Eating on the run

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 mattyP 01 Feb 2021

I'm looking for food recommendations for my long runs. I'm building up my long runs to 15miles+ but it's all on the flats (lockdown)so what and when should I eat. So far I've been scoffing jelly babies every 40minutes. In MM I'd eat snack bars and nuts but this doesn't like a good idea. What do other people consume when on the roads/flat trails?

 DaveHK 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I wouldn't usually eat anything on a run less than 2hrs.

 SouthernSteve 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

You cannot beat a jam sandwich! 

In reply to mattyP:

15 miles teeters on the edge of fuel/no fuel. For a run of this length I'll just take a 500ml soft flask with tailwind in a bumbag or a vest. Maybe an emergency trek bar incase I need it.

 Sans-Plan 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

At most I would have one little fruit bar on a 15 mile run in the hills, if it was a flat trail run i wouldn't bother, i might be tempted to take a drink but only a half full soft flask

 RM199 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I tend to do similar to yourself. A few jelly babies from about 10k onward. Then maybe a gel or two getting toward 20k +

 greg_may_ 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

That's pretty much the point where I start eating. Work on getting used to not eating would be my suggestion.

 Jim Hamilton 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I'm sure I remember reading that Joss Naylor recommends egg and tomato (skins removed) sandwiches. 

 oldbloke 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

At that distance it is about what and when you eat before and after.  3 hours in the hills I'll take something in the bag just in case i run out of energy on the last climb, but wouldn't plan on eating anything.  Fluid warrants attention though.

 cousin nick 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I probably wouldn't take any food on a flat run of that length, but I would have fuelled up during the previous 24h. 'Carb loading' doesn't work for me - if I eat loads the evening before, I just wake up in the night sweating buckets and a poor nights rest. Therefore I just tend to eat a normal balanced diet an 'little and often', topping up with some porridge, toast and jam for breakfast on the day of the long run. Fluids - I'll top up during the run. I'm another fan of Tailwind.

If it was hilly, or longer, I take jelly babies (cheaper than Clif bloks) and cereal bars (I don't like gels and they don't like me!). I'm not a sweet tooth and crave more savoury things on v long runs. I've a friend who likes cold roast potatoes sprinkled with salt. Cold pizza or those supermarket packs of 'appetizers' (samosas, spring rolls, bhajis) are more my sort of thing. Try stuff and see what works for you.

N

 Roadrunner6 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Gu Gels and gatorade powder in my drink is my standard go to running food for anything under 3-4 hours.

PB and J's cut small pieces, crusts off, in small bags. They are basically mush.

 mattyP 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

So an interesting range of responses. It seems it might be quite personal then. 

Roadrunner6 under 3-4 hours, but at what length do you start eating?

A question then, if I run for 2 hours without eating I'll deplete the glycogen stores in my muscles. How will this then effect recovery? Will the next few days be harder? Or is there training benefit to this?

In reply to mattyP:

On easy runs less than 2.5 hours I'll try not to eat, but if I'm trying to keep up with someone faster than me (i.e. I'm working hard) I'll need something and prefer Clif Bloks to anything else.

 cousin nick 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Tom Briggs:

I like Bloks too, but they're pricey:

Clif Bloks  310kcal per 100g and around £2.50 per pack (60g).

Jelly Babies (Maynards)  330kcal per 100g and £1.00 per 165g pack in my local shop.

As a tight-arsed Cornishman - guess which I choose?

N

 Angrypenguin 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I eat on runs of 10+ miles as I am a very slight build and generally don't have much reserve. Better to eat and slow down a little, than bonk and slow down a lot! I haven't found eating while running a problem if I do it little and often. This might be different if one was trying to loose weight I guess.

After some adverse digestive reactions, I've gone off gels, "real" food seems to go down better for me. I love larabars (preferably banana or apple) but they are dear. When I get round to it I make my own fruit and seed flapjack which goes down well.

As for post exercise recovery, there is approximately a half hour window after finishing where your body's glycogen synthesis is boosted. If you can consume a moderate amount of food with a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein in this period it can improve recovery. Chocolate milk is an ideal example and I find it easy to drink even when I am dead tired and don't feel like eating.

Post edited at 17:11
 Roadrunner6 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

After about 45 minutes. I can go for around 90 mins with no food if going hard. I'll struggle to get 2 hours of hard running without a gel.

I'd certainly never go an hour without eating.

 SouthernSteve 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I would not really take anything for a 15 mile run, but it is worth practicing for the longer run so as not to feel bad in the middle of something more serious. I was given some salted liquorice before one race and happily nibbled it for the first 10 miles only to feel so ill I had to walk

 Denning76 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

This is going to sound utterly nuts, and I have no doubt it would be too much for some, but for long runs (3 hours+) I quite like a scotch egg. Less convenient to carry than a gel of course.

The trusty Tunnock's bar is always useful too.

Post edited at 17:59
 Philb1950 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

We only used to eat every two hours and usually going uphill if we could work it. We also used to carry poly. bags pre loaded with energy drink crystals, fill up at a stream en route, bite the corner off and drink. No weight of water to carry. Seemed to work as we won the vets KIMM elite class twice and both times Josh Naylor was competing. Also my partner went on to be vets 10K road running world champion.

 girlymonkey 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I don't eat much while running, but if I do I tend to carry N'eat bars. Very nice and good fuel

 MacaronMatt 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Never really found anything that sits well. I tend to take some packs of energy chews (like Clif bar shot bloks), they feel much better than the gels for me. Forcing myself to take little sips of water constantly helps most. Engineering the run to end at an outdoor friendly pub / cafe (...when that was possible!) works great too, the last 10k is always much easier if there's ice cream at the end! 

 mattyP 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Thanks for the responses. I think the takeaway is it's a personal thing, and there's no definitive answer. I might just keep eating jelly babies I quite like them. 

Anyone point me towards any worthwhile reading on the subject?

In reply to mattyP:

> A question then, if I run for 2 hours without eating I'll deplete the glycogen stores in my muscles. How will this then effect recovery? Will the next few days be harder? Or is there training benefit to this?

Eat something when you get back. 

 neuromancer 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

This whole "no food less than two hours" seems utterly mad to me as a cyclist. I wouldn't consider getting on the bike for more than an hour without some kind of fuel. It sounds like 'performance nutrition' as per the 1980's. Eat fast animals and you'll get faster, right?

You're expecting your body to perform at threshold. At threshold, you mostly if not only burn carbs, not fat. Diet off the bike, diet when you're not running. You categorically will not perform as well, train as well, recover as well and improve as fast if you don't fuel your exercise.

Sorry, the science is long past being decided on this one?

 jezzah 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

On longer runs (50-100Km) I have a complete smogasbord of foods. I avoid gels because after a while they don't work very well in my inside.

What I do eat are things like:

  • Jam & Peanut butter sandwiches
  • cocktail sausages
  • jelly babies
  • harribo
  • pork pies (but get the mini ones because you can gently munch your way through them over the course of a Km or two)
  • cheese- brie is good to suck on

Just experiment with your longer runs and see what you can consume/ enjoy. Over the course of a 15 hour run you will end up wanting / needing lots of different things so experiment on training and enjoy

 MacaronMatt 01 Feb 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

Much easier to carry food on a bike. I've eaten peanut butter sandwiches and mini blocks of cheese whilst out on long rides just fine. Almost everything I've tried to eat whilst running I just end up feeling sick, fast.

 mattyP 01 Feb 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

Thanks that's useful input. I also posted this question on a triathlon forum and the responses where at the opposite end of the spectrum, with some people consuming gels every 30minutes and being really dialled into modern sports science. 

But I'd never want to think that British mountain culture is reticent in accepting new ideas and thinking ;-)

 mattyP 01 Feb 2021
In reply to jezzah:

Sucking brie - I might have gagged a little at the thought

In reply to mattyP:

Personally I struggle with eating, whilst running, unless we are talking about ultra type stuff, where I am walking the hills. For a 20 mile run I’ll get by without anything and I’ve raced 20 miles with just a little water in a little over 2 hours, which for me was a very good performance. I’ve always struggled with the marathon, it’s just too far on that strategy and I have stomach problems if I try and eat. On the bike however, I can eat all day.

My wife has won a few ultras, she swears by jelly babies and salt and vinegar crisps, however she ran her marathon PB with no food or water, so she  perhaps isn’t normal.

 Eric9Points 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I'd only have a gel or two.

What I also have done is hide a bottle of Lucozade Sport somewhere on the route beforehand so I could get a quick hit without having to lug it around. Either that or take a fiver with me and buy one in a petrol station I was passing.

 girlymonkey 01 Feb 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

I'm pretty sure our bodies are all different and people just need to do what works for them. 

I often run 10 - 15km before breakfast. Often carry a bar incase I need it, but rarely even think about it. I just come home and have breakfast. My husband, however, couldn't contemplate that distance before breakfast. So I just have extra time in bed while he does breakfast and coffee! We both get on just fine when we are running, but I would be sick if I went with his routine and he would collapse on mine!

 neuromancer 01 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

In Reply to mattyP:

The triathletes (as much as I hate to admit it) have the right of it. If you want to perform at your best, you need to fuel the energy system you are using. We've all got apocryphal tales about this run or that, or this race or that - much like those people who tell you 'I only need five hours of sleep a night', or 'I can drink coffee at 10pm, it doesn't impact me' - but really these things are just confirmation bias or old wives tales.

In reply to MacaronMatt:

Well, then more time spent trying munching things on a run required! Start simple - I've found baby food sachets to be a great 'whole food' alternative to energy gels, though I fully accept the plastic waste if you're unable to recycle them - but they're just fruit puree. Try simple, easy to digestt things like bananas, energy drink in your water, jelly babies, nuts and raisins, dates...

In reply to girlymonkey:

If you're running 10k, less than an hour - you can do just fine on the glycogen in your system. For him, that might be from breakfast - for you last night's meal. You're right - stomachs are very personal. But venture beyond those distances (or, well, times at energy levels), and you'll find our bodies really aren't all different - we're just machines that need fuel. You might put diesel in or petrol, but if you put nothing in you don't go anywhere fast. There really isn't an argument here - the science is clear.

Post edited at 21:18
 ralphio 02 Feb 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

The science is clear, for most reasonably well conditioned runners, 15 miles + is the point were glycogen levels start running low.

 mattyP 02 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Can you give me reference for that? Also why is emptying your glycogen stores a positive? Why not keep them topped up?

In reply to mattyP:

> Can you give me reference for that? Also why is emptying your glycogen stores a positive? Why not keep them topped up?

I’ll have a look later, perhaps neuromancer can do the same.

Why not keep them topped up when it isn’t essential for the run you are doing, primarily risk associated with doing it and the fact that fuelling immediately afterwards would have the same impact on your recovery.

 kathrync 02 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I wonder if part of the reason for all the different answers here is that people are running at different paces.

If I run for two hours or more at a faster pace where I am burning a lot of carbs, I will definitely want fuel of some kind, however I am unlikely to tolerate much solid food so it's going to be Tailwind, jelly babies, clif bloks or similar.

If I run for two hours and keep the pace slow so I am mostly burning fat, I usually don't feel the need to eat as long as I stay hydrated and I've eaten reasonably well over the previous couple of days. I'll usually carry a bar of some kind just in case, but rarely eat it.  If I am running at this pace for more than two hours, then I probably will want something. At this pace I can tolerate (and prefer) real food, so then I'm into cold potatoes, PB&J sandwiches, flapjack and similar.

At less than two hours I usually don't feel the need to eat during the run.

Post edited at 09:45
In reply to mattyP:

My gut feel(!) is that I start to run low around 1.5-1.75h in. Distance is less relevant as I'd very rarely run that on the flat. If I know I'm out long I'll try and eat from about 1h in, about every 45 mins to an hour, and fitted around terrain. Usually just nibbles - jelly baby, shot block, bit of fruit loaf, gel at a pinch (don't really like them). Sometimes run 2-2.5h to get used to going on empty but can be unpleasant sometimes.

If I was out a-aages, I really have to force stuff down and remember to eat. Carby drink (less concentrated than the packet) is a good way of sneaking carbs in. 

 Marek 02 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

> Why not keep them topped up when it isn’t essential for the run you are doing, primarily risk associated with doing it and the fact that fuelling immediately afterwards would have the same impact on your recovery.

Depends on what your objectives are: If you are really focussed on long runs (20m+ and ultras) then it's useful to get into the habit of eating regularly on the hoof without having to think about it. When you're 'in-the-groove'/knackered/mentally-drained after 40-50 miles (whatever) then it's the good habits built up in training that'll avoid nasty surprises. Of course if the OP doesn't intend doing regular runs over ~15 miles then it's not so much of an issue.

 mattyP 02 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Sorry I hadn’t meant for my request for a ref to come across as arsey (I might be reading too much between the lines of your response) I’m genuinely interested in this and struggling to find answers which are more than personal anecdote.

whats the risk associated with it? 
 

Do glycogen stores recover straight away? I thought it could take 12 or more hours so could impact the next day

In reply to Marek:

I agree, low intensity runs that are training for much longer runs there is a benefit in ensuring that your body can handle food. This is different to saying that food is always optimal on a higher intensity run of 15 miles.

 mattyP 02 Feb 2021
In reply to kathrync:

So that’s sort of my question really. I could run 2hours without eating and feel fine. But is that actually the best thing to do with regards training. Would fuelling the 2hour/3hour rum be beneficial for more than just that run. Would it enable better recovery/better training the next day etc.

 mattyP 02 Feb 2021
In reply to Marek: So yeah it’s ultra training, I’m used to eating during MMs where you just shove food in whilst plodding up the hill through the bracken but was wondering about the differences when actually consistently running.

In reply to mattyP:

> Sorry I hadn’t meant for my request for a ref to come across as arsey (I might be reading too much between the lines of your response) I’m genuinely interested in this and struggling to find answers which are more than personal anecdote.

Don’t worry, although I would be interested in where neuromancer got his science.

> whats the risk associated with it? 

Stomach problems.

> Do glycogen stores recover straight away? I thought it could take 12 or more hours so could impact the next day

Realistically will your next day run be in a 12 hour window? Will an hour (during run vs. After run) make much difference.

If you have an iron stomach eat, but for a lot of people it makes more sense not to at least up to about 15 miles. 

In reply to mattyP:

To complicate matters further, there is an argument that if you are doing back-to-backs for ultra training; you should not only not be worrying too much about glycogen recovery, you should be  aiming to be slightly depleted for the second run.

Van Proeyen et al found that training in a slightly fasted state increased fat burning efficiency with similar performance gains to the group that fuelled 90 minutes before training. Nybo et al supported these findings.

 jezzah 02 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

> So that’s sort of my question really. I could run 2hours without eating and feel fine. But is that actually the best thing to do with regards training. Would fuelling the 2hour/3hour rum be beneficial for more than just that run. Would it enable better recovery/better training the next day etc.

It's all about what heart rate zone you are working in. Eating when you are maxing out around a 40Km run with a HR at >170 is going to be different than plodding along some ultra distance with a HR of 130-140.

For some people part of the fun of training is being scientific about your approach to fuelling and re-fuelling after each session. Keep a diary and then over the course of a month or so you can perform some reasonable analysis. And enjoy the journey

 Marek 02 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

> So yeah it’s ultra training, I’m used to eating during MMs where you just shove food in whilst plodding up the hill through the bracken but was wondering about the differences when actually consistently running.

That means you really need to (a) work out what food you can eat whilst running and (b) build up the 'keep eating' habit. Obviously you don't need to do this on every run (short or long), but the habit reinforcement should be regular (weekly?) interspersed with perhaps some glycogen depleting runs (as I think NickB suggested, if only to get used to what it feels like). Note that the habit-forming need not be just on long runs - do it on short runs too.

As for food type, my experience is that people differ and for all the advise that's available, ultimately you have to experiment and find what works for you. Also (as you may well be aware from MMs), what's palatable after 5 hours running may not be the same as after 1 hour. The key thing is to identify what definitely does NOT work 5 hours in on a training run, not in a race. My own experience - for what it's worth - is late on in ultras I was craving savoury food rather than anything sweetish, so I use to make up little rice-balls (with added flavourings like bacon, soy sauce etc.,). Having something moist and soft was also much more palatable than crunchy/chewy.

 kathrync 02 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

> So that’s sort of my question really. I could run 2hours without eating and feel fine. But is that actually the best thing to do with regards training. Would fuelling the 2hour/3hour rum be beneficial for more than just that run. Would it enable better recovery/better training the next day etc.

I think that's personal really. As someone else said, there is a window after a training session where glycogen synthesis is increased and my understanding is that for the 2-3 hour sessions you are talking about, re-fuelling in that window is as effective for recovery as re-fuelling during the run as long as you aren't bonking during the run. However, there will be a personal element to that so all I can really suggest is to try it and see how it makes you feel.

However, as others have said, there are lots of benefits to eating during runs in terms habit forming and figuring out what does and doesn't work for you, especially if you are working towards going longer.

 jack89 02 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

If you're trying to build fat-adaptation (a crucial adaptation to support higher-speed longer runs I think) then no food but keep in the MAF/Z2 area, even do it fasted; you shouldn't really be going into glycogen reserves and even skinny people have huge fat reserves.

If you just want to run/cycle at will and have a go on the hills etc, eat after an hour maybe; it's just more fun not feeling tired, food is fun (stop and enjoy if you have to!), and you'll probably recover a lot quicker. I don't think it matters too much what you eat as long as you can keep it down and there's a bit of carb! 

Also be mindful that dried foods will rob you of water which is an issue when it's hot, and drinking sugar is pretty awful for gut health etc. if you're not using it immediately.

 neuromancer 02 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

I mean, I've dug up a few but honestly I thought it was so well understood that I wouldn't have to. This is a forum, rather than a board of legal inquiry and it's much easier to say "Show me your sources or you're a bullshitter" than it is to collate evidence.

If you go onto google scholar, there are probably 200+ papers starting from 1925 that say "carbs during exercise longer than 1-1.5hrs = good". That's not to be flippant, but just to say that I'm not defining any of the below as the one gospel source, but there are loads of internet summaries around from websites like trainingpeaks, trainerroad, on places like slowtwitch or gorun.com. Neither am I pretending to be the authority, but here you go:

https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2016/03000/Nutrition_and_Athletic_Performance.25.aspx

1-2.5hrs, 30-60g/hr CHO

https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/fulltext/2017/07000/fueling_the_triathlete__evidence_based_practical.12.aspx

<2.5hrs, 60g/hr CHO

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01185.x

limited evidence for low-cho training to adapt the body

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640414.2011.585473

Even <1hr, some cho loading including mouth rinses have positive impact and 30g/hr looks good

https://oce.ovid.com/article/00007256-201311000-00007

2-3hrs, 60g CHO/hr for best performance

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jappl.1996.81.2.801

placebo vs cho solution in a 70% effort time to exhaustion test improved ~25%

That said, for very exteme durations - eg ultras, there is benefit to training to fat adaptation (although, it's not night/day like some proponents of fasted training suggest). I mean, watch videos of Joss Naylor on her double bob - pretty sure she's shoveling CHO into her body non-stop. But that really wasn't what we were talking about at the start of the conversation, and is a bit of a straw man. And the intensity you need to be doing IOT meaningfull force your body to burn fats is a lot lower than most people think - on the bike it would be proper rigid Z1 - HR not above like 120, maybe running a little higher than that? Almost a fast walk!

Post edited at 13:36
In reply to neuromancer:

At the risk of going off topic, an issue I have is with 'bonking' on my easy run the day after a harder run or session. It normally happens at c30 minutes and I've either had the foresight to bring a bit of sugar (e.g. Clif Blok) or I can normally walk through it in about 5 minutes, then start running again. It feels very much like a typical bonk (weak, no energy), but how can I be out of glycogen? The harder run the previous day has been as short as 45 minutes (though at pretty hard effort). I've re-fuelled from the previous day (i.e. evening meal) and I don't necessarily get it if I've had a very slow, long run (2+ hours) the previous day. I'd be interested if others experience this? It's not the end of the world, but it is a bit annoying. I don't think I'm under fuelled generally and am running a total of 5 - 6 hours pw.

 mattyP 02 Feb 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

Thanks very much for that comprehensive answer. I really appreciate it, I'll start working my way through, when I get chance. 

I'd also posted this question on slowtwitch and got the differing opinions to here!

Post edited at 14:50
 Basemetal 02 Feb 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

> I mean, watch videos of Joss Naylor on her double bob - pretty sure she's shoveling CHO into her body non-stop. 

Umm... have I missed something?

 jack89 02 Feb 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

Re fat-adaptation, it has a lot of potential. There's a lot of it discussed in Uphill Athlete etc. and there are pro cyclists who have a Z2 - essentially fat-burning wattage of 300 W, which is mental. This is a great podcast about this sort of stuff: https://peterattiamd.com/inigosanmillan/

 cousin nick 02 Feb 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

> Umm... have I missed something?

Me too: has Joss had the chop?

In reply to Basemetal:

> Umm... have I missed something?

A gish gallop.

I’ve certainly missed the relevance of Nicky’s 45 hours double BG on nutrition for a 2 hour run.

In reply to mattyP:

If you have access to Noakes "Lore of Running" it is worth reading the chapter on Energy Systems and Running Performance, chapter 3 in my edition. Particularly the section on "The Energy Depletion Model".

 neuromancer 03 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

I had a brain fart. I meant Nicky Spinks.

Still interested to hear the counterargument bud?

 mattyP 03 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll take a look. 

If you are interested here is the trhead on the tri forum https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Re%3A_Long_run_-eating_%5BDrAlexHarrison%5D_P7446051/

The last few posts are from a guy with a PHD in physiology, and has some graphs and data with it.

In reply to mattyP:

Some of the stuff in there looks crazy from a running perspective, but running and triathlon are very different sports despite the running element within triathlon. I am very dubious about some of the recovery claims, for intra-activity nutrition as opposed to immediate post activity nutrition.

I’ll comment further later when I have time, as I also need respond to neuromancer as well.

 petemeads 03 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Thanks for starting this thread, lots of interesting comments. I have just started being able to run longer distances after ten years of parkrun 5k and previously not doing much since the mid-90s. I never ate whilst racing in the 80s and only drank if it was longer than a half marathon, doubt if anybody did to be honest, but I wonder how much better I could have done with proper regard for nutrition? Always struggled to eat much if working hard for 12 - 24 hours and we didn't have the convenience of gels (but I did experiment with Maxim maltodextrin powder when it arrived, and felt it helped keep me going).

I have a 26.5 km event to attempt this month, hilly roads, and will stick a couple of gels in my bumbag and see if I can fancy them - I carry one when out biking but it usually comes home with me...

 mattyP 03 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Obvs they are very different, but I don't think the stuff at the end is tri specific. It's the post by Alex Hutchinson which I find interesting (most of the stuff above it is personal anecdote similar to this thread in many ways, but swaying towards eat all the gels in worlds all the time perspective). 

 mattyP 03 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Harrison not Hutchinson

And as an aside I was a big fan of Hutchinsons book Endure

 Marek 03 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

> I have a 26.5 km event to attempt this month, hilly roads, and will stick a couple of gels in my bumbag and see if I can fancy them - I carry one when out biking but it usually comes home with me...

One quick comment... There a useful rule of thumb here: Never eat/drink something in a race that you haven't test in training. Seems to apply often to gels.

 petemeads 03 Feb 2021
In reply to Marek:

Agree. Luckily this event is a month-long virtual race which means I can have more than 1 attempt, assuming the first does not break me. Tomorrow looks perfect conditions but I was limping a bit at the weekend and had my Covid jab yesterday so all is not lost if it does not go well on this occasion!

 Marek 03 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

Good luck, then!

 mattyP 03 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

All the best for your run! Do you get to try it twice and submit them best time? You could do an experiment for us. No fuel vs lots! Fastest time = proof

 Myfyr Tomos 03 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Why are you on the run? What did you do?

In reply to Roadrunner6:

> After about 45 minutes. I can go for around 90 mins with no food if going hard. I'll struggle to get 2 hours of hard running without a gel.

For you this is probably 15 miles for 90 minutes and 20 miles for 2 hours.

In reply to mattyP:

Looking at Alex Harrison’s intra-workout carb recommendations (g/hr) he is recommending huge amounts of carbohydrates for sessions in excess of 2-2½ up to 150g/hr, this is a gel or carb drink every 10 minutes and importantly around 2½ times the rate at which the gut wall can absorb glucose, for fructose it will be 5 times the rate. Some gels are 100% glucose, some are a mix of glucose and fructose.

The suggestion is that loading with carbs during the run will help with recovery. He does not present any evidence to support this. There is plenty of evidence to support increased carb intake in the three hours after exercise strongly supporting recovery, this also gives you the opportunity to take on healthier sources of energy than glucose and fructose.

So what happens if you have large amounts of glucose and fructose sitting in your gut that cannot be absorbed through your gut wall. For most people, whilst this may be tolerable on a bike, it almost certainly won’t be whilst running. I suspect we have all seen people at races with gel belts on vomiting at the side of the road.

You are ultra training though it seems, your intensity will be lower, you can eat more interesting things, but remember that your body has 15-20 miles of free energy, you can only effectively refuel at around 3 miles per hour, however much you consume.

 petemeads 04 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Thanks matty and Marek for the good wishes - I had a go today, breakfast was porage and banana, coffee and tea. Probably an hour before starting to run. 2 gels in bumbag to see if I could cope with them. First hour went ok, aiming to average 6:05/km and actually doing better, but my tummy was a bit confused with food on board.. Got to 20k without realising I had missed the vital turn, still decent pace but walking bits on the steeper hills. No way I wanted a gel, or anything else to eat or drink - just someone who could explain where my next village had gone to. Found a chap coming the other way, turns out I had followed one of the course arrows a second time and was repeating the hilliest bit, exactly 180 degrees wrong direction. Anyway, there was no particular restriction on route choice other than making sufficient height gain so I carried on very slowly walk/jog to get a time for 26.5k. Not sure where I thought I was going but walking was now very painful so I took a turn downhill and did enough desperately slow jogging to make Silver county standard time at 30k then realised I was near the main road that goes though our town and phoned MrsPete for a rescue. Ate my gels whilst waiting but they did little to keep me warm, unfortunately! Event time was 2:44:24, just over 5 minutes slower than planned. Next time wait longer after breakfast and learn the route properly -  my Garmin navigated me around the half marathon I did a month ago, a course I knew well, but brain fade this morning meant I did not select the option. 

 mattyP 04 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

I’m sorry to hear it didn’t go smoothly! We’ve all had bad experiences missing turns  , following someone who didn’t know the route properly, descended into the wrong valley and been 4hours late back on a 2hour run, etc. Well done for getting out there and giving it a go. I’ve just finished a round of parents evenings, going to tidy up after my kid’s and then head out!

 mattyP 04 Feb 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Yeah totally and in one of the other threads there’s a picture of around 10litres worth of bike bottles for a ride. It’s on my to do list to respond with further follow up questions but I’ve been busy with work. 

 petemeads 15 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

Another attempt, probably the last, at the virtual 16.45 mile race with a different fuelling strategy. Huge carby meal the night before, just an oat bar, coffe and tea for breakfast, carried 2 gels. Ran faster, walked less and forced a gel down during a brief walking spell - honestly could not detect any benefit and really tied up in the last couple of miles - but was 5 minutes quicker than 9 days ago. Did not spend the first hour regretting breakfast. Not really sure what we jave learned here...

 jezzah 15 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

we have learnt:

1- You are running faster

2- You walked less over the distance

3- You didn't regret your breakfast.

Sounds quite positive to me. Well done!

 Mark Bannan 15 Feb 2021
In reply to cousin nick:

> ... I'm another fan of Tailwind...

I'm assuming you are not referring to flatulence! What exactly is "Tailwind" in this context? (I genuinely haven't a scooby!)

 mattyP 15 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

Well done Pete! Really good effort! Just because you didn't feel the benefit doesn't mean their wasn't one. Keep it up, and now get onto the fells! They are so much better run/jogged/speed hiked!

 veteye 16 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

I am unsure where I sit with this debate, as I generally don't go further than 10km, partly due to a lack of free time, and partly as I start getting foot problems after that, but at some point I hope to do more. Yet when I do go further I wonder about all this simple sugar input, as I'm not sure that I should take much of that, due to my status as being pre-diabetic (although I'm fairly slim). 

When I'm out on my bike I take Nine bars as they seem to be less up front with glucose, but then may release more with time more evenly. Yet I often do not eat them anyway.

Possibly I should ask the questions when I have done more of the longer distances.

Water is my big problem, when I stop, as there seems to be a lag phase between finishing and then actually feeling thirsty, but I can then feel dehydrated for 1/2-1 day.  Forcing myself to drink helps, but is not totally the answer, and I know that the flux of water is greater after running.

 kathrync 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> I'm assuming you are not referring to flatulence! What exactly is "Tailwind" in this context? (I genuinely haven't a scooby!)

Sports nutrition product: https://www.tailwindnutrition.co.uk/

In reply to mattyP:

Interesting thread this one!

I use a combination of recommendations and trial and error to plan my nutrition approach. key points for me are:

*As mentioned above, I get used to taking on real food during training runs when I may otherwise not have eaten, as this gets my body comfortable for taking on food in longer races. I therefore will eat if over 10 miles and hilly

*On a long run, I eat a small amount of real food in the first 40' as otherwise apparently your gut goes into into a some kind of a shocked state and won't absorb well after this (tip from Nicky Spinks)

* You won't absorb food properly if your heart rate is too high. I therefore eat while walking uphills and combine with checking nav etc

* As my distances and height gain have increased I have moved away from gels, shot blocks etc and to 'real food'. Favourites include salt and vinegar peanuts mixed with dark chocolate chips, mini-baby bel, chia bars, satsumas, mini pepperami etc. I use electrolyte for fluid over most distances, but for long ultras / multi-days I have electrolyte in one flask and tailwind in the other

* Immediate post-run snack usually consists of a banana and a cold cafe latte. Lots of good potassium, protein and caffeine basically!

* I always have gin-gin sweets with me to counteract nausea on long runs, and pack immodium just in case. Flat coke is also great!

 petemeads 16 Feb 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Thanks matty - regarding the fells, I am building back fitness towards attempting the Joss Naylor Lakes challenge (the old man's Bob Graham) and under Covid conditions I am not travelling more than a few miles and usually running from home - in Leicestershire. Did manage to walk/jog around the Edale Skyline a couple of times in spring last year, on one of those only had one gel, and walked the whole Derwent Watershed later in the summer. That included a proper breakfast after 3 hours and frequent top-ups of food and drink during the 15 hours. No problem stuffing my face if the pace is slow enough! 

I did the BG in 1990, eating was my biggest problem that day despite the slow pace later on. Hard to know what you will want, on that day tomato soup was perfect...

 mattyP 16 Feb 2021
In reply to petemeads:

Apologies! I’d (incorrectly) assumed you were getting into running! Well done on the Bob, its my target for next year (it was going to be this summer but it seems impractical!) 

keep us posted if you have any break through moments with nutrition!

 Mark Bannan 17 Feb 2021
In reply to kathrync:

Cheers, Kathryn! 

This thread is really cracking me up!!!

The ad says "no gut bombs" - totally priceless with a name like "tailwind"! 

Reminds me of this fellow

https://viz.fandom.com/wiki/Johnny_Fartpants?file=Johnny_Fartpants.jpeg


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