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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!<br><br>
I have read through a bunch of threads here on KR that discuss what to carry on long runs (camelbacks vs. handhelds, etc), what to fuel with (shot blocks, gels, gatorade, etc.), and how to hydrate/fuel/etc before, during and after long runs. And I still have a question.<br><br>
When I was training for my first marathon, my dad got all "I'm your coach" on me and literally followed me in his car through many of my long runs. I didn't need to think about what to carry 'cause he would be at the next pit stop ready to hand me what I needed on the go. <i>Lucky, I was, I know</i>.<br><br>
This time around, I'm doing it on my own. I have been carrying a hand-held with a gatorade/water mix, and that's been fine for up to 13 miles. <b>I'm wondering now that my long runs are back up into the 15+ mile range, what I should be doing. Is it overkill to take a gel down with the gatorade/water mix?</b> Should I just carry water and periodically take the gel?<br><br>
I am not great at eating anything (like shot blocks or the like) other than a banana during a run, but I feel like something other than the gatorade/water mix would help propel me through those longer runs. <b>What do you suggest?</b> Assume I don't run by a store where I could buy a water bottle on the way (cause I haven't mastered running with a bottle in both hands yet). <span style="font-size:xx-small;">p.s. I'm a relatively small woman so often I would only take about half a gel at a time, too...</span><br><br>
Sorry for the long post. Wanted to explain the situation. I'd really appreciate any insight any of you could provide! Thanks in advance!!!
 

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My running group coach says that if you are going to be out for over an hour that you should take in a small amount of food every 30-40 minutes.<br><br>
For my last long run of 1:45, I took a single shot block (1 cube) every 30-40 minutes and did ok.<br><br>
Others might be able to tell you more as they have more experience!
 

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Everybody is a little different in what works for them: that's what makes this so fun - you have to learn for yourself. IMO, that's one of the big purposes of long runs, to figure this stuff out. I've run a few marathons and I know I'm still figuring a lot of things out.<br><br>
How "rich a mixture" you need is one of those individualities. Personally I never drink water, always gatoraide/heed/gu20 or whatever and I add lots of food/sodium to the mix. Others can't manage and need to add water.<br><br>
As far as carrying stuff there are lots of options there too. Shorts with pockets can help, or you could go to a little fanny pack, or go up to something like my Ultimate Direction HHS which holds a 20oz water bottle and has fanny pack space for a moderate amount of other stuff. Lots of other people may chime in with stuff they like: fuelbelts are something I hate but others swear by f'rinstance.<br><br>
One little suggestion that might help. I get mini ziplock baggies at the craft store. The have them in all kinds of teeny sizes, I use one size for putting pills sodium pills into, and a slightly bigger size for putting gummy bears, dried fruit, or little dextrose candies into.
 

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you can take gels with gatorade, i know people say not to, i think that is hogwash. I prefer clif blocks, and Wyrillco, 1? 3 is a single serving. I am not sure one ever 45 mins is going to make any difference. Get some race ready shorts and stuff your pockets <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> You can start with a gel or clif block serving every hour during your runs and supplement with food if you feel hungry- granola bars, bananas, pretzels, fig newtons, etc.
 

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I think the Gel with Gatorade is probably OK... as I understand it from a non-scientific standpoint... you just need something to "wash the Gel down" and keep it from being a large blob that is hard to digest.... maybe I've misunderstood this concept, and maybe I'm wrong, but that's the assumption I've labored under while training.<br><br>
As for when or what distances to eat... etc... I think I've tried it all. For my last few bouts of training, I've run under the theory of. "Don't use gel's for most training runs, and you'll gain that much more of a boost when you use them in a race." - I'd like to come out and state now that I'm pretty sure that might be a pretty [email protected] theory. It kind of sounds good on paper... but... even though I used gel's on a couple of long runs (I never try anything new on race day), I feel like my body isn't used to having food when running during the race, and I get crampy, and achy.<br><br>
So my new theory is to train like you race. Work on developing a strategy. I like the single Cliff Block every 30-45 mins theory that Wyllrico mentioned. I did something similar last year during the Richmond Marathon, and while that wasn't a stellar race for me, I didn't cramp, and I didn't bonk, I just didn't run well for other unrelated reasons. It was actually kind of fun to take in the Cliff blocks every 4 miles or so. I kind of made a game of it. I'd see how long I could make the Cliff Block last, by sucking on it, or chewing it slowly as I ran along... kind of silly, I know, but hey whatever gets you through 26.2 miles <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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That chase car thing is totally cool! Next time you've got to get him to put sponsor stickers all over the car and make it look offical. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
I still use Myron's old theory. I usually eat a banana before I go and just leave my water in the car. Mostly this is because I really friggin hate carrying things. I even hate watches. I hate carrying my key, so I got one of those things that clips on your shoe.<br><br>
I'm only doing HMs, so I might reconsider if I was going longer but I'm doing 15-17 every weekend and not bringing anything. It's just what works for me. I'm also out very early though (like 6am on the weekends) so I'm not battling the heat so much (not that it's been super hot here this summer).<br><br>
That said, it's probably more dependent on time than distance. I'm not out for more than 1:45 probably tops.<br><br>
But it is whatever works for you, so I'd mix it up and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for the input, everyone! I do have a pocket thingy on my strap-on <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> that i shove gels or lifesavers in... I was really more confused about the washing down gels with the gatorade/water mix part... I guess if I carry a couple gels but only take about half of each one at a pop, mixing that with the gator mix won't be a big deal. I may give the cliff blocks another shot, too... I really don't worry about it until I get over 15 miles... then I feel like I need something in my system more than just the water/gator mix...<br><br>
thanks again!
 

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can anyone explain why you would only take half a gel pack or only one clif block???
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I'd actually like to hear this, too. I thought I read/heard somewhere that a smaller person (me) might not need, or my system might not tolerate, a whole gel at once (especially with the idea of washing it down with a gatorade/water mix). In training for my first marathon, with my dad chasing me, it was easy to alternate gatorade/water/gels so I did use whole gels. Now that I'm only carrying the mix, I thought the whole gel might be too much. (am I being dumb here??? maybe I'm overthinking the whole thing...)
 

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I space out my shot bloks every 15 min or so, just to keep myself amused, or for a treat for running 15 min more. No scientific reason.
 

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100 calories is a 100 calories no matter how big or small you are. I guess it is personal preference, but what is the point of 25-30 calories when you are running long runs? Seems like not enough to make a difference, imo.
 

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that makes sense, over the course of an hour you get 100+ calories, which is the same as taking one serving per hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
maybe that's the thing -- i'm getting calories/carbs/etc. through the gator/water mix anyway, so a whole gel may be too much??? I only tried that half gel thing a few times, so I'm not sure I realized any difference.
 

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i guess it is personal preference.
 

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My 2 cents - I take the whole GU in when I do take one b/c it's way too damn sticky to carry around otherwise. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> The only time I've taken in more than one GU is on marathon race day or on runs over 16-17 miles. GUs (just plain flavor) work best for me - I don't like anything too sugary and chewing seems to be a problem while I'm running. I don't think taking in a gel/gu with a Gatorade/water combo is a problem at all ...but I'd try to imitate what's going to happen/be available come race day, at least a couple times before the actual day. So if you won't be able to mix Gatorade/water and take it in with a gel at your marathon, practice that too.<br><br>
I'm a Fuel Belt wearer (and hater) but that's just b/c I haven't found another system that works for me ...yet. I'm going to try the strap-on this weekend and see how it works out.
 

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I'm very, very new to this, so my literally 1 data point may not be much help. I have a 24oz Camelback that's about good for 12M in the heat, though I find myself bonking after about 10M if I don't take a gel in there somewhere. Last weekend I did 14M, with water in the Camelback and a Gatorade/water mix in a hand-held. I drank the Gatorade mix first, until it ran out (about 8M), and took a gel at mile 9, which I washed down with water. I had no problems, even though the Gatorade was still in my stomach. I felt much, much better later in the runs that I had been with just the water.
 

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Can't explain the half a gel packet, because I really wouldn't want to carry an icky sticky gel pack - those are one use items to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">... but only one cliff block... well, I can explain what I was thinking when I did that last year at the Richmond Marathon.<br><br>
As mentioned, 3 blocks is a serving. In prior races, I was taking a full serving (gel pack) between miles 10 and 12 (depending on water stop), and mile 17-19 (again depending on water stop). In a full marathon.<br><br>
I found that often, on the second gel, and sometimes on the first, my stomach felt well... heavy... for lack of a better word.<br><br>
So I came up with a theory... and this might not be right for everyone or even right at all... take a small amount every 30 mins or so, instead of a large amount every hour or so. Ultimately, you end up taking in the same amount of calories over the same period of time.<br><br>
I generally don't take a gel in a half marathon, and for me, Ultra's are a different beast. I've only really done one ultra, I enjoyed it... but the terrain really took it out of my body, so I fueled like mad... salty potatoes at the aid stations, cliff blocks on the run... orange slices here and there. Bloated stomach in the last few miles... kinda nauseus. I did learn from reading one of your posts about <b>Ginger</b> and I definately think that will be in my pack if I ever do an ultra again.
 

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I'm similar to Kris - if its 10 miles or under, I can go without gel and even liquids provided I hydrate enough beforehand. Otherwise, I take along at least one gel. Along my routes, there's usually water fountains and/or stores where I can buy water, so I generally don't have to bring a water bottle on my runs. Another option is I plan it so that I have my car/house/etc. and loop by there every certain number of miles, where I stash my refreshments.<br><br>
Also, if you are one that takes in only half-a-gel at a time, perhaps a gel flask might be a better option?
 
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