run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fuel me up...

So, it's Wednesday... an unplanned rest day for me (although, I should have been able to look at the calendar and realize that the day AFTER St. Patricks Day was going to be a rest day). But, it's time for me to start thinking about the weekend...

Saturday is installment #2 of the 20 milers and I'm trying to plan accordingly. After the debacle of my first 20+ a few weeks ago, it's clear that I need to institute a few changes into my preparation and my actual training runs themselves.

I've pretty much figured out the preparation part... PIZZA. Baked potatoes, Pasta, etc.. So, that just leaves fueling my runs while running. I need it, as much as I've tried to train without any kind of energy gels, jelly beans, etc... I really feel like they would help my runs significantly.

Soooo... I'm jumping back onto the fuel bandwagon... But, I need to find something that is going to work for me and my oh so sensitive stomach. Not an easy feat.

A long time ago... I used to use Sport Beans. And then they started giving me heartburn while running (which, was funny... because I had never had heartburn before, so it took me awhile to realize that's what it was, and that my heart wasn't actually burning from the running). So, yeah.. Sports Beans are out.

Next up: Gels. I find gels to be messy (sticky fingers! arg!), gross, and hard for me to get down. I also find that I drink too much water with them... which sloshes around in my stomach with the gel and makes me sick.

I do like the Gatorade/Acclerade option. But, it's not that easy to carry on you. (I do have a hydration belt... but, ugghhh.. I just feel so lame and sloshy while wearing it). And the gatorade on race courses is always that watered down gatorade made from a mix.

I'm going to head to my local running shop tonight or tomorrow night and check out my other options. I'm thinking I'd like the Clif Shot Bloks. I definitely want something with electrolytes and possibly extra sodium, since I'm one of those runners that ends up with a white, crusty shell on my skin after runs.

Anybody got some good suggestions for me? How do you fuel up during runs? And... as importantly... at what points during the run/race?


Spike said...

I was a huge Shot Blox fan, but I found they took some effort to chew and eat during my runs. Then I heard Nitmos talking all about Roctane Gu, and I gave it a try. I love them, but it doesn't address the sticky fingers feeling. As for the too much water with gu, I time it so that I eat the gu before I hit the water station, and I swish and spit most of my water (reducing unnecessary H2O consumption).

Anonymous said...

Personally, I have one brand of gu that I can use in exactly 2 flavors. I like Power Gel, but ONLY in caramel (preferably) or vanilla (easier to find, but seems a little thicker). I cannot stand the consistency of other brands. I've finally (after more than a year) learned how to tear them open with my teeth and not get a sticky mess on my fingers. One running friend eats craisins or dried peaches (or maybe it's apricots). She puts them in a little half-size zip bag and eats a few at diff times. It works for her! I definitely think your running will improve even more when you learn how to properly fuel during a long run. Good luck -- in my experience, the testing is never fun but when you find something that works, it's worth all the other upset stomachs.

johnking said...

Clif Shot Blocks are the way to go, only downsize is the packaging is bigger and it contains 2 servings...which is a plus...3 blocks, wrap em up, 3 more blocks later...I think they are awesome.

bb said...

I don't run nearly as far or as fast as you, but I agree that Shot Bloks are a good way to go. I like the Black Cherry flavor the best...Margarita flavor is nasty.

RunnerMom said...

I'm a heavy sweater, too. However, the shot bloks do nothing for me energy wise. I'm loving the Gu Chocolate Outrage. Really, all the Gu's seem to have the best taste and texture and a little caffeine, too. The chocolate one, if you can tolerate it, tastes like a mixture of chocolate and caramel. Lemon Sublime and Orange aren't bad, either. I didn't care for Espresso Love. Hammer Gels and Clif Shots are a different texture. The chocolate Clif Shot isn't bad though.

I'm doing my 20-miler tomorrow and I'm scared. Any advice appreciated!!