Fuelling long runs without gels/powdered drinks

Anyone done it?

61 to 80 of 104 messages
08/01/2013 at 19:48
I'm training for my first marathon this year and asked my dad for advise as he ran a few marathons in the 80s. He said that for one of the Londons it was a bit warm so he took water at one of the drinks stations but for all other ones he took no water or food whatsoever! He still managed a PB of 2:25. Not saying this will work for everyone but do feel that these days a lot of what you read and hear advises you to eat/ drink TOO much. I can't ever imagine consuming the number of gels they advise and I can't help thinking that the makers of these products want you to consume more so that you spend more.
08/01/2013 at 19:59

P:B of 2:25!

Bring him on!

08/01/2013 at 20:20
Two-Stroke Tart wrote (see)

OK, could people please stop telling me how I should or shouldn't fuel my runs.  You don't know me and have no idea about the state of my health and how my body works, so please stop assuming that what works and applies to you will also work for me.  I know what works for me and what doesn't, and I have asked for advice on specifically what people have used during long runs that ISN'T gels because these don't work for me.

 

You either want tips from people, or you know best already, which is it?

Your post comes under the topic of fuelling, so I wouldn't be quite so quick to dismiss the knowledge a couple of very experienced, good marathon runners have already tried to help you out with.

The bit that worries me is that you say you're planning to walk/run due to having a niggle. Should you be doing a marathon with a niggle? It might turn out that fuelling is the least of your problems if you do. It certainly won't help it recover will it!

 

Slowkoala wrote (see)
I'm training for my first marathon this year and asked my dad for advise as he ran a few marathons in the 80s. He said that for one of the Londons it was a bit warm so he took water at one of the drinks stations but for all other ones he took no water or food whatsoever! He still managed a PB of 2:25. Not saying this will work for everyone but do feel that these days a lot of what you read and hear advises you to eat/ drink TOO much. I can't ever imagine consuming the number of gels they advise and I can't help thinking that the makers of these products want you to consume more so that you spend more.

I checked and only about 25 blokes beat 2.25 in 2012, so to hit that time in 80s, your dad must have been quite a runner. What's his name, if you don't mind sharing?

cougie    pirate
08/01/2013 at 20:25
The pros certainly won't be scoffing sausage rolls on the way. But 26 miles is a small percentage of their weekly runs. I guess their bodies have adapted to needing little extra in the way of energy mid race.
cougie    pirate
08/01/2013 at 20:27
I think people were in general faster runners in the 80s ? Modern technology doesn't seem to have moved us on much.
08/01/2013 at 20:30

moves the top end runners on though.

I think it was Dan Robinson who said there's not much incentive for a guy to go and run 100miles a week now, who won't get funded. Probably way fewer runners willing to do that these days.

08/01/2013 at 20:32

SK, my dad also did marathons in the 80's and it was water for him too.  He wasn't as speedy as your dad though

TST, at what point in your runs are you running out of fuel?

08/01/2013 at 21:54

The evidence seems to indicate the fuel might be petrol.

But of course, I'm not one to pour that on a fire.

08/01/2013 at 22:27
Birch wrote (see)

original query was "I'm wondering if anyone out there has trained for a marathon without using the various gels on the market?.......Anyone actually done it that could give me some advice?"
posters then have offered the requested advice, but the OP's latest post says
"OK, could people please stop telling me how I should or shouldn't fuel my runs. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ditto that!

Whilst many of us have posted without necessarily answering about specifc alternatives to gels during a marathon, there is a bigger picture to consider.  It's like asking what alternative painkillers you should take for a headache caused by banging your head against a brick wall but not wanting to hear anyone who says you should stop banging your head against the wall to start with (or at least put a cushion in the way!). 

Advice on this forum is freely given, usually genuine and occasionally even sensible   - but we're all at liberty to ignore it!

08/01/2013 at 22:39
Steve G, his name is Steve Birkin and he ran for Cambridge Harriers. He ran London a couple of times (not the first ever one but a couple of the ones that followed that I think). His PB was from London. He did some really fast 10ks too (31m from memory) into his 50s. Doesn't race now but has got mad on cycling in his 60s.

I never realised how good he was at the time as a couple of his (younger) friends at the same club got sub 2:20 marathons.
08/01/2013 at 23:24
What mileage are you currently running as your long run?

You should be training your body to burn fat by not taking on any carbs on your long run. At the moment you may be having trouble because your body hasn't adapted yet. Maybe because you haven't approached extending your long runs in the proper way, or you are running too fast.

I run 18miles before my breakfast. I run them very slowly, around 90secs a mile slower than my marathon pace.
09/01/2013 at 07:18

TR, the OP ain't listening. She's twisted her rabbit ears around, stuffed them into her lug holes and stomped off in a cloud of indignation and self righteousness.

V4D
09/01/2013 at 07:52
TimR wrote (see)

I run 18miles before my breakfast. I run them very slowly, around 90secs a mile slower than my marathon pace.

I'd have to start running at 3am or have my breakfast at lunchtime to do this - wow.

seren nos    pirate
09/01/2013 at 07:54

Its the womens fault that marathon times are generally slower now.........back then men could work and the rest of their time was their own.to either go to the pub every night or to run 120 miles a week and then sleep the rest of the time.........

but then women got bolshie and demanded their equal spare time.........to drink or run......men had to start cooking and cleaning and looking after their own kids........so now they could not devote every spare hour to running and resting........so times went slower........

the good news is that the womens times got faster in the same period

seren nos    pirate
09/01/2013 at 07:57

and when talking about fuelling and how the body can adapt...............its very different for someone running sub 3 and who trains without any fuel to run a marathon...........and someone  who takes 6 hours for a marathon and hasn't the years to adapt the body to run one............so whilst some ideas are useful for people to read about and think about..........for the slower end its not practicle...........

but in all things .... do in training what you want to do in the race to see what works

09/01/2013 at 10:39
Does it take years to adapt? It hasn't in my experience.
09/01/2013 at 11:06
RicF wrote (see)

TR, the OP ain't listening. She's twisted her rabbit ears around, stuffed them into her lug holes and stomped off in a cloud of indignation and self righteousness.

Perhaps before presuming what I'm up to you should take a little time to consider that not everyone spends half their waking life on here, and we may actually have other things to do with our lives so do not always respond quickly all the time.

I accept that I may have over reacted a bit, but in my (limited) experience on here when I've posted asking for advice on specific things, then the specific advice I've asked for has been what I've got.  I did ask for people who had experience of alternative fueling during training, so as Seren has pointed out, people posting that they can do 18 miles before breakfast on no fuel doesn't really help me.  And V4D, I'm with you on the fact that I'd have a long wait for breakfast! 

There have been a lot of useful posts on what people actually have eaten and I am extremely grateful for the useful advice I've been given, which I have taken on board and will try out over the next few weeks.

Edited: 09/01/2013 at 11:06
09/01/2013 at 11:13

RicF...Hilarious !

09/01/2013 at 11:17
V4D wrote (see)
TimR wrote (see)

I run 18miles before my breakfast. I run them very slowly, around 90secs a mile slower than my marathon pace.

I'd have to start running at 3am or have my breakfast at lunchtime to do this - wow.

Essentially. Yes. It takes me about 3h20m. so Sunday breakfast is about 10.30am. It wasn't always like that though. I used to get up an hour before running and have a small bowl of porridge just for a 10mile. Anything over 3miles I'd take a bottle of water. As I've increased the distance I've found I just don't need breakfast now and prefer the hour in bed and I only take a bottle of water if it is warmer than 10'C.

Training for the marathon isn't just about getting your feet toughened up and your muscles strong. It's a long journey including learning about what your body can be trained to do.

I think it is only natural for the OP to belive that she can only go for a few hours before feeling feint. This will improve with time as she gradually works at it. I don't know, maybe she's expecting a quick fix? Training for the marathon is not a quick process.

09/01/2013 at 11:24
Two-Stroke Tart wrote (see)
RicF wrote (see)

TR, the OP ain't listening. She's twisted her rabbit ears around, stuffed them into her lug holes and stomped off in a cloud of indignation and self righteousness.

.,.

 I did ask for people who had experience of alternative fueling during training, so as Seren has pointed out, people posting that they can do 18 miles before breakfast on no fuel doesn't really help me.  And V4D, I'm with you on the fact that I'd have a long wait for breakfast! 

...

Ok. I agree, without the whole picture though it's confusing for the novice marathoner. Eat a bowl of porridge an hour before you run/walk. You will not be hungry. If you try and eat a gel and it makes you feel sick there could be two reasons.

1. You're not drinking enough water with it. They need water to aid digestion unless you're taking the type that don't need it.

2. You don't need the energy and you're body is trying to reject the extra carbs you're forcing upon it.

We're trying to help. Don't dismiss our advice. Using fat as an alternative source of fuel is the recommended way to go by every single marathoner.

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