Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Refueling on the Run

I have been keeping a secret the past 9 weeks....

For my 13 miler (week 4), and my second 13 miler w/ the last 3 miles at HMP (week 6), and my 16 miler w/ the last 4 miles at HMP (week 9) I have not been fueling during the run.

After my stomach revolted against the GU during my half in September I was apprehensive about using them again.

When I started running in the morning back in the summer of 2007, my stomach was super sensitive.  Not only did I have to be careful what I ate before a run but also afterward.  I had to stay away from dairy after all my runs because I became lactose intolerant for about 3 hours after I finished running.

My stomach has slowly become less sensitive as I have run more and more, but I still have an occasional problem.  So for the training of my 3rd half marathon, I decided to try and not use any fuel while running and see how it worked out.


I have this giant box of GU at home and have not used one yet!

Just to be safe, during all my extra long runs I have stashed one GU in my pocket but I haven't used it.  I just haven't felt like I needed to.  This is all very confusing because last summer while training for my second half, I used GUs all the time.

One difference could be the weather.  All my training runs have been during 30-40F weather while in the summer, most of my runs were in the 80F weather and it was hot and I needed to refuel.  

Another difference could be the fact that I am running my long runs at a slower, more comfortable pace for this training cycle.

I am not really sure what the difference is but I do know for the half marathon coming up on May 1st, I will most likely carry a GU with me during the race but I don't know if I will need it or use it.


Have you noticed a difference in your fueling based on the season or weather?  

Have you ever run more than 10 miles without taking any fuel?

18 comments:

Angie said...

I used to be more gel dependent for long runs. Then I realized that I didn't really need them. I eat breakfast before heading out but I can handle 20 miles runs without gels, although after 16 miles or so I like to switch to gatorade. I haven't noticed any difference when I take them versus when I go without, but it probably varies by person.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I tend to only use gels/fuel when i am training for a marathon. I never used them when I was training for a half. I put gatorade in my fuel belt and that seems to be good enough for me!! I am glad you've found something that works for you. Gu's seem to bug alot of people's tummys! Mine likes it, as long as I avoid the fruit-flavored ones as I think they are too acidic or something... But vanilla? Yes, please!

Marlene said...

It's all about finding out what works for you. I don't blame you for cutting out Gu if it was causing so much GI distress. No fun!

I'm lucky that I seem to have a stomach of steel and nothing really bothers it, so I do Gu on all of my long runs (13 miles+). There are days that I probably don't need it, but I like to keep the fueling/hydration routine the same so I am 100% used to it for race day.

In the summer I'll take the same amount of Gu but more salt and more water!

Suzy said...

GI problems are the worst, but if I don't fuel I get a horrible 'hangover' for the rest of the day. I can't do GU for long runs so I stick to Hammer Nutrition (doesn't have the sugar). I definitely take in a lot more water during the summer than winter! If you are used to running without fueling then go with it. It is what your body is used to.

Indi said...

I've been using GU Chomps, Hammer solids and real food during my trail marathon training. Trail aid stations typically have real food like pringles for salt, Fig newtons, M&Ms etc that I've simply started to train with them so I'm used to them come race day. No issues on them yet!

Amy said...

When I trained for my first half, not only did I not refuel, I didn't carry any water on any of my runs, and only stopped for water once, near the end of the race, on race day. Now I'm a vigilant refueler, and carry my handheld even on most 5K runs!

I do find my stomach feels a bit funky for a few minutes after taking a Gu, but the feeling usually passes. Hammer Gels don't give me that problem.

Amy said...

When I trained for my first half, not only did I not refuel, I didn't carry any water on any of my runs, and only stopped for water once, near the end of the race, on race day. Now I'm a vigilant refueler, and carry my handheld even on most 5K runs!

I do find my stomach feels a bit funky for a few minutes after taking a Gu, but the feeling usually passes. Hammer Gels don't give me that problem.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I LOVE GU's! Hehe

I did a 10-miler last weekend and while I did take a GU at mile 5 I could have done the whole run without one. I had done a same time (but shorter distance because it was on trails) run the weekend before with no fuel other than water.

I think it's different for everyone! I find that the GU gives me a bit of an energy boost too which is nice.

Jeri said...

GAH! I want to steal all the good flavors out of that box. :p

destination262 said...

For me, I notice a difference after I take a gu. I don't usually feel like I need one, but I always do better after having one. I have also noticed that the colder weather makes me not as thirsty too. I could see how you could feel like you might not need the gu. But I think its all about finding what works for you. Maybe there are other things you could do to fuel..like pretzels or something??

Katie said...

Oh, I love gu- especially the chocolate mint flavor! I've found that I tend to drink less water during races, which is silly and has ending up biting me in the booty afterwards. Lesson learned!

-Katie @ Legally fit

Christine said...

Interesting! I'm the complete opposite, I feel I might break in if I don't take anything. I can't handle GU, but I like sport beans or chomps and take them every 3-4 miles, if I run more than 8 miles. As long as you train that way, you will be fine during the race! Good luck!

TwentySixandThenSome said...

Try ClifBlocks...those are my new favs and not as harsh on the GI system.

onelittletrigirl said...

I refuel every 4 miles if I am running anything over 6 miles. If the run is under 6 miles, I rely only on water. During tri's, I refuled in T1 and T2.

I am already worrying about marathon training- how will I carry all the fuel I need...how will I know it is enough...etc etc.

The Happy Runner said...

I sip gatorade all along the way in my long runs. I also eat jelly beans. Not high quality fuel, I know, but they work for me!

kilax said...

I always take something if I am running 8+. Just a habit. I do need less water in the winter, but the same amount of GUs. Why haven't you tried shot bloks or anything else? I have even taken "real" food with me on runs. I had larabars during the Chicago Marathon!

Glenn Jones said...

Have you ever played around with other fueling alternatives? Gatorade? Maltodextrin? Other gels (Hammer is my favorite)?

Nicole said...

I like chocolate outrage gu the best!!! :) i use that year round!