Fueling for the long run-17 and counting


‘Twas a balmy 34 degrees here in the W to the Y. A fabulous day for running 17 miles. Many people might think that 34 is cold, but when you are at 7,200 feet in elevation, the sun can be very warm. Today marked a milestone in my running. This is the farthest that I have ever run-wait for it…BY MYSELF! Yes, 3 hrs with no one to talk to, no one carrying my food, or water and it was fabulous.

I hit a wall around mile 12 and started to do some walk running, but by mile 15 it hurt to walk, so it was back to running continuously. I carried music today which helped. I have these techno workout mixes that are about 1.5 hrs long and of songs I would not normally listen to, but they sure keep the legs moving. Like the Nicky Manage song, “Super Bass.” I would never listen to it, but when it came on today I was at a stop light and caught myself rocking out to it. Plus, it reminded me of these Ellen girls:

ellen girls

It’s not letting me embed the whole video, but click on the link. Seriously, these two are hilarious and talented.

Like I said, this run was solo and nutrition was essential. Many people ask me about fueling during the runs. Here are some rules and ideas that work for me. It is different for everyone.

1. Figure out a pre run meal that works for you. You don’t want to be hungry 10 minutes into the run. Some suggestions are toast with peanut butter, bananas, or oatmeal. Today I had the same oatmeal mix as the other morning.

2. Stay ahead of the game. Don’t let your sugar drop, because by then it is too late. My rule of thumb on long runs is every 3 miles. Some people do it by time. If you read a GU label it says “15 minutes before and then every 45.” Again, stressing the importance of having sugar before and staying on top of it. Also, you don’t have to eat Gu, some people find it nauseating and a sticky mess. I actually find it expensive. As long as you take in simple sugars (think everything you are not suppose to eat) you will be fine. I have brought brownies, skittles, swedish fish, and gummy bears.

3. Stay hydrated as you run as well. A good rule of thumb for me on this is to have a sip every mile or when I am eating my nutrition. Also, I carry electrolyte water with me too, so I am getting electrolytes while I run and not just straight water.

Here’s what my mix looked like today for 17 miles:

  • 1 bottle of lemon-lime electrolytes (I use an organic brand, not gatorade because gatorade contains bad things for you like high fructose corn syrup).
  • 2 Newman’s Own Oreo cookies (I ate one at mile 3 and the other at mile 6)
  • 1 Honey Stinger Peanut Butter Bar (I felt myself bonking at mile 8.5, so I had 1/3 of the bar, then another 1/3 at about mile 12 and the last at mile 15). Sidenote: I had a hard time with this because it was chalky and dry to swallow and sometimes peanut butter smell makes me sick. This had me gagging a bit.

This worked for me. I know that I have to take in more sugar than most people and I actually bonked hard when I came home. I demanded JWail make me some sweet potatoes and eggs right away. He quickly obliged when he saw the monster in me emerging. They were delish and brought my blood sugar right back to normal.

Now it’s time to foam roll and relax!


7 responses to “Fueling for the long run-17 and counting

  1. Kait, this is all so interesting and great information! As I’m slowly building my mileage (I’m no where NEAR 17 yet…)…I’ve been trying to read more and more about various fueling strategies. It’s SO important!
    Thanks a ton! πŸ™‚

  2. I found this so interesting! I’d heard about the Stinger Bar’s, but haven’t tried them. Never thought about the Newman’s Own cookies…. great (and yummy) idea!

    • Ya, sometimes I just grab whatever has sugar in it in the house-hence the cookies. Honey Stinger is made just over the border from here in CO and their products are all natural and tasty. I especially like the waffles.

  3. I think the key thing I’ve learned, which you said here, is to no let your blood sugar drop! I’d always wait until I felt like I really needed something, but I’ve learned to take in some fuel BEFORE that point!

  4. Great run! I find it hard to do solo long runs, I’ve become a little dependent on my running club’s group runs. I hate doing a whole long run alone, I need at least 7 miles of company. πŸ™‚

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