Monday, August 24, 2009

Switching To Gels

One of the TO-DO items on any runner's list prior to an endurance race is to see what their stomach can tolerate and digest. This isn't too important for a 5K and I'd say if anyone ate A N Y T H A N G before a 5K they'd be asking for it. I've eaten pretzels, Twizzlers and drank most of the major sports drinks, along with chicken soup and even a couple of beers at mile 25 of the Austin Marathon. Most of the drinks upset my stomach upon contact. One or two more than others. Accelerade didn't upset my stomach and also had the magical 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. As I have a high sweat rate I've found I really need to take in more than just water.

Last week I ran with two NUUN vials filled full of Accelerade powder. It got me through the run better than water alone and recovery went from eight hours with just water, after a 10-mile run, to six hours of recovery using Accelerade powder. The weather conditions were the same at 6:30 am; a temperature of 80 degrees F, with 84% humidity and little to no wind. We've been in the same weather pattern all summer it seems like. So improvement with the powder.

Last weekend I ran with two Accelerade gels. I wanted to see if I could tolerate the gels as it would be easier to run with water and carry a couple of gels, rather than mixing powder on the road while running. I took one after 45 minutes and another 30 minutes later. While soaking in the 68-degree Barton Springs, I drank a little of the powder. After I got home I drank more water and ate about 15 salty potato chips and a bowl of plain red-sauce spaghetti to replace the salt. The result was a three-hour recovery. Dang! And this was after having three tequila shots the night before so I was feeling less than normal to start with. And P.S., I added a four-mile run the day before so that made the Sat. long run a little longer.

I had heard Desiree Ficker talk about dialing in her nutrition before events and I can see what she was talking about, although she has it tougher than I doing longer distance events, combined with being gluten intolerant. "I have often the thought if I could just change one thing physically about myself it would be my celiac disease or gluten intolerance and overly sensitive stomach. It has caused me much strife, said Desiree from her Web site.

I don't have celiac disease but do have a high sweat rate that causes me to lose to much of my electrolytes and a sensitive stomach for salty drinks. For the past two marathons it's been a huge problem when trying to press on past mile 20. Even for the weekend 10-mile runs it causes quite a long recovery. I think my nutrition is finally getting dialed in.

Good recovery video on YouTube. Olympian athletes ran a tempo run and then went to the stream with 60-degree water. Olympic Marathon Trials Training Camp in Mammoth Lakes, CA. 2004 Olympic Silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, Olympian Dan Browne and marathoner Josh Cox.

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