This past Sunday, I finished a 20 mile training run. Oh wait, it was 23.13 miles (My Garmin won't let me forget that 3.13).
I previously posted that my largest issue was not The Wall (which I never hit), but the pain in my glutes, hammies/calves at the end. Looking back, I the real culprit was the sidewalks. I ran the entire route on a sidewalk. Not smart.
However, I have received several emails asking about my fueling for Half's and now a Full.
How was I able to go from a 2:11 to a 2:07 to a 1:56 Half in less than 3 months?
How was I able to run a 1:44 Half after my 1:56? Then, 1:53 in Surf City?
Fueling. It's an art and there are no one-size fits all for anyone. I do spend each of my runs practicing my fueling. I never let a training run be "just a run". I am practicing form and/or fueling.
Up until ET Full Moon (where I ran a 2:07) I was consuming PayDay candy bars as my Fuel. For some reason, on that particular race, I decided it was too hard to chew nuts and run at the same time. So, I set out on a quest to find something better.
I couldn't stomach GU (sorry, Gatorade) - their products sent my GI into a tailspin. But, I liked the convenience. So, I started trying out PowerBar Gels. After two tempo training runs, I was hooked.
Next, I wanted something other than gels to get me to that last stretch. I also wanted to find something other than gels to help me on that last few mile stretch for a Half.
After much research & testing, this is my fueling plan for a Half. It is what I have used for all, but Surf City.
Those marked with * I did not do at Surf City (I had toast with peanut butter and water) Ironically, I didn't feel as fueled or carbed at Surf City. I had a great finish time of 1:53, but something was missing in my energy level that morning.
Two days before - Pinole Waffles for breakfast*
I start carb loading
One day before - Pinole Waffle for breakfast*
I begin my electrolyte/water loading and keep up with the carbs
Morning of - Pinole Waffle for breakfast*
>>1 hour before gun: PowerBar Chocolate/Peanut Butter Energy Bar (with a swig of water)
>>30 minutes before gun: Strawberry/Banana PowerBar Gel (with a swig of water)
45-50 minutes into the race: Another Gel (with a swig of water)
90-100 minutes into the race: Another Gel (with a swig of water)
Around Mile 11-12, I eat 1-2 Swedish Fish candy (with a swig of water)
That usually gets me all the way to the finish feeling strong and no boinking.
Now, for the 23 mile run - I did the same routine - consuming a gel every 50-55 minutes (with a swig of water). The other change: I drank water with chia seeds.
For the LA Full, I will do the same, but I will take some Swedish Fish candy with me (I didn't have any with me on the 23 run). I will carry water with chia seeds and use the course aid stations for most water stops.
I will drink my own water/chia seed mixture at the 1:30 hr, 3:00 hr and 4:00 hr mark. (I anticipate finishing around 4:40-4:50). I am considering making a coconut water/chia seed mixture and test that out. I love coconut water.
The only difference is I might test out a different flavor gel. One that has a higher dose of caffeine to help me stay alert (my mind wanders A LOT during long runs).
My best recommendation to you is trust yourself. See what sounds good to you and test it out. Even for a 5 mile run. Test, and test and test again. You will know what works for you.
The key is find what works for your body. I love Pinole Waffles. Not sure why I didn't make any Surf City, but I won't forget about them in the future.
Feel like you can't remember when to take your gels or water?
Have a pacing bracelet on your wrist. Mark on the mile you need to take your gel or water. Or plan it that you take your gel when you are coming up on an aid station, so you can take the swig of water from the course aid.
Hope this helps. Be sure to develop a plan and practice it, pre-race. Develop the habit. You will be glad you did on race day.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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