Fuelling long runs without gels/powdered drinks

Anyone done it?

21 to 40 of 104 messages
07/01/2013 at 19:37

I think I'd be wary of anything with a high fat content on any kind of run. It might linger in the system longer than you would like and could lead to an off-course diversion! On a more serious note, I reckon it would also slow down the absorption of the "bits" that you do want - the carbs.

As others have intimated - I guess you have to experiment and just keep a diary of your food combinations and outcomes.

07/01/2013 at 19:44

I dont fuel at all... perhaps an idea worth thinking about if you are finding gels hard work?

You need to build up but I can happily run 18 miles with no brekkie and 20+ with a small one 2-3 hours before.

On race day i may drink some energy drink if its hot, otherwise I probably wont. At race pace I find it hard to digest anything and I find drinking water disrupts my rhythm too so I tend to go without.

07/01/2013 at 20:09
Good idea about keeping a record of what I've tried Mike.

Curly, it's going to take me around 6 hours to run/walk the VLM, there is no way in the world I could go that long with nothing inside me, I'd faint at the very least! You must be pretty unique to be able to run that far on nothing.
07/01/2013 at 22:08
I'm currently marathon training for my 2nd trail marathon and, from experience, in-race nutrition is absolutely critical and my major error in my first one. I took on no food until mile 22 at which point I ate lots of jelly babies and drunk some coke, which were both much needed as I was pretty much spent! I am not keen on gels either but will perhaps try on this occasion. I also like the idea of some nuts or one of the 'Eat Natural' bars perhaps. Keeping a food diary seems sensible. Best of luck!
08/01/2013 at 07:15

This is really helpful as I've been unsure what to eat as the gels make me sick. Flapjack seems to be a good one but I'm going to try peanuts as I'd much rather have a savoury snack than a sweet one.

08/01/2013 at 08:07

Long ago, In  my first ever half marathon I'd hit a wall at about 11 miles due to lack of training & the knowledge of what I was in for. I was walking & my dad pulled up in his car, got out & handed me a big slice of rich fruit cake. I wolfed it down as I was ravenous & it was like someone had refilled my energy tank, I ran the last two miles easily. Not sure how you could carry a fruit cake in the VLM though, may be a bit of a mess!

08/01/2013 at 12:41

Being a bit lazy as I'm sure I google and find out myself, but what's the advice on when to start eating during a long run? I can do up to half marathon distance reasonably comfortably without taking on any food, but as soon as I hit 14+ miles and particularly over 16 miles my energy levels hit rock bottom. I struggle to eat whilst running so would prefer something lighter than some of the snacks being suggested here (but maybe that's my problem?). I usually go for a few jelly babies but think I'm leaving it a bit too late in the run to start re-fueling.

Any advice? 

08/01/2013 at 13:27
I can usually run up to about 18 miles without needing anything but if running a marathon I'll take a gel at 5,10, 15, 20 miles. I force myself to take the first too even though I don't fancy them at the time but fund that better than making it through to 15 miles and then trying to shovel it all in. I'm not sure my body would cope with such a large sugar rush.
08/01/2013 at 13:34
V4D wrote (see)

Flapjack seems to be a good one but I'm going to try peanuts as I'd much rather have a savoury snack than a sweet one.

I'm going to try a shop bought flapjack on Saturday and then if it goes ok I'm going to make some myself with all sorts of nuts and seeds in and a sprinkling of dried apricots, which hopefully would be a bit less sweet.


08/01/2013 at 13:35

Legend777 - I've recently started extending my long runs as part of my marathon training and like you, have never previously felt the need to take on 'fuel' during a run - be it gels or other - with the exception of water for a half marathon. My last long run was 15 miles and beforehand, I spoke to the guys at my local running shop. They recommended to start taking on fuel during my current training runs at about mile 10 - that way I would have a mile or so before the effect started to kick in and so by time I reached mile 12 ish, the effects should start to be seen. They then recommended every five miles ish after that for additional fuel. I did 15 miles on Saturday and used a SIS gel at mile 10 and the last couple of miles certainly felt a little less fatigued (although not sure how much of that was placebo or not, but hey, if it works, it works). They recommended for during the actual marathon race to take on the first bit of fuel at mile 7 and then every 5 mile intervals.

cougie    pirate
08/01/2013 at 13:36
I'd go with millsys plan. I do the same but I'll take two extra gels with me - for 25m - but I'd take that sooner if I thought I need it as 25m is too late - and another one spare in case I lose one.

When training on long runs I have something small to eat every 5 miles. Good to practice remembering to do it every 5.
08/01/2013 at 13:41
Two-Stroke Tart wrote (see)


*whispers*  What are percy pigs?

Avoid Reversy Percys - it's just wrong.

08/01/2013 at 13:43

Doesn't how often you take something on board depend a bit on your speed though?  Wouldn't slower runners need to take something on board more frequently as it takes them longer to do 5 miles? 

08/01/2013 at 13:45

Two-Stroke, with flapjacks if you get the little 'buckets' of them from the supermarket, they are nice small pieces which are easy to chew on the move.  A small ziploc bag works well for putting them in.

08/01/2013 at 13:51

Also, if you like savoury things, wraps work well.  I like either peanut/almond nut butter or cheese/marmite.  Don't roll them, just use the wrap like you would slices of bread.  They are a bit more robust than bread and hold together well, but don't make the idiotic mistake I did at one event and put them in clingfilm.  Foil is the key.

08/01/2013 at 13:52

Was thinking more of making my own Rosemary, that way I can control what's in them!  The supermakets will make them with marge and other chemically stuff which I don't want to be eating, plus if I make my own I can add yummy things to them to vary them a bit 

cougie    pirate
08/01/2013 at 13:57
TST - if two people are the same weight then it shouldn't matter about their speed really. Unless they're taking a day longer or so ?

If you're going slower then eating is prob easier. I have a walk break when I have sweeties.
08/01/2013 at 13:57

I think with gels the advise is every 30 -45 mins so I'd take that and have a little of what ever food of my choosing at those times. You have to do it from the start so you have a constant supply of calories already digesting/ed ready for use.

Best to practise on your training runs before the day.

I stashed a carrier bag of goodies in the hedge at the local bus stop (wrote on the bag any one nosey didn't think I was littering) then had some jelly babies in my running belt, I passed the bus stop 4 times on my longer runs (18-20) so could use that as my aid station and fuel up a bit on water and bananas and flap jack, then munched the sweets in between.

I must live in a nice area as bag was left untouched as were the contents, picked it up on my last pass and took it home.

Have toa dd I've only run 1 marathon and I was very slow.


Edited: 08/01/2013 at 13:59
cougie    pirate
08/01/2013 at 14:02
How many calories are you planning on taking on ?
Its only a marathon so you don't need a huge amount of food to get round.
Gels are probably 100 calories or so - so a lot of people would be talking of 4 or 500 calories on the race ? The more eating you do - the more digestion the body has to do and you want the body to focus on running - not digesting lunch.
08/01/2013 at 14:03

Ah, see your point Cougie.

Ali - I'm planing to do loops in different directions out of town so I come back past my house several times when the runs get longer, that way I can pick up food and drink, and go to the loo!

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