I hope you are all having a great Labor Day weekend!!!! This has been a super busy but great week for me. I wanted to chat for a bit about the age-old topic of fueling! Before we get into that though I thought I would give you a week re-cap . I changed my running schedule up a little this week….just because of some things we had planned and to hopefully help my 1/2 coming up next week.
On Tuesday we went on a family fun trip to Dutch Wonderland (an amusement park) with the families at our church. It was a blast! There were 40 of us all together and the kids all had such a great time!!!
Here is about 1/2 of our group:
Swings with Courtney
Crazy water log ride! My kids like to be in the front
Monday I decided to do a 9 progression run which meant Tuesday I wanted nothing to do with speed work. For my speed work this week I wanted to do more of a tempo instead of repeats just to help prepare for my 1/2 . Typically in a week I only do 2 stress workouts; 1 speed day and the long run. This week I did 3. The progression run, the tempo and the long run. Next week my plan is to cut the miles back a bit and take it easy.
Monday: 9 mile progression: 8:08, 7:59, 7:54, 7:48, 7:36, 7:33, 7:42 (oops), 7:24, 7:07
Tuesday: early 6.5 miles before our trip to Dutch Wonderland
Wed: 8 miles 8:03
Thurs: Tempo run, 6 miles at 6:48 pace with 1.5 mile warm up and cool down
Friday: 8.25 miles at 8:09 pace
Sat: 12 miles at 7:34 pace.
One thing I have been working on in almost all my runs is making my last mile my fastest or close and I am hoping this will help me at the end of my races!
Now onto the age-old question: How do you fuel during races?
This is something I definitely do not have down and I am always looking to find out what works for other people! One thing I have learned is that there is no right answer to how to fuel. Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. There are also SO many options from chews to gels to food. In my opinion once you have found something that works well for you, stick with it! I have tried several different things and while I have found something that is ok for me, I am not set on anything just yet.I have run 3 1/2 marathons and have not used fuel for any of them, but am thinking a gel might help me finish better. For the marathon I have tried many things, but for my PR marathon I got almost 3 gels down. The last one was tough .
I have used and like the honey stinger chews, but I have a hard time-consuming enough of them. I like the idea of just swallowing a gel and being done with it! I also really like to chew gum (actually, I HAVE to chew gum) when I run and this makes that more challenging.
I have tried a whole slew of gels and barely like just a few. I can handle the Salted Caramel, Chocolate PB and Honey Stinger Fruit Smoothie….and I don’t really like any of them…but I can make it work.
I have a hard time just getting them down fast without wanting to gag (sorry if that is too much info). I have had some people say just take them small bits at a time but that just seems like a pain to be carrying an open gel and trying to make that work. If you do that let me know how and what you think about it!
My hardest and worst marathon I brought 3 gels and after 1/2 of one I felt like I just could not handle anymore, so I ran the rest of the marathon without anything…SO hard and I totally hit the wall.
One of the best ways to find out what fuel will work for you is to just try different kinds on your long run. This really is the only way to find out what works for you. The only reason I hate this is because I don’t want to ruin a long run with the wrong fuel, but it really is the only way to know.
There is also the option of candy…which I have done, but am not thrilled with.
I am going to be looking into some ways to fuel with food. My husband is particularly interested in this and I am planning to try some recipes from this book:
So the next question then is how many and how often?
Most things you read will tell you to take one gel every 45 minutes to an hour. Again, it is going to be by trial and error as to what will work specifically for you. It is a good idea to look at a race map to and know where the water stations are and plan accordingly! Some runners even do a gel or part of a gel before the race starts…I will admit, I have never done this.
So, my question for you is how do you fuel for races? What is your favorite product?…I am dying to know!!!!!
Do you use fuel for 1/2 marathons?