Monday, March 31, 2014

Eating on the Run

I trained for my last 1/2 marathon with out fueling or hydrating while training; although at the event, I did take advantage of a couple of the water stations.  

My PT encouraged me not to based on the following:

  • hydrate adequately the day prior;
  • fuel adequately pre-run;
  • the requirement is for activity over 1.5 - 2 hours & I'm on the cusp;
  • the weather was cool

The same training in summer & anything over the half marathon distance for me he said I would need to consider both.  Obviously having worked with me for 6 months before I started training for the half, he had a pretty good idea of my tolerance, nutrition & health. If I were taking a much longer time, or had blood sugar (or other health) issues of course he would have recommended training with both.

Pre-run hydration involves sipping water through out the day before & not in-taking dehydrating fluids (coffee, alcohol).  Plus around 250mls when waking prior to the run.  I usually run first thing in the morning, so that is what this is based on.  Any more that that & I'd need to stop & pee mid run which is not ideal.   I usually drink 3 - 4 litres of water each day, so pre-run hydration is no big deal for me.  

Pre-run nutrition does not involve carb loading the night before.  If I was running marathon distance it might.  All this means is finding a carb/protein meal that sits well in your belly & keeps you going for the duration of the run, but not wanting to poop.  For me this is half a toasted multigrain muffin slathered with Almond Brazil Cashew spread (like 2+ tablespoons - if i can make it fit it goes on!) & a generous slather of honey.

The only problem I find is sometimes the honey makes me thirsty.  The less processed the honey is, the less thirsty it makes me.  Lately I've been quite thirsty on my longer runs.  I'm not sure if this is due to the current honey I have or if its psychological.  I shouldn't be thirsty, but sometimes I just want to rinse my mouth out. I've been running early enough that the heat hasn't been an issue.

This is what lead to doing a water drop on last weeks long run.  I've been researching hand held water bottles, hydration belts & vests.  I've read reviews, point of views & agonized over what I think will work best for me.  I already carry a belt to hold my phone, but don't think I'd feel comfortable with anything else around my waist.  Holding a water bottle as I found out was just crap.  Plus it put me off balance & was annoying swapping it from hand to hand.  I am hoping that the two bottles I purchased on- line will do the trick.

As you can see the bottles are in a holder which means you don't actually have to hold on to the bottle itself, the holder holds on to you.  They each take 300ml & the idea is you have one on each hand to maintain your weight balance.  I think I might try running with them empty first to get used to them, before having to deal with the sloshing of the water.  The other concept for 2 bottles is you can fill one with water & one with hydrolites (sports drink), which if I commit to a longer distance will be required.

After chatting to my lovely acupuncturist about all of this, he suggested I try fueling as well (I've read that in general, runners need to add 30 - 60 grams of carbs for each hour you run longer than 75 minutes) & we settled on lemonade jelly beans.  

I've tried a couple of the commercial sports gels on the market as Plumbing Boy tried them for endurance dirt bike riding, but they all made me thirsty & desperate for a drink to wash them down, so not wanting to carry water kind of put a stop to that idea.  The jelly beans I can swallow whole, negating the thirst & sticky mouth feel that follows!!  Lemonade ones because they have the least additives (coloring).

I tried 5 at the halfway mark with no adverse effect, other than it was a little tricky to run while trying to tip my head back with a mouthful of water to get them down.  I have no idea how many jelly beans I'll need to make up the 30 - 60 grams yet, guess I'd better get the scales out!!!

Do you hydrate or fuel during exercise?  Tell me!!


Carol said...

With my runs getting longer I am finding I am wanting a drink, so have been trying to midway end up near the public park where there is a water fountain. But not always. I don't carry a water bottle but I tell you on my 18km run when my hubby met me near the end I was so glad to see him with my water bottle I could have cried. I am going to have to look into that. As for food, I had been having some Jelly Belly Running Beams that I got when I was in the USA last year, full of electrolytes and all that good stuff. I'm now playng around with Amazeballs from Runners Kitchen. Again better with water, but still tolerable without. They have worked really well. It's all such a flipping science, I'm just winging it as I really don't know.


AlleyCat said...

I still haven't managed a proper run with those hand helds :0( they do annoy me.

Yes, it is all very scientific about what your body can actually digest while under the duress of a run!! I had been reading about people who eat dried apricots/fruit instead & thought that a good idea as more natural, but Mr Sports Acupuncturist kiboshed it with science explaining how they are too hard for the body to break down so am sticking with the jelly beans. Did read about the jelly belly ones & am on the look out for some!!!

Some days you are just thirstier than others!! Bless your hubby for being the drink station!!!!!