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Developing Fuel Strategy While Training With Hansons (Read 174 times)

mab411


Proboscis Colossus

    One of the hallmarks of the Hansons' plan is shorter "long runs."  I believe the longest they have me going is 16 miles.

     

    In the past, I've always worked on my ever-changing marathon fueling strategy on the long runs, in terms of figuring out how often to take liquids, whether/when to use Gu, electrolytes, etc..  But since I'll not be running multiple 20-milers this time around, I'm not exactly sure how to get a handle on what this or that substance at such-and-such intervals will do for me when I get to 18 miles and beyond.  And not only are the distances shorter, but they have me running the long runs a little faster than most plans call for, too.  Longest I'll be on my feet is around 2.5 hours, dramatically less than my goal marathon time.

     

    Any thoughts?

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

    ROD in Miami


      I've always used the train-low, race-high approach meaning I take in zero carbs (only water or very low carb fluids) during my training runs but then take GUs every 30-minutes or so during marathons.  Body gets used in training to having to dig deeper into fuel reserves since not being replenished.  As to why only two GUs per hour (or other product equivalents) during marathons is that the body can't usefully "process" more than about 250 calories/hour.

       

      I guess this somewhat parralels the Hansons view that you train your 16 mile long-runs already somewhat depleted from previous days' runs, not rested.

      onemile


        One of the hallmarks of the Hansons' plan is shorter "long runs."  I believe the longest they have me going is 16 miles.

         

        In the past, I've always worked on my ever-changing marathon fueling strategy on the long runs, in terms of figuring out how often to take liquids, whether/when to use Gu, electrolytes, etc..  But since I'll not be running multiple 20-milers this time around, I'm not exactly sure how to get a handle on what this or that substance at such-and-such intervals will do for me when I get to 18 miles and beyond.  And not only are the distances shorter, but they have me running the long runs a little faster than most plans call for, too.  Longest I'll be on my feet is around 2.5 hours, dramatically less than my goal marathon time.

         

        Any thoughts?

        Same here.  I'm 7 weeks into Hansons Advanced and with the faster long runs, it'll be less than 2.5 for 16.

         

        I have no problem running 16 without anything so ideally I would skip fueling altogether but I've been told it's important for race day.  I don't have a sensitive stomach but I don't care for gels or carrying stuff so I'll probably just practice the Gu-ing for one of the 16 milers to make sure I can still handle it.  But then I'll have to carry water too which is a PITA.

         

        I think in the book they actually recommend experimenting during the MP runs - with the longer wu/cd those can be just as long as the "long run". It might be good to get your body used to processing the carbs while running the faster pace? I don't know.

        chubacca


          In the back of the book, a bit buried in the Elite training portion, they talk about doing a depletion run as one of their workouts, but specifically framed as against their normal advice:

           

          "The Depletion [long run]: We coaches are big proponents of practicing marathon nutrition during long runs, and this run abandons that practice.Some coaches strongly encourage runners to regularly avoid taking in fluids or carbohydrates on long runs because they believe it teaches the body to burn fat better. You aren't, however, going to do that in a race, so nutrition intake needs to be practiced during the majority of long runs, with a couple of exceptions. This is where the Depletion run comes in. [...]"

           

          This is on p. 224, Appendix A, of my copy.


          I'm back!

            I think experimenting with fueling during training is most important for beginners. If you've run several marathons before, do you not already have a good idea of what works, gel, Gatorade, etc.? Beyond the basics (my stomach doesn't like this), I don't think you're going to replicate race conditions in training anyway, unless you do training marathons (then, problem solved). Each race has to be the opportunity to fine-tune the next one.

            mab411


            Proboscis Colossus

              Thanks for the advice so far, everyone.

               

              chubacca - thank you especially for pointing that bit out.  I haven't made it all the way through the book yet, and may have skipped over anything dealing with "elite" training, anyway.

               

              bhearn - your point is a great one, that actually did occur to me as I was typing my post.  This will be my fourth marathon to race (I paced my wife at Tulsa in November and will pace my BIL in Little Rock in March*), and the problem is, I had bad cramping and uncontrollable shaking after my last two.  The medical staff both times told me I was dehydrated and low on electrolytes, so apparently what I was doing - drinking to thirst and eschewing electrolytes - isn't what works for me.  So, I'm kind of still at the drawing board as far as hydration/fueling, frustratingly enough.  I may just go back to what worked in that first marathon (alternating sips of water and Gatorade every mile or two), though I wasn't really pushing for any kind of time goal at that one.

               

               

              *I know, I know - pacing someone for their first marathon during the training cycle is COMPLETELY antithetical to everything in the Hansons book.  But, I signed up before I got the book and besides - it's fun!  I'll just be sure to take plenty of rest days afterward.

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

                mab411 - thanks for starting this thread because I have been thinking about asking the same questions.  I've done a 16 mile training run before and just did water on it, but I know I need to plan for some type of fuel for my full marathon so I've been thinking about it.

                 

                This will be my first marathon and I've yet to ever even try to eat a gel/gu or anything like it ever.  I think on my half marathons I only did the powerade at one water stop and wasn't very thrilled about it then.  I accidently grabbed a gatorade at a water stop on a 10K and it didn't settle very well at all and I normally have a cast iron stomach.

                 

                The sweet taste of the powerade is what gets me more than anything, I guess that's about the only way they are going to pack a lot of calories in there though.  I drink powerade zero when I'm done with my long runs, but I think I will actually need the calories during the marathon.  I've already checked the water stops at the marathon I'll be running and they only have one stop with GU and it is at mile 18 so I think I should have a fueling strategy of my own planned.

                 

                I'm leaning toward messing with this when I get to the 10 mile MP Tempo runs and trying to get it sorted out then.  I think that trying everything at race pace will help a lot vs. on a regular long run.  Not that I will need the calories then, but I should be able to at least get the strategy figured out and try some different options.

                Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                  ...

                  This will be my first marathon and I've yet to ever even try to eat a gel/gu or anything like it ever.  I think on my half marathons I only did the powerade at one water stop and wasn't very thrilled about it then.  I accidently grabbed a gatorade at a water stop on a 10K and it didn't settle very well at all and I normally have a cast iron stomach.

                   

                  The sweet taste of the powerade is what gets me more than anything, I guess that's about the only way they are going to pack a lot of calories in there though.  I drink powerade zero when I'm done with my long runs, but I think I will actually need the calories during the marathon.  I've already checked the water stops at the marathon I'll be running and they only have one stop with GU and it is at mile 18 so I think I should have a fueling strategy of my own planned.

                  ...

                  Sports drinks don't have to be obnoxiously sweet. I use Succeed's Clip2 or Ultra because of the mellow taste. I think some of the Hammer products (Heed?) may also have less taste to them, but one tastes like chalk (don't remember which I tried, but I wouldn't touch Hammer products for years after that experience).

                   

                  Many gels are excessively sweet also, IMHO. I could only use about 1/3 of a packet at a time - just too sweet. You can make some drinks into gels. (succeed has directions how to do it) and put it in a gel flask. I've tried a couple commercial gels over the years, and most weren't worth the hassle to deal with. Peanut butter gel may be an exception - the only gel I've tasted that's made it into my race food supplies, although I never actually used it in a race.

                   

                  I tend to prefer shot bloks and suck on them in longer races.

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

                    I have actually been thinking about messing around trying gummy bears, gummy worms, and stuff like that instead of GU.

                     

                    In some ways I think a gummy bear every 10 minutes might be better than a packet of GU every hour.

                     

                    Maybe I could just count out 26 gummy bears and eat one at every mile marker! Smile

                    Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                    Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                      I have actually been thinking about messing around trying gummy bears, gummy worms, and stuff like that instead of GU.

                       

                      In some ways I think a gummy bear every 10 minutes might be better than a packet of GU every hour.

                       

                      Maybe I could just count out 26 gummy bears and eat one at every mile marker! Smile

                       

                      I kinda like that idea, but have you calculated the calories in 26 gummy bears?

                       

                      My problem is I never feel the need for fueling in up to 3 hour runs.  My marathon will be somewhat longer than that, so I don't know whether/how much I'll need.

                      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                        9 calories per gummy bear, compared to 100 in a packet of GU.

                         

                        26 gummy bears X 9 = 234 calories. Maybe not enough at one per mile...

                        Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                        Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                        doctorjen


                          I generally do long runs up to 16 miles without fuel (I drink water to thirst, though) but I do practice fueling a couple long runs at least.  For me, part of it is figuring out logistics - can I get the packet open while running at race pace, can I get amounts in my mouth that I can swallow at race pace, can I swallow, period, at race pace - that kind of thing.  I also like to check that my stomach hasn't decided that something doesn't agree with me all of a sudden.  I have a pretty tolerant stomach, but I've found that I have a hard time chewing while running race pace, so gels are better for me. Also, fruit flavored stuff doesn't tell me too well once I'm working hard.  This is good stuff to know before a race.  I know for me personally that when I am fueling I need to start fairly early in the run because if I wait too long my stomach flat out rebels at digesting anything and will cramp instead and that's been a trial an error thing.  I used to think I just couldn't tolerate fuel while running, but it turns out I can as long as I don't wait too long to start.

                          I think as long as you know what your stomach can tolerate, and have worked out the whens, whats and hows, you don't necessarily have to fuel on every long run. My current race day strategy is my usual early morning peanut butter toast, then a gel 15-30 min before the race, gel at 5, 10, 15, and 20 miles, and water alternating with gatorade  as desired at the aid stations in between.

                          RunnerGalBeth


                            I've been wondering about this too. Before my training runs I eat a spoonful of peanut butter and carry diluted Gatorade with me.  I've wondered if there is any way to carry peanut butter crackers in a zip lock in my SPI belt or something similar and how well the peanut butter would do.

                              I don't see how the fact you're "doing Hansons" is relevant to the question. You probably don't need fuel on a 20-mile training run anymore than you do on a 16 mile MP run. So if you're taking Gu on a training run, whether it's a 20 miler or a 16 miler, you're doing it just to make sure it agrees with you. It won't  give you much data about how much fuel you'll need during the race or how your body will react to trying to take in fuel while running 26.2 miles at marathon pace.

                              Runners run.

                                I have actually been thinking about messing around trying gummy bears, gummy worms, and stuff like that instead of GU.

                                 

                                In some ways I think a gummy bear every 10 minutes might be better than a packet of GU every hour.

                                 

                                Maybe I could just count out 26 gummy bears and eat one at every mile marker! Smile

                                Check the various gummy animals and brands. They're all a little different in what's in them. Not by much, but I was surprised it wasn't just the shape.  At least this was true when I checked about 6-7 yr ago when I was experimenting. I prefer the clif shot bloks and powerbar blasts (or whatever they're called), since they're more convenient. IIRC, a shot blok is either about 30 or 50 cal/blok. The blasts are fun to play with in my mouth because there's 2 layers, although they are bulkier than shot bloks to carry.

                                 

                                I never liked gels (too sweet), but found there was a certain amount of convenience with them when I was dealing with water from streams. As soon as water was treated, I could use water plus gel vs having to mix up more sport drink. I made Clip2 into a gel which was palatable.

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