Thursday, October 10, 2013

In race refueling

Since I went back to running marathons in ’08, I have been trying to find the right refueling strategy during my races.

At first, I was just drinking water leading up to the marathon and then taking 5 Power Gels over the course of a marathon plus drinking water at the aid stations.

From this approach, I exchanged the Power Gels for the Cliff Blocks for a few marathons.

At Wine Glass this past weekend, I shifted my approach again. During the days leading up to my race, I was constantly sipping from my Nunn Water Bottle. Even race morning, I had a bottle in my drop bag.

I also focused more on fueling better the two days prior to the race. Then, during the race, I took one Power Gel at two miles. From this point, I just took water and Gatorade every four miles during the race.

This approach seemed to work the best so far.

So what’s behind this searching, well it is a few things.

After most of my marathons, my stomach is destroyed. Usually, I need four to five hours before I can even think about eating. This is not a feeling that I enjoy.

A couple of pieces of information that I have learned during my research really stuck out to me. First, a Gel takes about 15 minutes to enter my system and takes about 30 minutes for full effect. Second, this 15 and 30 minute intervals seem to work better during low stress running.

I am finding the harder that I run, the less it breaks down. More often than not, I feel like is just sets on my stomach. Dump 4 to 5 gels on top of each other, and I am leaning toward this being the cause of my stomach woes.

I am also finding that I like taking the Gatorade during race much better. I feel like it settles much easy on my stomach during high stress running and has a better chance of entering my system.

With anything there is always a catch. I got lucky this past weekend. The Gatorade was made rather well. Therein lays the problem. Taking race provided fluids is “pot luck”. The Gatorade could have been near water or it could have been like syrup. I would never know it until I put the first drop in my mouth.

Everyone is different so what works for me may or may not work for someone else. I do feel that the level of effort being exerted during the race is a huge factor on what well my stomach can handle any fuel. I suspect that I am not alone and others fall into this same category.



Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

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