Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Long Run Nutrition

In yesterday's post (about my 20-mile run), I failed to touch on what nutrition approach I used, and whether or not it worked. During my last long run, I had some gastro-intestinal discomfort. In that run, I drank 22 oz. of Heed (mixed at the regular concentration), along with a diluted Hammer Gel mixture. Late in that run (an 18-miler), I was having some stomach cramps. Several people commented that they don't mix sports drink with gels; going with straight water instead. I used that approach in last week's Mercer Island Half Marathon with success. Yesterday, I decided to find a middle ground and went with a very weak mixture of Heed and 22 oz of water. I also carried water only in one of my gel flasks. The other gel flask contained three servings of Hammer Gel (Tropical, with caffeine) and about 1/4 water to dilute it. I drank small amounts of the weak Heed/water mixture every mile, and nearly finished the 22 oz. bottle by mile 11. I hit the gel every 5 miles, finishing it off at about mile 15, and drinking plain water from about mile 12-17, before deciding that I was so soaked that I didn't need to drink the last 3 miles (thanks to osmosis)!

This approach worked perfectly. I never experienced any stomach discomfort and felt adequately fueled the entire run. Hopefully those results will hold true during future long runs & races.


  1. Sounds like a great mixture. If you used the HEED at full strength you would not need the gel though. (But it is your call.)

    Do you know what they are going to have at the marathon yet?

  2. Thanks Adam. You're probably right, but I like the extra kick I get from the gels.
    And I was pleased to read that Heed will be supplied at the marathon.

  3. It always helps if they have the right stuff at the races. Unfortunately this doesn't happen that often. I'm glad you found something that works well for you. It can be a very bad problem in long races.