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300 Calories / Hour

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300 Calories / Hour

Post  Ben Z on Sat May 18, 2013 12:26 am

As I'm starting to run longer and read all about how to fuel while running longer distances I'm starting to experiment with taking in more calories. Up to 300/hour if my stomach allows. When you do the math that means 24 or more gels in a 50 miler.

Obviously I'll get sick of gels and need to mix it up. But I'm reading and realizing the 'secret' to going longer seems to be fueling. Taking in as many calories as you can handle once you find a pace you can sustain.

If I go back to marathons one day ill likely try to take ~9 gels in the race as well. A gel every 20 minutes.

So my question is - any fueling secrets you have learned while training? I'm currently trying gels, salt caps, some real food (bananas, clif bars) and Gatorade on runs. Flat Coke is the next test.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Mark B on Sat May 18, 2013 1:09 am

I'll be reading with interest.

I've avoided gels on my long trail runs, opting instead for more "real food." I have experimented with packaged granola bars (peanut butter usually, but also dark chocolate and oats) as well as Picky Bars (dried fruit and nuts). Both work pretty well, though I noticed that the sweetness in the dried fruit caused some stomach cramping.

I use nuun for hydration and add in S-Caps, as well, so I don't get many calories from fluid. I know that works for some people; you might want to see what they're serving at aid stations at White River and try it.

I've found pretzels and pretzel sticks worked for me in a trail race when nothing else worked, but you'd need to strap on a feedbag to consume 300 calories of those babies. Smile
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Kenny B. on Sat May 18, 2013 1:04 pm

Great question and concern for all to have on proper fueling for Ultra races. From my understanding there is no one "food" that everyone eats. But, my research shows Food over gels or a mix of both certainly is more standard. I have a pretty rock stomach when it comes to eating so I'd probably go with whole grain foods like:

Peanut Butter and banana sandwich on really soft whole wheat bread.

Also have you tried BOBO bars. they are whole grain like oatmeal in bars soft and easily goes down with some water. Pack a lot of healthy calories and come with different flavors.

PS: 24 Gu's or even 9 for a marathon scares me. Have you thought of an approach alternating between:

Sports drink
Food (i.e. Elvis Sandwhich)
Gu
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Diego on Sat May 18, 2013 2:53 pm

Be careful of stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth when running long. e.g. peanut butter/bagels. I like luna bars, bananas, a few pretzels here and there, and soup.

Hummus and pita seems to work well for Scott Jurek.

I would bet that small amounts of quinoa would work well, too.

According to "Born to Run", Ghia/Chia seeds also work well for instant energy.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Julie on Sat May 18, 2013 8:20 pm

I like pretzels and some different candies, tootsie rolls, twizzlers, orange slices, raisins. I can't do GU since they upset my GI system.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  ounce on Sat May 18, 2013 10:53 pm

Fig Newtons
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Kenny B. on Sat May 18, 2013 11:08 pm

@ounce wrote:Fig Newtons

I used eat newmans owns fig newtons yummy.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Ben Z on Sun May 19, 2013 1:25 pm

Bonked at 2:30-2:40 in yesterday. Yeah, it was my first time doing back-to-back weekend longer runs (did 16+ on Friday) but I'm also thinking it had something to do with gel choice. I only took 3 Accel Gels, a Gu Roctane and a little Gatorade. Lots of water too. But only fructose I see.

Ill need to try other types of sugar like that found in Hammer Gels and Stinger gels. I should have taken some Endurolytes too. And I still need to test the flat Coke.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Mark B on Sun May 19, 2013 2:06 pm

@Ben Z wrote:Bonked at 2:30-2:40 in yesterday. Yeah, it was my first time doing back-to-back weekend longer runs (did 16+ on Friday) but I'm also thinking it had something to do with gel choice. I only took 3 Accel Gels, a Gu Roctane and a little Gatorade. Lots of water too. But only fructose I see.

Ill need to try other types of sugar like that found in Hammer Gels and Stinger gels. I should have taken some Endurolytes too. And I still need to test the flat Coke.

How long did you go before your first gel? If you started taking them too soon, you may have started a blood sugar roller coaster that put you into a bonk. I've had better luck in training holding off a couple of hours before taking anything.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Ben Z on Sun May 19, 2013 5:47 pm

Took one every 30 minutes the first two hours.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  JohnP on Sun May 19, 2013 6:24 pm

I'm confused about Kenny's response on whole grains. Wouldn't you want to avoid those products during a run since they take a while to digest? Whole grain is great outside of a run but not sure during one.

I started taking more gels a few years ago. What I do is mix up the regular Gu and the Gu Roctane since they have different formulas/ingredients. I figured it would provide a fuller range of benefit. I bought some Accel to experiment with this summer though I heard it tastes really bad. But I want to try the protein and see if it makes a difference.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  mul21 on Sun May 19, 2013 7:28 pm

I'm not about to try an ultra, but having a pretty iron stomach I've gotten 7 gels down in a marathon. One at the start and then one every 4 miles the rest of the race. i was pretty sick of them by the end and had only taken water in addition to the gels, but I didn't bonk or run out of carbs by any means even though I slowed a bit in the last 5K.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Jerry on Sun May 19, 2013 8:47 pm

@mul21 wrote:I'm not about to try an ultra, but having a pretty iron stomach I've gotten 7 gels down in a marathon. One at the start and then one every 4 miles the rest of the race. i was pretty sick of them by the end and had only taken water in addition to the gels, but I didn't bonk or run out of carbs by any means even though I slowed a bit in the last 5K.

Exactly the reason I will never go beyond marathon. Someday I will zen enough to even quit marathon. Anyhow, If it is not in Olympic, Jerry don't care. lol!
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Mark B on Sun May 19, 2013 10:07 pm

@Ben Z wrote:Took one every 30 minutes the first two hours.

Oh, you may want to hold off a lot before fueling on these long training runs. You want to get your body accustomed to burning fat, and it can't do that if you are flashing through sugar so soon. I experimented holding out for a couple of hours, and it has made a huge difference. Save the food train for the race itself.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Ben Z on Mon May 20, 2013 7:33 pm

@JohnP wrote:I'm confused about Kenny's response on whole grains. Wouldn't you want to avoid those products during a run since they take a while to digest? Whole grain is great outside of a run but not sure during one.

I started taking more gels a few years ago. What I do is mix up the regular Gu and the Gu Roctane since they have different formulas/ingredients. I figured it would provide a fuller range of benefit. I bought some Accel to experiment with this summer though I heard it tastes really bad. But I want to try the protein and see if it makes a difference.

I swear by Accel gels in marathon races John. I don't think the Vanilla flavor tastes bad at all, in fact I like the taste.
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Ben Z on Mon May 20, 2013 7:36 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Ben Z wrote:Took one every 30 minutes the first two hours.

Oh, you may want to hold off a lot before fueling on these long training runs. You want to get your body accustomed to burning fat, and it can't do that if you are flashing through sugar so soon. I experimented holding out for a couple of hours, and it has made a huge difference. Save the food train for the race itself.

So I am confused by that approach because it doesn't follow the 'practice in training what you do in the race' rule of specificity. Unless you are saying in the actual race you won't be taking in sugar until 1.5-2 hours either?

I do agree with needing to teach your body to burn fat better but can't that happen on 90 minute - 2 hour runs?
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Mark B on Mon May 20, 2013 7:53 pm

@Ben Z wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Ben Z wrote:Took one every 30 minutes the first two hours.

Oh, you may want to hold off a lot before fueling on these long training runs. You want to get your body accustomed to burning fat, and it can't do that if you are flashing through sugar so soon. I experimented holding out for a couple of hours, and it has made a huge difference. Save the food train for the race itself.

So I am confused by that approach because it doesn't follow the 'practice in training what you do in the race' rule of specificity. Unless you are saying in the actual race you won't be taking in sugar until 1.5-2 hours either?

I do agree with needing to teach your body to burn fat better but can't that happen on 90 minute - 2 hour runs?

You're right -- it doesn't fit that rule of specificity. But this is training, not a dress rehearsal. (As a comparison, you may run Yassos while training for a marathon but would never run like that during the race. It's not the point of that workout.)

In this case, the point of running long with less fuel is getting your body to burn what it has on board more efficiently. So giving it something else to burn so soon kind of short-circuits that beneficial adaptation and also puts you in a blood sugar roller coaster cycle. Once you start fueling, especially with something sugary, you can't stop.

During the race, eat early and eat often is indeed the rule. (I think some people hold off on gels until later in the race, though, specifically because of the blood sugar issue.) That's one of the things that lets you train only about 30 miles to race 50. At least, that's what I've been told.

Kevin is far more experienced at this than I am - I hope he can weigh in on this, because it's a great question and I don't want to misquote him. Smile
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  nkrichards on Tue May 21, 2013 3:21 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Ben Z wrote:Took one every 30 minutes the first two hours.

Oh, you may want to hold off a lot before fueling on these long training runs. You want to get your body accustomed to burning fat, and it can't do that if you are flashing through sugar so soon. I experimented holding out for a couple of hours, and it has made a huge difference. Save the food train for the race itself.

I know you guys are talking more about training for ultras but what about long runs for marathon training? When should I start fueling? I've currently been doing anything less than 75-80 minutes without fuel but once I get up into the 90 minute or longer range I typically take a GU at about 50 minutes and every 50 minutes after that. To much? To soon?
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Re: 300 Calories / Hour

Post  Ben Z on Tue May 21, 2013 4:20 pm

Hi -
For what it's worth I typically didn't use fuel for runs under 90 minutes. And maybe 1-2 gels and a salt cap or two for 2-3 hour runs. Well, for a 3 hour run I'd probably take in 3 gels or the equivalent. At least 75g of carbs ideally.

I'd say if you do it roughly at 90 min, 2 hours and 2:30 you should be OK.
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