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Newbie on Fueling (Read 278 times)


Snowdenrun

    I'm getting to the point in my running where I feel I could benefit from taking in energy/calories on my long runs. So I've got a couple of questions. What do you like? How fast does it kick in? How long does it last? Anything you really didn't like? I know a lot of these answers will depend on the person and on the run, but mainly I'm just curious. I don't really live in the ideal location where I can go can pick out a bunch of random energy gels and gummies and such to experiment and figure out what I really like. I will most likely make an order online and hope it works. I'm not super drawn to the idea of gels, but I'm not opposed to the idea either. I just think I'd do better with real food. Really I'd just like to hear from all of you on what works or doesn't work for you so I can get to a starting point. Thanks!

     

    Also, for a small amount of background... my longest run so far has been 15.6 miles. I felt pretty good at the end and only stopped due to time. Another time I can 13 miles and was dragging ass. I know many different things go into a long run and how it turns out... but I'd like to figure out the fueling side of it.

      If you are in a place where you can buy real food or regular grocery store stuff, you might start there. We have clif bars and clif shot bloks in grocery store - not real food, but palatable to me. They also have many kinds of trail mixes and gummi species. If you're not near a decent size grocery, then you might have to go online.

       

      Since this is for long runs - probably a couple hours (?) - the intensity may not be so great that you can't eat something or at least suck on something. But for a couple hours, your best best may be sports drinks, which have a wide variety of compositions - some mostly carbs (quick fix), others with some protein and fat for longer events (work a bit longer).

       

      My standard staples are trail mix, M&M's, pretzels or wheat thins, shot bloks, clif bars - all available in local groceries. For sports drink, I like succeed ultra (or clip2 for longer stuff) - mild taste that I can tolerate for hours. Our LBS carries this now, but used to mail order it. I also like cytomax for medium runs, but liked it more when they had more flavors. I have occasionally made clip2 into a gel, which is tolerable for me.

       

      I'll usually start eating a couple hours in so it takes effect in the next couple hours. I rarely eat food on runs less than 2 hrs, and that's only when for whatever reason I get really hungry and I've got a couple miles of snow drifts to get through to get back to my car. I used to eat stuff on shorter runs if I felt the need or was experimenting with something (rather try it when not needed than have problems when really needed), but don't feel the need anymore.

       

      I don't like really sweet stuff, like gels or the grocery store-type sports drinks. (the gel exception might be peanut butter GU but haven't tried it in a race. It does pass the initial taste test though, which most things don't)

       

      I'm experimenting with other stuff for many hour races where I might have access to drop bags, but things that are too bulky for carrying (or might attract bears).

       

      PS: You generally don't want to get yourself to the point where you need something to "kick in" for energy. Well, maybe in races under 3 hrs. Keep a more constant flow.

      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

        This is not an advertisement for Hammer Nutrition, but it is by far the best information source I have found for fueling information.  Any advice I would give to you would just be an attempt to quote from these articles.

         

        http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/essential-knowledge/

         

        Save yourself a lot of time and trial and error and go to the source.

        Belmead Trail Fest 50 mile Sep 27-

        Tuna 200 Relay Oct 10-11 -

          If your longest runs are under 16 miles so far, you likely are not outrunning your fuel window unless you are starting out already depleted. I almost never take any food on training runs. In marathons I go with Gu because its easy to carry, easy to consume and I know exactly how many calories im getting.

          Runners run.


          Boston Strong in 2014!

            This is not an advertisement for Hammer Nutrition, but it is by far the best information source I have found for fueling information.  Any advice I would give to you would just be an attempt to quote from these articles.

             

            http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/essential-knowledge/

             

            Save yourself a lot of time and trial and error and go to the source.

            Really good information -- I learned a lot. Thanks!

            2014 goals

            2000 miles; 5k < 24:30; HM < 1:56Century Bike Ride

             

            Upcoming:

            NYC Half Marathon 3/16Boston Marathon 4/21

              Isn't asking Hammer Nutrition about in-run fueling strategies sort of like asking a crack dealer how much crack you need?

               

              mta: Although I will say the information looks pretty unbiased and the "Less is Best" article in particular has some good info.

              Runners run.


              Boston Strong in 2014!

                Isn't asking Hammer Nutrition about in-run fueling strategies sort of like asking a crack dealer how much crack you need?

                 

                mta: Although I will say the information looks pretty unbiased and the "Less is Best" article in particular has some good info.

                 

                It was the "less is best" message that I found worthwhile, backed up by good information. I was expecting them to advocate using lots of their products, but the overall message was to use less and to choose what you use carefully after considering what you actually need.

                2014 goals

                2000 miles; 5k < 24:30; HM < 1:56Century Bike Ride

                 

                Upcoming:

                NYC Half Marathon 3/16Boston Marathon 4/21


                Snowdenrun

                  Thanks for the reply's. Yes, by long runs I mean over 2 hours. I haven't felt like I needed fuel yet but I wanted to be prepared for when I do.

                  AKTrail- I do live by a decent sized grocery store so I've got quick access to "normal foods" and some energy bars. I'm glad you mentioned that fuel shouldn't have to kick in but rather be an ongoing thing. Now that I am writing this is sounds so obvious but I was under the impression to take in fuel when I was depleted.

                  Heffa- Thanks for the article. I'm a fan of the less is best idea. I do want to run off of my reserves and use fuel when I really need it, not to rely on it.

                  adavis58


                    I like GU, the Cliff Gels and the Snickers Marathon Energy bars.

                     

                    Art

                    http://fitatfifty-art.blogspot.com/

                    FurShirtFlyer


                      It took me a long time to figure out when my body was telling me it needed fuel on the run. It took a few times bonking (not the most ideal way) to learn.

                       

                      In general, I don't take fuel for runs under 3 hours. But I will take food with me just in case sometimes. I've found for me that I go through a hungry spell around 8-9 miles. My stomach growls and I feel physically hungry. I attribute it to an increase in fat burning, though this is just a theory. If I just run through it, it goes away in 10-15 minutes. On runs longer that 3 hours, I fuel as needed. I've figured out that when my mood turns sour I need to fuel. It generally takes me 10-15 minutes to perk back up. I don't know that I've mapped any particular time pattern for this as it seems to be more race dependent (weather and other factors). YMMV.

                       

                      I would recommend if you have a local timed race (6, 12, or 24 hour) to give it a try to figure out your nutrition. They are laid back and you can run for as long or short as you want. Plus most have very generous aid stations and you can bring your own fuel to try. And if you bonk or get it wrong, you have plenty of time to recover from it.

                      FTYC


                      Faster Than Your Couch!

                        My fueling strategy also depends on how long in total the run will be. The longer, the earlier in I start to re-fuel. Generally, I don't need fuel for the first 2 hours, if anything, I rely on a diluted sports drink (I like Hammer HEED because it is not so sweet).

                        For up to 50k, I can go on gels, if it is longer, I need real food, too.

                         

                        Don't forget to eat some protein on very long runs, too, to improve your performance, like a nutritional shake, or a special protein drink, or e.g. a grilled cheese sandwich. I also like toaster pastries, granola bars, dried fruit, or PB&J sandwiches. I usually just have small pieces of anything at a time.

                         

                        It takes a while before you know what works best for you when, but it's certainly a good time to start now, before you set out for really long runs!

                        Run for fun.


                        I'm back!

                          Isn't asking Hammer Nutrition about in-run fueling strategies sort of like asking a crack dealer how much crack you need? 

                          +1

                          mta: Although I will say the information looks pretty unbiased and the "Less is Best" article in particular has some good info.

                           

                          Spot check, first two pages I looked at, their electrolyte page is BS, and the hydration page has a lot of BS in it.

                            I'm getting to the point in my running where I feel I could benefit from taking in energy/calories on my long runs. 

                            Hmmm...  I wonder why you feel this way...  Because of ALL the advertisements???

                            It took me a long time to figure out when my body was telling me it needed fuel on the run. It took a few times bonking (not the most ideal way) to learn.

                             

                            In general, I don't take fuel for runs under 3 hours. But I will take food with me just in case sometimes. I've found for me that I go through a hungry spell around 8-9 miles. My stomach growls and I feel physically hungry. I attribute it to an increase in fat burning, though this is just a theory. If I just run through it, it goes away in 10-15 minutes. On runs longer that 3 hours, I fuel as needed. I've figured out that when my mood turns sour I need to fuel. It generally takes me 10-15 minutes to perk back up. I don't know that I've mapped any particular time pattern for this as it seems to be more race dependent (weather and other factors). YMMV.

                             

                            I would recommend if you have a local timed race (6, 12, or 24 hour) to give it a try to figure out your nutrition. They are laid back and you can run for as long or short as you want. Plus most have very generous aid stations and you can bring your own fuel to try. And if you bonk or get it wrong, you have plenty of time to recover from it.

                            "Feeling hungry" and "physiologically needing energy" are two totally different things.  You can gobble down a few heads of lettuce and you won't "feel hungry" any more but you are probably not helping your energy situation that much (some, I'm sure especially if you are really that desperate).  On the other hand, someone with 30% body fat should have plenty of energy stored in his/her body as long as he/she goes slow enough (how about one of those 60-miles-in-3-days thingie?) and you can even do that by skipping breakfast.  You'll feel very hungry and it won't be too pleasant; but you won't be needing energy physiologically.

                            My fueling strategy also depends on how long in total the run will be. The longer, the earlier in I start to re-fuel. Generally, I don't need fuel for the first 2 hours, if anything, I rely on a diluted sports drink (I like Hammer HEED because it is not so sweet).

                            For up to 50k, I can go on gels, if it is longer, I need real food, too.

                             

                            Don't forget to eat some protein on very long runs, too, to improve your performance, like a nutritional shake, or a special protein drink, or e.g. a grilled cheese sandwich. I also like toaster pastries, granola bars, dried fruit, or PB&J sandwiches. I usually just have small pieces of anything at a time.

                             

                            It takes a while before you know what works best for you when, but it's certainly a good time to start now, before you set out for really long runs!

                            1) Absolutely correct about taking protein.  But you may want to specify that it's "after" the long run that you need.  Unless you see it somewhere (and if you did, I'd like to see it too), it really doesn't make much sense to me to take protein DURING the long run.  Protein is just not a good "efficient" energy source so, if you take it DURING the long run, you are actually missing out the volume you could have otherwise use for more efficient source like sugar.  On the other hand, you DO need protein to re-build all the broken-down muscle fibers perhaps particularly for those who do super long run of 3+ hours.

                             

                            2) I don't think it's a good idea to label; "you wouldn't need energy for the first 2 hours."  I think you mean to say that; if it's a 2 hour run or shorter, you probably wouldn't need extra energy; but if it's longer than 2-hours, you may need it..."  IF you are going beyond 2-hours, it would probably pay to start taking extra energy BEFORE the 2-hour mark--for the reason what AKTrail had pointed out.  The energy you NEED after the 2-hour mark is what you had taken BEFORE that 2-hour mark.  By the time you start to actually feel the physiological effect of depletion (not just hunger), it's probably too late and your body would need extra "energy" to absorb energy and there might actually be a down-side of it.  You take whatever it is you're taking into your stomach in the middle of a long run; and your body would have to send extra blood to pick it up from the stomach and send it around the body; that blood can be used to cool your body or whatever else to actually "run".  Better to do it while your body is fresher, little by little over a longer period of time.

                             

                            There are things you THINK you may need because of all the advertisements of commercial products; there are things you actually need and that's probably something you would understand if you talk to your body more and use common sense.  There is a fine line between so be careful.

                              Quote from FTYC on 3/1/2013 at 12:04 PM:

                              My fueling strategy also depends on how long in total the run will be. The longer, the earlier in I start to re-fuel. Generally, I don't need fuel for the first 2 hours, if anything, I rely on a diluted sports drink (I like Hammer HEED because it is not so sweet).

                              For up to 50k, I can go on gels, if it is longer, I need real food, too.

                               

                              Don't forget to eat some protein on very long runs, too, to improve your performance, like a nutritional shake, or a special protein drink, or e.g. a grilled cheese sandwich. I also like toaster pastries, granola bars, dried fruit, or PB&J sandwiches. I usually just have small pieces of anything at a time.

                               

                              It takes a while before you know what works best for you when, but it's certainly a good time to start now, before you set out for really long runs!

                              .

                              1) Absolutely correct about taking protein.  But you may want to specify that it's "after" the long run that you need.  Unless you see it somewhere (and if you did, I'd like to see it too), it really doesn't make much sense to me to take protein DURING the long run.  Protein is just not a good "efficient" energy source so, if you take it DURING the long run, you are actually missing out the volume you could have otherwise use for more efficient source like sugar.  On the other hand, you DO need protein to re-build all the broken-down muscle fibers perhaps particularly for those who do super long run of 3+ hours.

                               ..

                              Nobby, I believe protein - and fat, to some degree - help process carbs on multi-hour long runs, which was the context of this poster (50k). That menu just looked like an ultra runners. Wink   That's why you'll see the sports drinks for shorter races be mostly, if not all, carbs but the sports drinks for ultras contain protein and fat.

                               

                              Off the top of my head, I've forgotten where the citations for that are, but it's fairly common practice. I know being common practice doesn't make it the best.

                              "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                                Nobby, I believe protein - and fat, to some degree - help process carbs on multi-hour long runs, which was the context of this poster (50k). That menu just looked like an ultra runners. Wink   That's why you'll see the sports drinks for shorter races be mostly, if not all, carbs but the sports drinks for ultras contain protein and fat.

                                 

                                Off the top of my head, I've forgotten where the citations for that are, but it's fairly common practice. I know being common practice doesn't make it the best.

                                Interesting...  Never heard of that; but, in the light of body's NATURAL processing, not surprising.  Thanks for the input.  I might try to look that up.  However, in a "normal" sense (as opposed to those "abnormal" ultra guys! ;o)), I guess I'm in the old school of "nothing but water--and, even then, just dump it over my body instead of drinking"; at least up to a marathon distance.  If the minute amount matters (as with protein and fat for carb processing), I would take minute amount of blood having to work extra in my stomach rather than my legs.

                                 

                                How are things going in Alaska?  No snow storm this year? ;o)

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