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Last minute fueling question for a bigger guy (Read 83 times)

Okay, I've been reading back through things and getting anxious about my upcoming marathon on Sunday.

I've practiced taking GU on long runs and all that fun stuff and I haven't had any issues with it.  The only thing I've noticed is that if I drink too much water I can end up with a full stomach and it sloshes around and is more annoying than anything else.

In the Hanson's book they go through the math and talk about how much glycogen is going to be stored in my legs, how much fat I will burn vs. glycogen at different paces and all that fun stuff.  Of course I've never hit the wall during a training run, but being a first time marathoner I'm really wanting to avoid hitting the wall during my race.

At 200 lbs I'm burning 160 calories a mile so during 26.2 miles I'll burn almost 4,200 calories.  According to one of the charts in the book I should have 1,500 calories of glycogen stored in my legs, and then if I'm burning a mix of 50% fat and 50% glycogen during the run (4,200 X 50% = 2,100 calories of glycogen) that means I'll be about 600 calories short.  I'm leaning toward taking a GU every 30 minutes or so which would be 6 total during the race.  That's 600 calories which should be exactly what I need if my fat burning capability is as good at it should be.

Should I take a couple extra packets of GU someplace in there to help make sure I don't hit the wall?  I guess I'll get a few calories from the sports drink they will have on the course, but I actually don't like drinking any more of it than I have to.  I usually only drink it about every 3rd or 4th water stop and drink water at the others.   I've never bothered with any kind of GU during my half marathons, although I did take some on my last one just to practice for the marathon and see how it affected me at racing pace.

Way over the top analysis, but basically my question is just whether or not I should be taking more GU during a race than someone who weighs less.

Thanks, Nathan

Age: 47 Weight: 210 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09 (2013); HM 1:36:42 (2015); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:27 (2013)

DoppleBock

I race 200-220# usually

Typically I run with 6 gels.

Let's pretend there is a h20 stop every 2 miles the 1st 20 and every mile after

I alternate water and sports drink at aide stations,  I take a gel generally (Not exact as it depends on how I feel) - Mile #7, 11, 16, 20, 22, 24 ~ I might get 500-600 calories from sports drink and 600-700 from gels in a race.

Sometimes they have a gel stop along the course - I may pick up another gel or 2 and take more frequently.

To me the key is to start the race hydrated and with full glycogen stores.

I have hit the wall twice - Once at Monkey (Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon) last year and the last 5 miles were hell.  The other time it was at mile #25.5 and I just had to run through the slowness for the .7 mile.  That is pretty good out of 29 marathons.

I think if you target @ 1,000 calories you will be fine.

Retired 1/1/13 ... Tired of being broken and fat  ... New goal 12/29/15 - To be able to enjoy running 4-5 hours through the woods again in 2016.

DoppleBock

My 1st marathon I ran with nothing - Just took in maybe 500 calories of sports drink and I was fine ... mainly because I ran at a conservative effort level ~ Higher the effort level the more glygogen you burn.  I had run 7:30 pace through 20 miles (2:30) and ran 6:43 pace the last 10k (41:48).

Make a plan, but do not overthink or overstress

Retired 1/1/13 ... Tired of being broken and fat  ... New goal 12/29/15 - To be able to enjoy running 4-5 hours through the woods again in 2016.

zonykel

Definitely test out your refueling strategy. I know that I can't tolerate that many gu packets. Once I take 3 or 4, I feel nauseous.

GC100k

I love fueling discussions.  We had one awhile back:

I'm 270 lbs and in my limited experience I've found that the real key is nailing the carb loading (see link above) and pre-race fueling.  I found that I can down two Clif bars right at the start, which gives me some calories in my stomach that will be used later in the race.  But it sounds like you don't like running with stuff in your belly and it might be too late to experiment with it now.  My best and worst marathons I didn't take any food or gu during the race and the two in-between I ate several gu ("gus", what's the plural of "gu"?).

There's so much information about fueling and number of calories and how your body can process only so much and how the fluid/calorie ratio needs to be precise or it just sits in your belly and different types of carbs.  I think DoppleBack is right that if you max out glycogen before hand and consume 1000 calories, you'll be fueled.

Thanks for the replies.  I have tested out taking GU on some of my long runs and in the last couple races even though I didn't need them.  I've never taken more than 4 during a run, but the longest I've ever run is 18.7 miles so I was still taking them every 30 minutes, I just didn't run as far.  I didn't notice any stomach issues.

Sounds like 6 should be plenty based on Doppleback's input.  I'm not a big Gatorade fan, but that's the sports drink they are going to have at the marathon, so I'll just deal with it.  For sure better than trying to carry something with me.

Age: 47 Weight: 210 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09 (2013); HM 1:36:42 (2015); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:27 (2013)

Gator eye

I don't think I could stomach that much gu.  I try to keep it simple I eat a decent breakfast a hour or two before the race then starting at mile 10, I take a gu every 5 miles

I love fueling discussions.  We had one awhile back:

I'm 270 lbs and in my limited experience I've found that the real key is nailing the carb loading (see link above) and pre-race fueling.  I found that I can down two Clif bars right at the start, which gives me some calories in my stomach that will be used later in the race.  But it sounds like you don't like running with stuff in your belly and it might be too late to experiment with it now.  My best and worst marathons I didn't take any food or gu during the race and the two in-between I ate several gu ("gus", what's the plural of "gu"?).

There's so much information about fueling and number of calories and how your body can process only so much and how the fluid/calorie ratio needs to be precise or it just sits in your belly and different types of carbs.  I think DoppleBack is right that if you max out glycogen before hand and consume 1000 calories, you'll be fueled.

I have run on a fully stomach, it's just not my preference, especially in a race.  Last night I ate 1/2 a large pizza and then ran 8 easy miles about an hour later and was fine although I did feel a little bloated for the first couple miles.

I have eaten a bagel with peanut butter within 30 minutes of a race before and didn't have any issues with it, I've been debating taking a GU right before the start, maybe a different option like a Clif bar or something might be worth looking into so I don't get sick of the GUs by the end of the run.

Age: 47 Weight: 210 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09 (2013); HM 1:36:42 (2015); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:27 (2013)

I don't know how good this information is but maybe you can take a look.

http://www.runningplanet.com/training/marathon-nutrition.html

5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)

mab411

Proboscis Colossus

As you know, I followed the same plan you are for OKC yesterday, and I was similarly casting about for an exact fueling plan.  Here's what I ended up doing:

1. Bumped up my fluid intake over the course of the week - hydration starts in the days before the race, as I'm sure you know.

2. Carbs in the couple days leading up to the race, but not overdoing it.

3. Regular breakfast food that morning, which is carb-heavy, anyway (oatmeal, raisins, bagel, peanut butter).

4. Drank a 32-ounce Gatorade with breakfast, and on my way to the race (to clarify, just one bottle that morning).

5. Had four Gu "Chomps" while walking up to the corrals, and then finished the pack (another four) about 5-10 mins before the gun.

6. Drank about 18-20 ounces of Nuun over the course of the race, from a hydration belt.

7. Got water at (almost) every other water station (swigs of Nuun at the "off" stations).

8. Three Gu packets spread out roughly evenly over the course of the race.

9. I did take a half of a banana at one of the later aid stations, have no idea which.

I had electrolyte/dehydration issues at this race last year, bonked hard at the marathon after that (Dallas), and wound up in the medical tent after both.  I had neither issue yesterday, so I think the above plan may have me on the right track.  Toward the end, I started to be aware of...of all the "flavors" swirling around in the belly, if that makes sense.  But nothing I'd begin to classify as a GI issue, or that I think affected my performance in any way.  Just glad when I finished that last Gu packet!

I'm smaller than you by about 50 lbs. (though I expect to be gaining on you after a week or so of recovery).

More data for your decision.  Good luck!

"God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people