go into your pockets. Five miles later you get another dinner.

One other thing you could try for yourself on training runs is little red potatoes. If you undercook them just a teeny bit they are easy to carry. Don't knock them until you've tried... I've never really liked potatoes but LOVE them while running.

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger Lora said...

I use Succeed Ultra drink the first hour, then a gel and more of the succed every hour after. One really doesnt need more than that.

Gatorade is way to strong for me--my tummy can't handle it.

Nice to see the word "ultra" slip into your blog!! ;)

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Brooklyn said...

The most palatable energy gel I've used was Stingers, which is honey-based. Yum!

Outside of that, have you considered fueling through drinks exclusively? On runs of 12 miles or more, I take along Sustained Energy from Hammer Nutrition. It has 13% soy protein and not much flavor - makes for a good sports drink. You might also consider Perpetuem, which has some fat in it.

 
At 6:39 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

you defninately need to work out what to eat. I'm not sure if marathons are the same as tris, but i finally found what seems to work for me after a lot of trial and error.

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

I didn't use to be able to handle food well on the run but for me the ultra pace is slow enough that something must just change that allows me to be able to eat. At my 50 miler I was chowing down on everything from oranges and bananas to chips and cookies. Practice makes perfect, you just have to find what works for you. It may even have to be liquid nutrition and not solids.

 
At 3:45 AM, Blogger Jack said...

I had good luck with peanut butter and honey sandwiches on longer races (up to 50 miles so far). Some granola bars seem to work too if they aren't too dry. This year I want to dry baked potatoes.

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Marc Windahl said...

I had problems with Gels also. I used my long runs and a half-marathon for practice. Cliff shot Blocks worked in training, but were too big to easily eat while running at pace. Sharkey's worked in both training and my first marathon.

YMMV, but I would suggest going to a good store, buying a couple of everything and trying them out. . .

 

Post a Comment

<< Home