9.27 miles @ 8:34 pace with Jo and Lauren. Jo and I were very thankful that Lauren brought her watch because mine was dead and Jo forgot hers. Lauren is definitely the responsible garmin wearer in our group.
Let’s talk about fueling for a bit!
It wasn’t until after Skye was born that nutrition during the run really started clicking for me. I finally realized the importance of starting early with my fueling and keeping up with it. Mary was my coach then, and she would include notes on my workouts/long runs of when to take my gels. It was an ‘aha moment’ for me that if she included when to take my gels, taking those were just as important for my overall performance as the paces and everything else she included in the notes. I was going to trust her completely and follow every note she gave me. I would take my gels every 30ish minutes, and it paid off with finally hitting the goal I worked for eight years to get. Humas were my favorite gels during this time!
This is what I have found to work for me now:
Long runs (or over 80ish minutes) or workouts: If I am doing a 20 miler or more, I mimic marathon day (below) with my fueling. Anything less than that, and I take a caffeine Maurten right before I start and a normal Maurten every 5 miles.
Easy runs over 10 miles or 80 minutes: I take a caffeine Maurten before the run and then another non-caffeinated one or two throughout the run. If I’m running much more than 80 minutes, I’m usually doing a long run or workout, and not easy.
Marathon day: A caffeine Maurten 5 minutes before the race and then another Maurten gel (mostly non-caffeinated except for one more caffeinated one, usually at mile 16) every 4 miles. For me, that means I am taking a gel every 26ish minutes of the race. Maurten gels (the only gels I use now) don’t have electrolytes, so I like to switch off with each aid station between Gatorade and water. One of my favorite parts about Maurten gels is that you don’t have to take them with any liquids, so I can take the gel at exact times and not have wait for the next aid station I get to.
1/2 Marathon day: The same as marathon day, I have the one caffeinated gel before the race and then a gel at miles 4 and 8 and sometimes at 12, but not always that late in the race.
For my 50-mile ultra-> Every 30 minutes, I took in about 150-200 calories.
Long trail runs: I feel like I burn through calories way faster on these types of runs, so taking in fuel constantly (not as measured with this because I’m usually eating food/candy on long trail runs) is the key. I feel horrible when I slack off on my nutrition on the long trail runs.
I drink liquid IV before every run. I love the taste, and it works wonders for my hydration–> code HUNGRY-RUNNER-GIRL gets you 25% off and free shipping.
As far as hydration during the run goes, I stink at this in the winter. If I see a water fountain, I’ll go to it and grab a drink, but I don’t plan well for this. I plant water and Gatorade along our routes during warmer months or carry a handheld bottle.
Here are a few positives I have noticed for me that might help motivate you to fuel more during your runs:
*The more I fuel during my workouts (i.e., gels throughout the long workouts/long runs), the faster I recover. I feel so much better the next day on my run when I properly fueled the day before during the big runs/workouts. I feel like garbage if I don’t.
*My stomach is so used to it on race day because I practice so much with them (at least twice a week) during training. Practice taking gels during your marathon-paced workouts too so that your body is used to taking it at the pace you are going to run on race day.
*The better I fuel, the faster I run. Seriously, these endurance events are one big eating contest… the people that can get in enough calories fly. I will never forget how good I felt at Boston 2022 when I took a gel on the dot each 4 miles/26ish minutes. I cannot stress enough how much good fueling during your runs will do for you!
Before I run, here are some things that I love to eat: ego waffles, graham crackers, oatmeal, toast with peanut butter and blueberries, bagels with jam or english muffins.
Also, if you haven’t tried Maurten, I need to send you one to try. I have never had any gut problems with these and I can’t believe how much easier they make it for me to fuel on the run.
What have you found to work for fueling your runs/races?
What is your go-to gel for running? Have a favorite flavor?
Who has a race, birthday or anniversary this month?
-Andrew’s bday is on 3/14!
Any blog post requests? If you have a question, I’ll write a post about it!