Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Give me fuel, give me fire.

What is my least favorite aspect of running? Nutrition. It's because it's so individualistic. No one thing works for everyone. Also, since I'm a heavier runner, I have different needs than the average runner.

The typical statement on calories burnt during running is that running one mile burns about 100 calories. However, it's based more on your own body weight. Net calories burnt while running is .63 x your weight in pounds (walking it's .30 x your lbs) So for me, I burn approximately 155 calories per mile. We've been doing some long runs lately, which leads to some large calorie burns. While, yes there are times it feels like "yeah, I can eat anything!" I know that isn't really the case.

Now, let's think about what my running schedule looks like. Saturday morning for these longer runs I will run starting at 6am. I try to have a bagel with almond butter before I leave the house, 30 minutes before I run. A Thomas' Honey Wheat Bagel is 250 calories. Justin's Maple Almond Butter is 90 calories. So that's 340 calories for my traditional pre-race breakfast. I will burn that off in 2.15 miles. If I'm running a 5K that's perfectly fine, it just keeps me on track and it let me have a very delicious bagel that morning. It's when I'm running longer than 3 miles that I have to contend with now.

So it's around every 45 minutes or 3.5/4 miles I need to have something small to give my body something to work with or replace the stuff I've sweat out. Larger runners sweat a great deal, so we are loosing a large amount of salt. I can't tell you how gritty my face is after a long run from all the salt evaporation on my face.

Nuun - Tri Berry Flavor
 I drink Nuun instead of water or Gatorade. It's not as sweet as Gatorade and it has less sugar but it has electrolytes that water does not. The only downfall is the Nuun comes in compressed tablets, when you drop it into water a certain amount of effervescence occurs. The effervescence along with the more air you intake when running hard (a.k.a. too fast too quickly) then the more belching occurs. It's not pretty.

I've been trying out all sorts of items on my long runs to help refuel and maintain. During the Boilermaker I used a Mocha Clif Shot and a Honey Stinger Shot. I should have tried the Honey Stinger first because it was too sweet. I've used the Cherry Lime Gu before and I like that too but if I take in too much gel at one time, I have a bit of a gaging reaction.

From stalking Rachel (a member of  The Brooklyn Boilermaker Team Hardcore) on Facebook, I saw the use of small salted potatoes. This had me intrigued, real food instead of synthetic gels, gummies or sport beans? The hard part is everyone's stomach is different and reacts different when you are running. I emailed her about them and she shared the preparation method. I'm going to try them out either this weekend or next weekend.

There are lots of other things to consider about nutrition too. We've been looking at recovery items and fueling options at group runs with USAFit. Uncrustables, "crack" otherwise known as peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets, chocolate milk, and cherry juice. I had tried the cherry juice (it's good for inflammation) after the 7 mile run and honestly, I felt better. So I figured this required more investigation. I walked across the street from work to the natural food store and looked around.

For Earth's Sake - Energy Nuggets
I found the cherry juice and then decided to look around because I had never been in there.  Then I saw these items listed as Vanilla Almond Energy Nuggets, and Carob Energy Nuggets. I talked to the sales women and we chatted about what I was looking for, which was different real food fueling options I could carry. She let me try samples of both items and I picked up a bag of the Vanilla Almond Nuggets.

I figured I'll give just about anything a good old fashioned try during these longer runs. If anything the nuggets were good little snacks that offered a slight sugary finish and a lot of nut power.

Still, there are lots of things to think about. Salt tablets and are those the answer to use along with plain water? Will real food be OK in my stomach while running? What will be the easiest thing to pack in my little pouch and access during these long runs and races? It's all a system that I just don't have figured out yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment