Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fueling Runs Part 2

So, starting a run when I'm completely famished is a recipe for disaster. You probably already knew that. I should have known that. What was supposed to be an easy 4 miles yesterday turned into a grueling 2 miles of pathetic shuffling. The reason I had thought I'd be fine is that in the past I have gone on what I considered short runs (usually no more than 3 miles) and eaten nothing beforehand. Due to the significant increase in caloric burn lately, I think my body is adjusting and now requires more fuel all the time. Why didn't I just eat when I was hungry? Well, I forgot for one, and I am so used to trying to curb the amount I eat that I didn't take my new exercise regime into account.

For instance, I often try to stay away from huge portions because I love to eat and have very little willpower. I have also gotten used to accepting that just because I run I don't have a license to eat like a glutton. I'll find a happy medium soon.

I also have been working really, really hard to decrease the amount of salt I eat. Significantly less processed foods, less eating out, kosher salt instead of granular salt when I cook, etc. When the running store employee tried to convince me to take some salt tablets, I freaked. I wish I had listened, because last Saturday wasn't a good day after the run. My hypoglycemia also shares some symptoms of hyponatremia, so I just wasn't fully aware of what my body was telling me.'s what my latest game plan is:
  • Buy more gummies for the long runs (turns out I should eat them sooner than an hour into the run). I think I'm gonna aim for a packet every 45 minutes. This should ultimately add up to 4 packets for the whole 13 miles. I'll add a 5th just to be on the safe side.
  • Get those darned salt thingies. That one really goes against the grain, but it's better to be safe here.
  • Get a sports drink with electrolytes in it to rehydrate while running. This will help keep my body from flushing out too much salt and potassium. I'll ask the running store folks which is best for someone like me.
What I am very glad about is that I'm taking the time now during training to figure this stuff out. I can't imagine trying a new drink or technique the day of the race. After Saturday's 10 miles I'll let you know how this new plan works out.

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