For my one and only previous marathon training campaign I didnt have breakfast prior to my long runs nor did I take any fluids/gels on board during the run. One day I bonked and the consenus was that I had done this as I had not fuelled properly, despite having run further without fuel previously. From that moment on I started eating breakfast and taking fluids/gels on board during the runs (I didnt finish that training plan through injury). For this campaign, I have built up to 17 miles and am not eating breakfast or taking on fluids/gels and everything is going well.
From comments on this and other forums it seems that those who have been running for quite a well can get away without fuelling, obviously there are exceptions to this. I was thinking I will continue with this strategy and if I bonk again I will start fuelling, if I dont then happy days. Do you think this is the right approach or should I start fuelling on my long runs now ?
Carter- I might be the exception here but I hardly ever go out for a run without a gel in my pocket or a couple of quid incase I need to stop for a drink.
Ive never done anything longer than about 10 miles without gels and there's no way I could do a really long run without and form of fuel.
I think it's good if you can run without gels etc because it proves your body is efficient at burning fat and it's certainly cheaper if you are not buying gels all the time but I would definitely try a couple on your long runs and see how you get on. Who knows you might run even better!
It seems like a badge of honour to run as far as possible without consuming and food or drink, if they help I don't see why anyone wouldn't use them. It's perfectly legal.
I haven't had a bonk for ages.
JB - A nice half marathon always gives a good indicator, and given you are going quite long at your current MP I would suggest you may be reveiwing your training paces quite soon which can only be a good thing. I run one around 12 weeks out from race day and extrapolate my times from there with a 10k a few weeks out to confirm. HR is also another good way to calc training paces/target race paces.
I dont fuel or drink on LSRs if on a winter campaign, but have water stashes for lsrs and isotonic gels if the weather is getting hot ie summer training. I always have something such as porridge/Banana a couple of hours berore a long run. Mcmillan have an article about lsrs and carbo depletion here. I tend to carry a gel or two on long runs just in case but find that I generally dont need them and they end up going through the washer, which doesnt damage them, you just dont know what flavour you get a it washes the foil off
That's brilliant advice - thanks Menn. I'm racing on Sunday so my long run will be on Wednesday and I will definitely be taking it slower, following on from your post, it makes sense.
With regards fuel & hydration If I'm doing 10 miles plus I definitely take water with me, especially with the weather being warmer. If I dont use it then so be it, but I'd rather have the option than not.
Fuelling wise, I have so far done long runs without breakfast and that's worked out okay this far. Yet to get up to mileage that warrants gels, but I when I was up at 16-20 miles when training for London & Edinburgh I'd take a gel or two and I raced with them. More strategically at Edinburgh and ran 19 minutes quicker than London.
Link didnt work so try this http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/articlePages/article/2
Ran 15mi at lunchtime and ran it fairly aggressively (1hr45) and after yesterday's LT run I am really feeling it now.
I am currently not eating breakfast before my long runs mainly due to having to run them dead early to fit in with the family etc. I'd much rather run a long run of 18mi with some porridge in my belly.
acp, yes I take 4 gels with me in a marathon. I will eat 3 definitely (9, 15 and 19), and may have the last about 22 if I'm really struggling.
70mins at 66% at lunch. After feeling great yesterday, felt tired today. Possibly something to do with the s&c session in the gym this morning
15West wrote (see)
I haven't had a bonk for ages.
mwah ha ha
Menn- it's hard to disagree with any of that article, the point I was trying to make is that gels etc do help. Marathon training is hard enough sometimes without making it any harder than you really need to.
Im not saying carry a backpack full of gels on every run but people need to be very careful running in a depleted state. Like the article says the depleted long run is the icing on the cake so probably better for more experienced runners.
Also if you plan to race with gels, you need to train with them and at race intensity it's a lot harder to stomach carbs at a higher intensity thats why people in races have stomach issues because they've only used gels at a slow pace.
Maybe I need to try a bit harder to run without fuel but I'm still setting pb's so I must be doing something right
Also on the subject of racing during a programme someone wisely told me on this forum that if you go into a race completely untapered it'll take you longer afterwards to recover from the race.
Ive recently found this to be true, I raced a triathlon last month and did a couple of really hard sessions the week before, although the race went ok it took me a lot longer to recover than it usually does.
Im supposed to be doing a half marathon on Sunday and ill be having easy days on Thurs and Fri and probably having Saturday off completely.
Week 5 of 18x 55-70 for me. 9 miles with 5 LT, which for my target marathon time is 06:10-06:19. Ran the five at 6:08, which was tough. Pace for the whole run was around MP.
Dreading the 18 with 10 @ MP on Sunday!
Mark - The article makes good sense and I put it up to help the lsr with or without gels debate to show the thought process/benefits of not using gels. That said, I dont follow that article personally - There is no chance that I could do a 3hr run without carbs before it without having a major suffer fest, which imo is probably counterproductive, although I do resist using gels during lsrs when possible. Interesting that they break the lsr up into two types of run - with different fuelling strategies to deliver different improvements.
Fair enough, I just get the impression (and not just on this forum) that some people think training without food or drink makes you tougher. Like you say if you ruin a long run by hitting the wall it's counter intuitive.
But I can see the reasons for training yourself to be more efficient at using fat.
I try not to use food/gels on the long ones, but may take something if it's a quick finish run.
I took a Clif Shot Bloks with me on my last 18 as I have just bought them and haven't tried them. I quite like them. Taste nice and not at all messy. Guts felt OK. I'm thinking that two of them in my shorts pocket should do me for a marathon - maybe a cube every two miles. (6 in a packet)
Hello all, not been on here for a while (not being a marathon runner and all) so congrats on the parkrun PB about 5 pages ago, Tiny!
I think the gels/water on long runs debate is interesting but also very subjective. We're all different and I can quite happily run for 3 hours on 200ml of water, but as shown above, some people just can't and it would be silly for them to try. I don't think it makes me tougher! I practised taking gels on a few long runs, just to make sure I could, and took 3 when I did a marathon, but have no idea whether I needed them or not (I suspect not). I just didn't want to f*ck up by running out of energy at mile 23 and then feel like an idiot.
Did I hear 15W say he ain't had a shag for a while?
Evening all - long time, no speak... Hope all are well. Had a little catch up over past few pages so well done to Tiny for shiny parkrun PB and also for doing it mid long run! Hope everyone niggle free and managing to get their runs in.
Men - oh come on. You really have to even ask. Just. Fucking. Do. It.
Still loosely following 55-70 (without the recovery runs) and doing 4-5 runs a week (did 5 last week and just under 50 miles). Feel like pace is starting to come back but way off where I was pre Manchester but suppose to be expected. 18 miles for me this week, most I have ran for a couple of months.
Running club session this evening, which included running drills, b'stard burpee's hillwork and then strides, am now feeling fooked. Depending on how legs feel tomorrow will either do a 5 mile recovery run or a slightly longer 8 miler at slow pace followed by recovery run on Thursday in preparation for race on Sunday.
I have been informed this evening by clubmates that the race on Sunday is a killer and the last 5 miles is pretty much all up hill. However the reward on finishing is beer and cakes so something to aim for . The weather report for Sunday is 28 degrees and sunny - bugger!
No, HeOw - you mistook me, I wasn't talking about shagging, nothing wrong in that department, no sireee....I was talking about bonking.
Got to go now, have to get another quick shag in.
It's official, I am Shoite at LT running. Pace was all over the place again, I found it really hard. Like a plonker I picked an out and back that was downhill out and uphill back (only realised this whilst running) and I decided that my LT miles were 4 to 7, so three of them were uphill into a head wind and rain. Bloody awful
Maybe this is my penance for doing Sundays long run too quick??
Lisa that sonds like an intense session! Good luck for Sunday
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