Ultra Runners

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Refueling and training (Read 93 times)


Le professeur de trail

    I understand the point of practicing what might work and not work in training so when you get to an ultra, you are not doing something new.

     

    But is there any benefit to training your body to not need as much refueling? I know this is a strange question.  But over the winter months I find that I do not feel like I need to drink.  I will go 3- 4 hours without anything.  In the warmer months I wouldn't and couldn't do it.  But are there any runners who do this as a way to train their body to tap from it's own energy sources? And how this translates to race day then becomes more difficult.  I can't imagine running the first 3-4 hours of an ultra on nothing and then expecting to refuel. So I am not sure why I dod other than pure laziness during a run.   I have heard people say that they load up in the beginning of a race (maybe the first of second AS - where many people skip or stay very briefly) but that is the opposite and I don't know how that affects where the body is pulling from (in terms of energy sources).

     

    I admit I am terrible at this.  If I know I am out under four hours (in the colder weather) I do bring a pack but I don't care to drink or eat.  Am I doing myself more harm than good as this translates to runs of 6-12 hours?

    Shoes_N_Shorts


    Just here for the food

      I think it's a great question. I've been doing a lot of Maffetone running this winter and have noticed on some long runs (22-30 miles) I won't take in any calories at all. I still hydrate as I would normally- typically to thirst and not by any set amt/ hr, etc. I've saved a ton of money on gels and Perpetuem this winter!

       

      I'll be interested to see what, if any, effect carries over to races this year.

      Shoes_N_Shorts


      Just here for the food

        The experiment continues. I ran a little less than 5 hours today on 200 calories and 70 oz of water. Granted, I'm hungry as hell for the rest of the day, but that happens no matter what I eat during the run. I never go out with the intent of not eating or drinking much (I had another Clif Bar with me), but it just works out that way, especially in the cold.

          Greg McMillan has a good explanation of adaptions gained via starvation long runs here:  The Marathon Long Run

          He suggests stopping at 3.5 hours.  I've never really tried what you all are doing, which is continuing to run on low blood sugar with just enough carb intake to keep the lights on upstairs.

           

          There is a risk in doing these types of runs to the exclusion of a regular ultramarathon-pace run.  The GI system also needs some training to handle a 150-300 cal/hr caloric load for that 100 mile run.  If it is hot, you can get most of that via sports drink.  If it is cold, then gels etc.  But don't leave it for race day to figure out what works.

          2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.


          Le professeur de trail

            Saturday just under 5 hours for me - maybe 4 fig newtons and not much water.  My energy level was ok.  I am not training for a 100 so I am not looking at that kind of time yet.  But I do have a 50k the end of April in which I will be out 7-8 (maybe longer) hours.  I definately won't be doing this the first 4 or 5 hours.  I hit an energy low last year at the 5 hour mark.  I want to start experimenting with some sort of electrolyte tab that I can drop in my bladder for electrolyte replenishment rather than rely on the gatorade (or similar) at aide stations.  Any suggestions?


            Occasional Runner

              Jamie- I'm using the Hammer Endurolyte Fizz tabs and they're working really well for me. There are a few good flavors, but I prefer lemon-lime. I adjust the concentration depending on how warm it is outside. Check them out.

              6/5- MAS 50

              6/13- Leadville 50

              7/27- Virtigo Night Run 41M

              Shoes_N_Shorts


              Just here for the food

                I really like the endurolyte capsules and plain water. I've found that I can't seem to get the right mix for my body with powders, especially on warmer days. I think the capsules/ plain water keep it simple for me, then I can cruise the aid station buffet with impunity!

                HoosierDaddy


                  I really like the endurolyte capsules and plain water. I've found that I can't seem to get the right mix for my body with powders, especially on warmer days. I think the capsules/ plain water keep it simple for me, then I can cruise the aid station buffet with impunity!

                   

                  I tried the fizz in water thing and it didn't work for me.  The reason is... if I needed electrolytes, I had to drink water.  Then too much water was being consumed.  I do now mix in some electrolyte powder (EFS) with my nutrition bottle and carry S! Caps in case I get sloshy stomach.

                   

                  In hot weather, plan to have a nutrition/elec bottle and water bottle.  At present, I don't carry water only but will down a few cups at the Aid depending on how cotton-mouthy I feel.


                  A Sweetheart

                    There is some really good info over at irunfar this week related to fueling, specifically how to unbonk and dealing with stomach issues. It is worth checking out.

                    I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart


                    Muddling through

                      Possibly a stupid question, but what are the advantages of using GU and gels vs regular food? Being new to ultra running I've never tried them but even the thought makes my stomach a little queazy.

                      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                      jamezilla


                      Follower of Forrest

                        To me, the advantages of Gu/Gels are:

                         

                        1. compact - easy to carry many calories with minimal weight/space

                        2. easily digestible - at least they are designed to be

                        3. no chewing necessary - avoid the walking/chewing gum dilemma

                        4. consistent - a chocolate outrage Gu is a chocolate outrage Gu...no surprises

                         

                        Real food would be to some extent a compromise of one or more of those 4 things.

                         

                        You are doing a 12 hr event right? #1 you can probably do away with since you will be making many loops...if you've never done Gu/gels before I don't think it is necessarily necessary (that works right?) for you to start now (because of easier logistics for eating real food during your 12 hr.)

                        6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

                         

                        A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                         


                        Muddling through

                          To me, the advantages of Gu/Gels are:

                           

                          1. compact - easy to carry many calories with minimal weight/space

                          2. easily digestible - at least they are designed to be

                          3. consistent - a chocolate outrage Gu is a chocolate outrage Gu...no surprises

                           

                          Real food would be to some extent a compromise of one or more of those 3 things.

                           

                          You are doing a 12 hr event right? #1 you can probably do away with since you will be making many loops...if you've never done Gu/gels before I don't think it is necessarily necessary (that works right?) for you to start now (because of easier logistics for eating real food during your 12 hr.)

                          I'm more concerned with training runs and how to be sure I'm getting what I need during those. The race is on a .9 mile loop so I won't need to carry anything then and will have real food available. I ran my first 15 mile training run yesterday and had to improvise by running an out and back just under 3 miles so I could grab something to eat from my car every 30 min or so on a run that took me 3 hours. Not thinking ahead I just grabbed a bag of cookies and ate those along with Gatorade to drink.

                          2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                          FTYC


                          Faster Than Your Couch!

                            wcrunner, you must be liking laps and loops! Wink

                             

                            Perhaps for your training runs you might think of investing into a fuel belt or a storage/hydration vest, unless you are ok with running loops or out-and-backs around your car.

                             

                            My own experience is that runs up to somewhere between 3.5 and 5 hours don't require much attention to nutrition, and somewhat more attention to hydration and electrolytes, but it is not as important as for longer runs in the 8-12 hour range or longer. So you can screech by on minimum calories and get through the run on almost any food on those sub-5-hr runs.

                             

                            I am not a fan of starvation runs or purposely bonking, just because the lack of fuel may lead to muscle cannibalization and perhaps damage to the heart muscle. But that's just my own suspicion, no science behind this (on the specific subject), so don't take it as the one and only truth. Other runners have a different perspective on this one, I'm much aware of that. Just not my thing.

                             

                            I am not sure one can "train" the body where it is getting energy from. From what I know, glycogen stores is the first choice, along with food if it's available. If both are about to be used up, it's fat stores and muscle protein. Self-cannibalization starts if protein is not available from food after something like 4-5 hours of running.

                             

                            It takes some time to absorb and digest food, especially during running, and one can train to deal with the side-effects of digestion while running. That is what the benefit of doing training runs with eating food is. I am not aware of any studies which prove that eating or not eating during a run "trains" the body to use different energy sources, or use them any differently, than what it does by default.

                            Rather, the runner learns what is easy for him to digest, and how much he needs to supplement with food in order to get through a certain duration of running without completely using up his glycogen stores (bonking), but keeping a balance between using the energy immediately available (glycogen), energy from food, which needs time to be produced, but can provide all the nutrients needed, and fat stores, which take time to be turned into muscle fuel (glucose), but are plenty.

                             

                            Just my 2ct on this.

                            Run for fun.

                              from earlier post: possibly a stupid question, but what are the advantages of using GU and gels vs regular food? Being new to ultra running I've never tried them but even the thought makes my stomach a little queazy.

                               

                              this post: I'm more concerned with training runs and how to be sure I'm getting what I need during those. The race is on a .9 mile loop so I won't need to carry anything then and will have real food available. I ran my first 15 mile training run yesterday and had to improvise by running an out and back just under 3 miles so I could grab something to eat from my car every 30 min or so on a run that took me 3 hours. Not thinking ahead I just grabbed a bag of cookies and ate those along with Gatorade to drink.

                               

                              If you are considering gels, be sure to try them ahead of time. I find them sickenly sweet. Peanut Butter GU may be an exception since I've tried it twice now in training, but no races. But if you can tolerate gatorade, you may be able to handle commercial gels. I have made my own gel from Succeed Clip2 and found it to be tolerable, but that was only to make it easier to use water in bottle vs sportsdrink in bladder (water being treated stream water).

                               

                              While you've got aid every 0.9 miles, you should consider *how* you'll consume whatever - "grab and go" or "stop and eat." Obviously the grab and go should get you more miles - even if walking while you eat. It also keeps you from eating too much at one time.  IOW, you may be carrying something like a small bag of whatever (e.g. M&M's) or something to stick orange peels in should you go with orange slices.

                               

                              Consider what you'll need in 12 hrs - fluid, electrolytes, fuel. You may need protein and fat besides the usual carbs. They help process the fuel. For longer races, you will likely need additional electrolytes besides what's in any sports drink, but they can be gotten from salty foods (pretzels, wheat thins, etc)

                               

                              You might consider some of the sports drinks formulated for ultra races -  e.g. Succeed and Hammer Nutrition products - since they are usually milder tasting and have protein and fat in there. (NFI, but I like Succeed products.)

                              "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
                                George-Just eat 2 pieces of fudge every mile.
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