Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Long Run Nutrition

Not too much to report today...another cold, cold six mile run. It was sunny so that made it at least feel a little warmer, although I'm totally over winter. Run for the day:

Wednesday, February 4
6.05 miles in 48:12, avg pace of 7:58

It took me nearly an hour and a half to actually get out the door to do this run...I was not feeling it today, but once I got there, it was perfectly fine. The hardest part is always getting out the door!

Now for a question...Despite running two marathons, I'm still a novice when it comes to nutrition/energy intake during long runs and the marathon itself. I know what I need to take in, but I haven't found something that works for me. It seems that gels are the most popular, but I tried them once and had a whole gag response to them. Maybe I just need to adjust to them, so I will probably give them another try. Any suggestions on which brand or flavor? There are so many different kinds out there, and I'm sure it depends on personal preference, but any suggestions would be much appreciated!

For my first marathon (Marine Corps 2006), I used Clif Shot Bloks (Cran Razz, I believe). They were okay, but I had to cut them in half to chew because they were so big, and even then I had to spend a lot of time chewing them. I also tried some Sharkies during training and had a few with me during the marathon, but they also required a lot of chewing!

For my second marathon (Chicago 2007), I had a mix of Shot Bloks, Sport Beans, and your normal run-of-the-mill Gummi Bears. I don't actually like jelly beans, so naturally Sport Beans weren't my favorite, but they were smaller and went down a little better than the Shot Bloks. However, I lost my bag of goodness around mile 9...I had a plastic bag pinned to the inside of my shorts, and it must have fallen off without me realizing it. Around mile 10 I knew the marathon wasn't going to be an all-star event anyway, so I wasn't that upset about it. I concentrated on getting liquids in at the water stops, and I took bananas when the aid stations offered them.

With my first longer long run coming up this weekend (13 miles!), I want to start practicing/trying out different nutrition types, so if you have any suggestions, I'll take them with me when I go shopping! Thanks!


  1. have you tried any other brands of gels? fortunately i don't have a very bad gag reflex, but maybe try experimenting with different brands will help. also, Clif has another product called Luna shots (or something like that) which are a bit smaller than their Shot Blox.

    maybe try Hammer Gels or just straight-up packets of honey? i've wanted to try the honey but keep forgetting ... i even grabbed a bunch at work one day to test out while running.

    good luck!

  2. Hey Susan,
    I will begin reading your blog regularly. I am a runner too but only of shorter distances. I am bringing up my milage and speed. It is a work in progress. I guess you will have good tips for me.
    Keep on running and writing.

  3. i am a gu user... i like most of the flavors but the chocolate one is my favorite. when i started running i was using gu but then it started to hurt my stomach, so i swtiched to luna moons which i liked. they are really yummy too, but i just got over the whole chewing while running thing, so i switched back to gu and now dont have any stomach problems with it. its so much easier not to chew, just dont put the whole gu in your mouth at once and its not too bad. i follow it with plain water also. i use gatorade also during my long runs. hope that helps some! i think experimenting nad finding what works for you is the best way to go.