Fuel - Before, During and After a Long Run
Here is my non scientific look at fueling and refueling for a long run...
Over the past three years I have tested a few different ways to refuel during a long run. I have gone with water, gels, sports drinks, coconut water, and sports beans. I have had some success, but usually I either feel like I am bonking or close to it. Other times my calves have come close to cramping or cramped up for the last five miles of a marathon. So this year I am determined to get it right.
Yesterday I ran twenty-two miles. It was hot and humid and a perfect day to "get it right". I started my run at 4:00am and it was already 80 degrees. I ate a slice of bread with peanut butter and drank two glasses of water. I filled my water bottle with Powerade Zero.
At mile five I ate a Hammer Gel (Montana Berry - so good). I drank from my water bottle every mile. After eight miles I got back to my starting point and ate a Bonk Breaker bar (Peanut Butter and Banana - so so taste). I also took one Thermotab (basically a salt pill). I refilled my bottle and after ten minutes (I was waiting for the rest of my running group to show up) I was back on the road. At mile twelve, I ate half a pack of chomps.
Not only was I feeling fine at mile fifteen, I was speeding up - Andrew wanted to race :) I finished with seventeen miles and felt great!
I drank some more water and then some chocolate milk. The group was done running so I ended up finishing my last five miles later that day.
The best thing is that I was not tired during the day and I was ready to go when it was time to do my last five miles. Maybe, just maybe I have figured out a good strategy to fueling.
This is not to say this is the best idea for everyone. I sweat like crazy and need to replenish the entire time I am running. I also had a break during my run, so this could have had a lot to with how I was feeling. Anyway, after worrying so much about how I was going to feel after running in such high heat and humidity it was great to feel so good!