I promised this awhile ago. An extreme awhile ago. And since I took today as an easy 3 before work there isn’t really much to post about on it. Pace wise = slooooow. Temp = cool and NOT humid (expected to totally change tmrw though). And family = gone. They left for vacation about 12 hours ago. Time for some stress reduction haha.
You can check out this for my pre-run fueling (part 1). Here is part 2 of my fueling installments and stay tuned because I will eventually get around to a part 3 (post run fuel).
During run fuel
I’m going to be honest and say that I rarely eat OR drink during my runs. I totally understand the logic behind doing so (eating while running long that is), especially drinking water during long runs on hot summer days. I’m not quite sure why I don’t; I used to carry a plastic water bottle a couple summers ago. Even during my marathon training this past spring I never drank anything during runs and only ate occasionally.
For actual food, I would eat granola bars. No gu or gels (I guess gu is a gel right?) or sports beans. None of that. That’s not to say that those products don’t have their place. And many people actually like them. I’m one of them in fact. But I can buy a box of my favorite granola bars at Target for like $2. And I get 10. Two dollars can buy you one of the other products I listed. Plus, it’s peanut butter and chocolate. ‘Nuff said man.
Alright back to topic at hand. I have found that I’m really good to go for up to 16 miles without eating anything (and I found out the hard way that, if need be, I can go for 18 — long story short => getting lost on a run that was NOT supposed to be 18 a few years back). My body starts to “crash” so to speak around mile 17. Eating at 16 prevents that. Now, one bar is only about 110-120 calories so theoretically it should only really last a mile or so. During training I was able to eat a bar at mile 16 and be okay for up to 22 miles (my longest run for training).
I am one of those terrible terrible people who doesn’t do training the same as the race (or at least I suspect I am, I’ve only run one marathon). I tell myself I’m going to but when it came down to my actual marathon, I did not. I didn’t commit any cardinal sins (like chugging poweraide or switching the granola bars I was going to use) but I did change things up a bit.
For one thing I drank water at every other water station, starting around mile 13 or so. I know that isn’t the biggest sin, as it prolly prevented dehydration discomfort that not drinking water would have caused. I also waited until mile 17 to have my first bar. And even then it was a preventative measure rather than a “gee-my-legs-feel-tired. must-eat” thought. I ended up also eating two granolas during the marathon, again, nothing drastic (and also prolly helped me finish strong) but I had never done a run where I ate more than one granola bar.
In the end whatever I was doing worked. I ran a BQ debut marathon and never hit the wall. Didn’t even see the wall. I’m not saying that my strategy is the best. It certainly is dicey but it worked for me.
In fact, this post doesn’t quite read the way I pictured it too. I suppose that comes from lacking an actual strategy. I feel like my during-run fueling is an area that has a lot of room for improvement. I think part of it is because I’ve only run one marathon and I’ve never felt the need to fuel a half marathon — to me it’s just not long enough to deplete my body of glucose/glycogen etc. I’m sure it’s an experience thing and I simply have not had as many races to figure out what works best.
Hopefully some of you guys reading might have better suggestions and how to make eating and (especially) drinking on runs easier. Again, I’m not quite sure why I don’t. Part of the problem is sheer laziness and not wanting to plan out this stuff. And I suspect that I have that young-person mentality: Nothing bad has happened to me yet with the way I do things, so why change?