Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Veterans Training: Week 3

I am one of the cool kids. At least according to Justin Gillette, a local elite runner who has WON 65 marathons. So yeah, I'm cool.

The "compliment" was sparked when I announced that I had tried the new Salted Caramel Gu and it was as every bit delicious as I had hoped. So delicious that for at least a mile I imagined myself drizzling it on ice cream.

The packet, which I took at mile 8 of Sunday's long run, was part of a new fueling strategy for this cycle. In years past, for fulls and halfs, I have found myself skimping on nutrition during the run. There was something in me, maybe the prior fat girl, who hated to log that I ate 400 calories in Gu as a morning "snack." Or, maybe I thought that I had enough "stores" that I wouldn't need more than 100 calories an hour.

However, I began to reconsider this strategy as I followed Dimity's training for her Ironmother. She mentioned on the Another Mother Runner Podcast a couple times that she took in 300 calories an hour (I think) on the bike. It seemed like a lot of calories to this skimpy girl.

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. A triathlete is going to take more calories on the bike to makeup for the swim and prepare for the run but also to maintain energy on the bike. If it worked for triathletes, it could possibly work for me.

Don't get me wrong - I think three gels an hour might be a bit excessive (but it would still be half the calories you were burning, depending on the pace). I am aiming for three to four every two hours, more specifically one every four miles. I am hoping that it helps with consistent energy and pacing on the long runs, aided by the addition of nuun.

What's your fueling strategy?

The week, in training:

Monday: Spin class
Tuesday: Piloxing (taught) + Bodypump (taught)
Wednesday: 6 miles, hilish + 3.5 miles
Thursday: 3 miles + Rip (taught)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6.25 miles at pace + Bodypump (taught)
Sunday: 11.15 miles


  1. For runs >1 hour or so, I aim for 200 cal/hour. Mix of gels, Shot Bloks, Picky Bars, dates, and Larabars. The Picky Bars were kind of the sleeper hit for my trail 50K -- break in 4 pieces, eat one every 15 min, no GI problems, ZERO. Big calorie bomb. Oh, and whatever aid station food looks good, if it's a trail race.

    For electrolytes, either S-Caps or Nuun. Definitely need one or the other in the heat.

    1. I'm a huge fan of the Picky Bars, usually eating one before my two classes on Tuesday. I hadn't thought of eating them on a long run, though. I did the Larabar thing a while ago, too, and fell out. I might try your mix next week!

  2. Salted caramel sounds delicious. Now I am thinking about an ice cream sundae. Between that and the chocolate, I think I'll be excited to eat GU again. I took only four gels for the entire NWM in October. So about one/hour which is all my stomach could handle before having gel digestive failure. Maybe I'll have to try mixing in some candy or other snacks for the next time.

  3. Ahhhh, fueling. The bane of my running existence. Mostly because my GI system is an asshole. Both literally, AND figuratively. I kill me.

    When I first started running, I was a religious every 5 miles gu-er. But after struggling with an angry gut and reading reading reading, I don't do that anymore. I'm a "not til 10 or 11, and then every 5ish miles after that, and salt every 5 or so" kind of girl. I have also learned that it's different depending on what kind of pace I run. The more I push the pace, the more pissed off my gut gets.

    I'm a work in progress, what can I say?


  4. SALTED CARAMEL???? Oh. My. Goodness.
    It took 7 Gu and a pack of shot bloks to get me through my 2nd marathon. So, that's 900 calories over 5 hours (makes me feel like a piggy, but it kept my blood sugar happy). And I probably should have downed the last one I brought, but after 5 hours, the thought made me want to vomit, and all I really wanted was a chicken-bacon-swiss sandwich.
    I'm going to have to hunt down some of those salted caramel Gus now....

  5. You are much better at fueling than me. I have good intentions but just have trouble getting the timing right. I will have to try the new GU flavor though. Sounds yummy!

  6. Hee hee. I ordered a box of Salted Caramel, and am sharing it with Bobbi when it comes. It's on back order though ;)

    I used to be every 4 miles, on the dot, as I was WAY too hungry during runs. My body seems to have gotten over that (it's not like I am eating any differently), so now I just go with the flow.

    Do you think skimping on nutrition in the past negatively impacted you?

    1. I am not sure if skimping hurt but I don't think it helped. I had a hard time fueling last summer (stupid gut), and I am trying to be more proactive this go around. I think I feel especially so since I have a pretty big goal.

  7. I am always skimpy on my fueling as well. I can totally run 10 miles taking in nothing. Bad news I know :). I can't wait to hear how your new fueling strategy goes..might want to copy you for my 1st training cycle back. Salted caramel..yummy I tried the gingerbread in a race one time and immediately hit the bathroom. No good.

    1. I was super worried about the Gingerbread situation, which was I waited till later in the run. I've never gone 10 miles without fuel but definitely 8 without it. I'm worst when I'm teaching my Tuesday night classes. I go two hours without eating anything! This week, I had to down a handful of trail mix between BP tracks.

  8. Nice training week. I am intrigued by the sound of this new flavor even though I am more of a chew girl. I agree that mastering the nutrition strategy that is right for you is such a science that makes all the difference. Congrats on a good week of training and being a "cool kid." :)

  9. Salted CARAMEL?! Sweet goodness why haven't I heard about this!? Thank you!! I'm going to have to find these, ASAP! I like your fueling strategy. I try to take a GU every 4-5 miles.