Staying Ahead of It

Fall is almost here and that means mileage is building.

This is the time when your fueling plan really gets tested.

Its one thing to run six miles and forget to bring your gel, but anything after that and you are going to start to feel it.  

A few weeks ago, my running group was out for a 16 mile long run.  I had planned on refueling at 4, 8, and 12 miles.  I took my gel at 4 and 8, but both my running partner (Cathy) and I missed 12 for some reason.  By the time we hit 14 miles we were feeling it.  The last two miles were brutal...

I decided that on my next run I was going to try to stay ahead of my fueling plan.

This past Saturday we ran our 18 mile long run.  I was determined to stick with my fueling / refueling plan this time.

- During the week of the run: I ate meals high in carbohydrates starting on Wednesday night.  I know from reading and from experience the importance of carbohydrates.  I also know that its not what you eat the night before, but rather what you eat the two or three days prior to a long run or race.

- First thing when I woke up: I ate a piece of toast with almond butter and honey.  I drank some water and then a sports drink as I drove to meet my running group.

- Right before we started our run: I took a gel.  I had decided to experiment with this to see how it would sit on my stomach (lucky for me it worked great).

- I drank sports drinks for the entire run (I use a handheld bottle from CamelBak and it rocks).

- At miles 4, 8, 12 and 14 I took gels.

- When I finished I drank chocolate milk.

Your plan may be different than my plan, but the important thing is to have a plan.  I ran this entire run without getting close to hitting the wall (bonking).  I felt great and hit my pace the entire way.

I also coached my son's football team after my run and then went home and ran another 5 miles with my wife!

Yep, it felt good to stay ahead of it!

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