Whew I did not expect to run like this today! Saturdays have become my long run day as I maintain my endurance in marathon training. I normally do these runs both fasted and don’t drink, not for any particular reason other than I eat breakfast when I get back and I don’t go long enough to need nutrition.
I know that I will need to carry some sort of fuel during the marathon but I’ve tried to forget about that in past long runs because I didn’t want to carry a water bottle yet or teach myself to take gels. I had experimented with it last year when I was going long, but rather than carry anything, I just put a gel and bottle on the treadmill and picked them up when I needed it. I am not delusional thinking I can do a marathon without sustenance and I don’t want to. I want to do well in the marathon and that means FOOD!
The other day I was buying new shoes (for when the weather gets better because I do not want to get them dirty yet) and a woman who is both a co-ambassador for the store and works there and I got talking about what she carries during long runs and how to teach myself to do it. I said I have tried gels, but I would honestly like to drink my calories so they go down easier and I can get more in. She suggested a handheld water bottle and we discussed fueling brands and what she liked. I bought the water bottle, but not any fuel.
Yesterday I was at my local co-op and found the sport nutrition section (it’s very small). Lo and behold, they carried Vega products! Vega is a brand I’ve heard about so much in the vegan and ultra running communities. It is a completely plant based fuel source with all kinds of other nutritional benefits. From the reviews, it seems to be a win-win. The reason I’ve never bought any of their products before is the simple fact that they are expensive and I do not need too much extra supplementation. I like to eat meals instead of drinks.
What caught my eye was the “pre-workout energizer”. The packaging said it was to give you energy before a workout to sustain you through the end. After reading the ingredients and label, I thought it would be the perfect thing to try on my long run today. The only flavor they had was Acai, so that’s what I got.
I held it through my two hour run today and finished half the bottle.
HOLY WOW I COULD HAVE RUN FOREVER! I could not believe the effective so little nutrition had on my legs and mood. I was able to run 16.4 miles in that two hour period. This was ON A TREADMILL people! Normally, long runs on treadmills are harder for me than outside because of the mental fatigue. The steady stream of glucose kept me focused and able to push it while enjoying the run. I even learn a few things listening to the Freakonomics podcast!
Sitting here eating post run, I do not feel depleted like I have before after longer runs. I am eating breakfast but I’m not ravenous (maybe I will be later?) I also do not have a dehydration headache to combat.
The flavor was good but tasted a bit weird with my mint gum at first. Because I did not drink the entire bottle, next time I am going to use a smaller water to fuel ratio so it’s sweeter and I get more nutrition in. I liked the Acai but it was weak.
I can honestly day I will never again do a long run without nutrition. What a great experience!
What is your fuel of choice?
Do you eat/drink during workouts?