Monday, February 14, 2011


I touched a little bit on this in my last post, but what does proper fueling feel/look like?

In some of my past races, AR50, TRT50k, and SNER double I had major issues with getting the proper fuel into my body for one, and two keeping my stomach settled.

AR50 last year solid food became an issue. I still ate the peanut butter sandwiches but it was not settling to well in my stomach. I drank coke which by the way is the best thing ever during an ultra run. I also fueled with GU. Maybe because I so new to running and fueling that I has having some of these issues. GU at that beginning tasted good, it was doing it's job, but later on it became very hard to suck it down. I learned a lot during this race, that my body can not handle solid foods like others.

TRT50k was a totally different ball game, as in I had major stomach issues from the start and the first piece of solid food I ate did not want to stay down, and then it got worse from there. I couldn't keep GU down. By the time I reached my awesome crew of three I was in bad shape. But here is where it all turned around, Captain Kirk made me take a salt, I drank some coke and I was off. In a few short miles I was able to keep GU down and during the six mile red house loop I inhaled my GU like it was candy because I was so behind on fuel. I flew through the aid station because I didn't need anything, no need to stop for solid food if all I am going to do is not keep it down. By the time I returned to my crew I was looking really strong, and the rest of the field was looking a bit like carnage. Even though I was feeling good I still had my issues with GU, I didn't keep one down at one point. My stomach wasn't feeling too great but I finished the race without eating any solid food, just GU and coke. (probably not the smartest thing to do)

SNER double I learned from my two previous races, solid food doesn't always settle right in my stomach and sometime GU can be my enemy. But during my training for this race, I experimented with different flavors and found one my body liked. Raspberry cream, ummm umm good! But the heat became my enemy, my ribs were my enemy, I mean I had a lot of things against me at the start of this race. I went as far as I could, but I do believe that fueling was one issue along with the heat, ribs, the fall ohh did I mention the heat.

So my quest this season is to figure out what works best for fueling. So far I have experimented with a flask to hold my GU which I water down so it is not as thick and goes down smoother. The few long runs I have done this I haven't had any issues, so I will be sticking with that game plan. I also have experimented with new solid foods by the way of honey stinger waffles. It taste like a Churro and has 160 calories in a very tiny waffle. It is fantastic and with 160 calories worth it. That has stayed down so far. I have also tried some watermelon chomps that Miss P. uses and those actually tasted really good. Not to chewy and full of flavor.

During this weekends 20 miles with the Western States Training run I will continue to experiment with my fuel and try to find the right mixture that will help keep me going. I also understand that proper fueling during a run is vital just as it is vital pre-run.This also includes proper hydration pre, during and post. I will be focused on proper hydrating and fueling pre run as well.

What do you use to fuel properly pre, during and post?


  1. Goodluck this weekend. I could never stomach too much Gu. Once in a while I was fine but I could never do too many.

    I was a potato/salt girl and of course my PayDay Bars . . . but at times, even during AR, those were not appealing any more. Enter Ensure drink which helped give me some calories. I only had it during a race once (AR50) and not very much but enough to get me to the next aid-station.

    Those waffles are all the rage lately. Too bad they are not gluten free! :-)

  2. I have many thoughts on fueling/hydration...

    I have found that for me, waiting too long to start fueling = disaster. I get a stomach ache and find it's hard to keep anything down. Thus, I have a very strict regimen of a GU every 30 minutes, starting at 30 minutes into the run. And to top that off, I have GU Brew in my backpack to take with the GU to slosh it up in my stomach and aid digestion. The every 30 mins schedule makes it easy to keep track of when to take a GU since it's every top and bottom of the hour.

    On runs longer than 3 hours I work in solid food. I'm still a little loosey goosey on when and what, but last weekend I brought pasta with olive oil and salt and ate it at the turnaround and was fine. Peanut butter and jelly is OK, too, and I had dried apricots once which were a nice change. Even when I work solid food in, I still stick to the every 30 minute GU schedule.

    My breakfast is a bagel with honey and peanut butter. And coffee (like 4 cups-perhaps too much) I usually try to have that finished an hour and a half before the run. If the wait between eating and running is more than that, I will also have a yogurt in the car. For Saturday, since there will be a significant wait, I will have a yogurt when I get to Placer High waiting for the bus.

    I also do major hydration all day on Fridays and on Saturday mornings in the car driving to the meet up point. I'm going to have to modify my water drinking becuase I DO NOT want to be stuck on a bus for an hour, and them have to wait for a "P" on the ground to go to the bathroom. I think last year I used the porta potties at Placer High three times before we got on the bus and I was fine.

    Remember last year when Mark Murray ran with us one weekend? He told me that for Way Too Cool he doesn't take in fuel for the first two hours and poo pooed my every 30 minute schedule, basically implying I was fueling too often. At first I felt like a big, fatso, unfit loser, but then decided I didn't care because my scheudle worked for me.