20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Training Week 6: Fueling Up!

Goofy2011 080So this last week was a great and fun week!  Had the longest run to date during the plan at 12 miles.   It was great run even though it was cold and my good friend John and I did it in 2:14:28.  As you can see the run was a little over 2 hours and I could not have done it without properly fueling up the week and day prior to the run.  I have a few people ask me how do I define a long run, and how do I fuel before runs.  First I define long runs generally by time more so than mileage.  The main reason is that I think about runs and how to fuel them, also as you get faster you will cover distance better.  So a long run to me is anything that is going to take me longer than 1:15 or more.  When I get into those distances I have to think about what am I going to use to keep fueling the body to sustain the run.  There are two fueling points I look at:

  • Pre-Run
  • During Run

Pre-run starts the night before and generally I try to eat something lite, like chicken and rice.  I try to avoid high fiber before long runs.  For me I found rice works better than pasta.  Pasta is another great choice for a lot of running friends.  The point is I find something that will give me smart fuel.  I would not recommend a giant beef and bear burrito before a run but hey if it works for you go for it.  Another phase of pre-run is when I wake up, for the most part your body has burned up most if not all of your dinner.  So for long runs I will get some food, maybe a protein bar, a muffin and some peanut butter.  I try to make sure get dose of protein for longer fuel and sticks with me really well.  I know protein will kick in about a 1/2 hour and get me to that 1:15 mark generally.  If I know I am going to be running for more than 2 hours, like last Sunday.  I turn to UCAN.  This is simply a great product my buddy Jimmy got me hooked on.  This is a great product that I have found will get me through those 1 – 1 1/2 runs.  That is all I will eat before I head out on those runs.  From their website:

Every once in awhile, something comes along that changes traditional thinking and paves the way for the future. Superstarch, the unique, healthy energy source powering Generation UCAN products, is one of those discoveries. Employing a patented process that doesn't use chemical or enzymatic modification, we've created a natural, slow burning carbohydrate (derived from non-gmo corn starch) that redefines the way energy is delivered.

The slow burn really works for me and I find this drink really lasts a long time then things I have tried in the past.  Now on to during the run.  During the run is really going to be the tricky thing for you to figure out what works for you.  The timing for me is imagesimple if I know I am going to go longer than two hours I am going to bring food with me and plan it out.  I do this the night before the run.  Aside from bringing water and other electrolytes with you, you will also need something to burn.  The wall which I will write about later on is not just a mental thing, it is also a biological thing.  Biologically the wall, generally speaking, is when the body starts to burn muscles for energy instead other fuel sources like fat.  Avoiding the wall is a good thing.  My rule of thumb is for every extra hour I will eat something.  So for Sunday I had one packet of the Sports Beans by Jelly Belly and that got me through the second hour of running.  So at about 1:15 into the run I ate half the packet of Sport beans and then waited about 15 minutes later and ate the rest.  This works for me.  I will plan on eating something every hour, I out running.

What about 3 hour or great runs what do I do, most likely you are going to need more than just the beans.  Here is where your protein bars, meal replacement bars, other forms of food come into play.  Try a variety during your runs and find what works best for you.  I like the Special K meal replacement bars and some of the PowerBars.  I also learned a trick with the UCAN I used during Disney in 2011.  I took one packet and put it in one of my small water bottles I carry with me, while the water is a lot less than the 16oz they recommend.  I did not use it until I had crossed the 1/2 marathon mark (made it well mixed), and when I drank the mixture it was a lot like pudding.  I only drank a little bit of it to create some space, added some more water to it and did that for about the next 1/2 hour.  It really worked and gave me that same level of energy I got at the beginning of the run but boy was it thick.  I think this year I will either get a bigger bottle to carry or bring a spoon.

Now with all of that said, everyone is different and in training you will find what works for you.  The main thing is find something that does work for you and stick with it.  Also when I stick with it I mean it!  When you show up to do your run you can almost guarantee the vendors will be showcasing all kinds of new things for you try.  Generally they will have free samples, definitely take them and try them on your next training run!  Please do not try something you have not tried during your training on race day.  Remember Race Day is the icing on the cake!

This is the week of training (novice2):








3  hills


Rest Rest Rest




Cross/mow the lawn  Smile

Have a great and blessed week!

Comments (1)

  1. Pearl Quan says:

    I can't believe that I missed a couple of blogs on your training!   I am really getting jealous for you going… as I eat my bon-bons and not even run… although… I did run today!

    Keep training… I may just try and follow some training plan… Keep it up!!!!  

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