After the umpteen races I’ve done since 2007, you’d think I’d know a thing or two about sports nutrition and what my body needs to get through a race, right?
The truth of the matter is that every time I think I have things figured out, I manage to get some sort of negative reaction from what I’m using from horrible cramps to… yeah, I’ll spare you the details.
Given that I’m four weeks into marathon training and the mileage is ramping up pretty quickly, I NEED to get this shizz figured out. Like yesterday. And that means revisiting the Gus, Shots, Gels, etc. that I’ve been afraid of since the first time I ran the Toronto Half.
The funny thing is, that was my fastest half marathon time. I made sure to use both Gatorade and had a PowerBar gel on the course. It was a great run and I felt great throughout it. After was another story.
So I’ve been scared into solids ever since.
I had a dependence on sharkies for two years but was getting frustrated with them constantly getting stuck in my teeth that I abandoned them. I was still afraid to go near the gels, though.
For Around the Bay, I chose to use plain ol’ water and Clif Shot Bloks. They worked well in training runs, but gave me horrible side stiches/cramps a few minutes after ingesting them during the race, making it quite difficult to run on the back half.
But I can’t rely on that for the entire 42k and need a new strategy. So I’ll be back to trying everything and anything, and seeing what hurts the least. The last thing I want is to be curled up at the side of the road in the fetal position, trapped in a portapotty and having a big, fat DNF next to my name on Sport Stats.
So the ewwy gu-ey, gely, shot-y experiment starts this weekend!
Help a mouse out – what do you suggest I start with? Any tips to making gels/GUs/Shots more bearable? Any tricks or suggestions?
Hit me with your best shot!