Half Marathon Trainers

1

Fueling Advice (Read 535 times)

ud32


    I'm sure I have posted this before, but cant find answers:

     

         1) What to eat before a half and how far in advance ? (in past I'd go 2 packs of instan oatmeal, one plain and one flavored - add a teaspoon of cinnamon too - 90 minutes before race, with a big glass of water)

         2) How about during the race ? Any need for a gel or something like that mid-race ?

     

    Thanks


    Loves the outdoors

      I'd love to know the answers to this to. I have done three half marathons now and for the first 2 I ate nothing during the races, the last I tried gu chomps and then promptly nearly threw up at the next water stop so I didn't take any more. No difference in how I felt during the race, but then I didn't actually fuel properly in the 3rd either. My gut feeling is that I don't need to fuel during the race, but I do need to get fitter.

      One day I decided I wanted to become a runner, so I did.

        Use your long training runs to get a feel for what works for you. I don't eat anything different on race day. I like to carry Sharkies (instead of gels) although last fall during a warm half, I didn't even eat half a pack. I carried a 500 ml water bottle of a 50-50 mix of Powerade-water. I don't like to have to rely on race waterstations. If I want a drink before one, I like the flexibility to have it. 

        "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

         

        "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."

        vegefrog


          For a half (race) I don't eat anything.  No fueling needed during the run, I just might mix gatorade and water at an aid station or two.

           

          I do the same in training though. My long runs are on weekends and I might eat some oatmeal or some fruit before a long run if it's later in the day, but I don't take any fueling product with me during the run (even on my 20 miler). I usually have a half water/half gatorade bottle stashed somewhere that I will use for fluids. 

           

          Everyone is different though, so I second what Meg says. Do whatever works for you in your training.


          day after day sameness

            I think it is all really personal, like Meg notes -- your own experience sets what works for you.

             

            I find that until I'm going to running 18 - 20 miles that I've got plenty of stored reserves and don't worry about gels, food, or in-run fuel. In a race longer than a half marathon, I might be sure to drink some of the sports drink to onboard some calories or go for one Gu at the 75-90 minute mark. In a training run longer 14 - 16 miles, I'll sometimes use Gatorade in place of water if it is warm, for the electrolytes rather than the calories. (on the other hand, I'm tubby)

             

            (My understanding is that pretty much everyone has 1500 - 2000 calories available in glycogen, so no need to take in until you're getting out into 16 - 18 mile range.)

             

            Morning of a race I don't do anything special, and just eat something light. Usually an english muffin with PB&J, and part of a bananna or orange. I stop drinking water (other than a few sips) about 1 hour before. Overall I pay more attention to the day before and try to be a bit more sane with what I eat than I normally would, avoiding greasy and salty stuff.

             

            As they say...your mileage may vary.

            Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

            ud32


              All good tips. Much appreciated. I've heard some people like a sweet potatoe an hour or two before a long run. Might give that a try before training run sometime. Recenty tried a few gummy bears during a moderate long run - 10 miles - probably didnt need them for fuel, but they tasted good and gave me a bit of a mental boost!

              vegefrog


                 Recenty tried a few gummy bears during a moderate long run - 10 miles - probably didnt need them for fuel, but they tasted good and gave me a bit of a mental boost!

                 

                Now that is a good idea. I never thought about fuel like that....as sort of a reward on long runs...

                 

                I think having a handful of gummy bears or jelly beans waiting on me halfway through a long training run would be very useful as a mental boost. Thanks for the tip!! I'm gonna try that Sunday and see if it takes my mind off running in this heat...

                 

                Just run to the gummies.... Smile

                  Agreeing with others, I really think you need only water and or a sport drink for the electrolytes.

                  I would be concerned about nausea eating things during a race where you are running hard; it would be different for a marathon where I, at least, would be going a lot more slowly.

                  PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                      10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                   

                    I think it is all really personal, like Meg notes -- your own experience sets what works for you.

                     

                    I find that until I'm going to running 18 - 20 miles that I've got plenty of stored reserves and don't worry about gels, food, or in-run fuel. In a race longer than a half marathon, I might be sure to drink some of the sports drink to onboard some calories or go for one Gu at the 75-90 minute mark. In a training run longer 14 - 16 miles, I'll sometimes use Gatorade in place of water if it is warm, for the electrolytes rather than the calories. (on the other hand, I'm tubby)

                     

                    (My understanding is that pretty much everyone has 1500 - 2000 calories available in glycogen, so no need to take in until you're getting out into 16 - 18 mile range.)

                     

                    Morning of a race I don't do anything special, and just eat something light. Usually an english muffin with PB&J, and part of a bananna or orange. I stop drinking water (other than a few sips) about 1 hour before. Overall I pay more attention to the day before and try to be a bit more sane with what I eat than I normally would, avoiding greasy and salty stuff.

                     

                    As they say...your mileage may vary.

                     

                    What about us slow pokes that have a goal time of 2 hours 30 minutes for the 1/2?  Does it matter on time or distance?  My training group is really pushing us using the GU but I'm not so sure about it.  My mile pace time is probably about 11:30.  So I will be out there about 2 1/2 hours.

                      I just posted some of this in Kathy's thread, but then saw this one. Sorry for the repetition.

                       

                      Like MT said, it is all really personal -- your own experience sets what works for you.

                       

                      I eat a banana and coffee about 90 minutes before a HM or long run. Then during the run/race, I like to use caffeinated shot blocks. I cut them in half, dust with protein powder which keeps them from sticking together and because I like it better than flour (which I also tried) and carry them in a small ziploc baggie that I cut to size for my waist pouch.  I like to eat a half-cube every 2-3 miles (probably a mental crutch more than anything else), and I also drink Hammer Heed as needed depending on heat and sweating.

                       

                      Kathy, my long runs can take me 2.5 hours; so I understand your concern. I think the most important thing is hydration and electrolytes. So if it were me, I'd get that figured out first and foremost:  what are you going to drink, when to start drinking, and how often. On a hot run, I start at 20 or 30 minutes in, and drink every mile after that.

                       

                      I've read over and over that we have enough stored fat and carbs to go the distance, so for a HM gels, etc. shouldn't be needed. I've also read that you have to train your body to use what it has stored and not rely on what you take in. One of these days maybe I'll get around to trying to train mine. Meanwhile, I give it  a boost every 30 minutes or so.

                      Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.


                      day after day sameness

                        What about us slow pokes that have a goal time of 2 hours 30 minutes for the 1/2?  Does it matter on time or distance?  My training group is really pushing us using the GU but I'm not so sure about it.  My mile pace time is probably about 11:30.  So I will be out there about 2 1/2 hours.

                         

                        Well, the calories rule of thumb thing (20 miles...) is distance and not how fast you're running it.  I can definitely see the benefit of something at 45 and 120 minutes to perk things up. 

                         

                        Personally, I'm cautious about getting that sloshy tummy effect from too much sports drink and GU sugar, at some point it just stops getting absorbed. (for me)

                        Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                        runrockclimb


                          I'd love to know the answers to this to. I have done three half marathons now and for the first 2 I ate nothing during the races, the last I tried gu chomps and then promptly nearly threw up at the next water stop so I didn't take any more. No difference in how I felt during the race, but then I didn't actually fuel properly in the 3rd either. My gut feeling is that I don't need to fuel during the race, but I do need to get fitter.

                           Like I've read several times, its a personal thing. How long it takes you to cover 13.1 miles, what feels good, etc. influences if you fuel, how you fuel and when you fuel. I've read repeatedly that you should give your body a little boost for every hour you run. But, again its what works for you.

                          I like to wear a belt (I hate getting slowed down at the stations) I fill one bottle with Gatorade and one with water. I drink from both on the run, if its hot out I attempt to take a drink every mile or so, otherwise I just go with when I want one. I also like a gel about half way through a half marathon race, sometimes a second with some caffeine if I am really dragging. However, it takes me about two hours to finish and I am often too nervous to eat anything substantial for breakfast before a race race, I'm lucky if I can stomach a piece of peanut butter toast.

                          If you can make it a whole race without fueling and don't feel like its holding you back, don't worry about it. But, If you want to try fueling for a race you have to experiment. Try different gels/chomps/other foods (like power bars broken into little pieces, or mini candy bars, whatever) and different drinks if that is something you want too. Once you figure out what works best for you, practice fueling with that on longer runs. A lot like running, you kind of have to train your stomach.