At what distance of a run do you carry water and back-up fuel?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by happysongbird, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. happysongbird

    happysongbird Chapter Presidents
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    Now that I'm starting to run more miles per run, I'm having trouble deciding when to bring water and energy. If my run is 6 miles or less, I think I don't need to worry about it, but I'm finding that I get hungry and drained feeling somewhere between 6 and 8 miles. Does that change with training, or is it more dependent on the individual? Or other factors? I really hate gels and other fake energy food, except I do like some of the jelly bellies. :) I have found that a somewhat diluted homemade lemonade works for me during a triathlon, so maybe I need to plan ahead better and take that. Meanwhile, I'm up in the middle if the night, right now, because I woke up so hungry!(re: 10.3 miles yesterday)
     
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  2. dutchie53

    dutchie53 Barefooters
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    I am a old fashioned runner. I do not take anything on runs under 15 miles. Back in the days of yore (about 30 years ago) I just ran. No water no fuel, it was not even thought of much in those days. Now I will sometimes take water on runs over 10k in summer heat, but that is about it.
     
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  3. Hobbit

    Hobbit Barefooters
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    I take a water bottle for runs of 10 km or more.
    On beautiful days, when I know I won't be able to resist the exploration of a promising unknown path, I'll also take something to eat (biscuits or almonds and dried fruits) to give me a treat when I'm lost, hungry and desperate to find my way back home :oops:
     
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  4. skedaddle

    skedaddle Barefooters
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    Anything over ten miles and i'll take water.
    You can train your body to run in a glycogen depleted state where it burns fat for fuel instead. A good method for long distances as you're not chasing the next sugar rush. Running becomes more controlled as your energy levels arn't peaking and dipping like the world stock markets.
    It's a big juggling game really, finding the right intensity of effort to match your bodies ability to process fuel, there is definately a sweet spot that varies from individual to individual.
     
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  5. spoonerweb

    spoonerweb Chapter Presidents
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    It also depends on the weather for me. In the winter, I can go on 1.5hr runs and not need any water. During the summer, I would take water with me even for something as short as 30min. During the summer, I take a sports drink instead of just water. I always take a sports drink if the run is going to be longer than 2 hours.

    I don't take anything to eat unless the run is more than 4 hours.
     
  6. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
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    I, too, find it depends on the season and also on the intended level of exertion.
    In the summer I'll take water on runs over 12 miles or so if I plan to be moving quickly. Last weekend, though, I ran a gentle 20 miles carrying neither food nor water.
    When I was first running longer distances I'd 'need' some food after about 7 or 8 miles - these days I'll happily run an easy 20+ miles carrying neither food nor water and generally not having had more than a cup of coffee before leaving the house.
     
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  7. rickwhitelaw

    rickwhitelaw Barefooters
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    Laura, I just read in another thread that you are not going to do a marathon. If you are hitting 10+ miles and thinking about fuel, I think you are planning something.;)

    Unless it is a hot summer run or it is a hard effort, I usually don't worry about water under 1 hour of running. No fuel if under 2 hours. Run or hike over 2 hours, I try to drink every half hour and fuel and electrolyte every hour. In my case I really don't feel an energy drain, but I have had a few cramps lately and also the fueling helps with recovery.

    I have fallen under the spell of Hammer gel for convenience, but I would like to experiment with some alternatives (real food). Longer hikes I like nuts and raisins, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, but those are difficult to eat while running.
     
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  8. Barefoot Dama

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    Under 12-14 miles I am good with nothing unless it's very hot then I'll take some water.
    Over 14 miles I hydrate with HEED and once in a while I'll take some Hammer gels.
     

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  9. bf in az

    bf in az Barefooters
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    I generally don't bring anything unless the run is over 15. (The exception is if the weather is really hot then I'll bring water.) You can definitely train your body to need less fuel on long runs (or more accurately, you train your body to burn fat as a fuel source); when I started training for my first marathon a year ago I was eating a ton and still crashing but since then I've been weaning myself down to very little food.
     
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  10. Barefoot Gentile

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    Usually nothing under 15 miles. But heat is a factor so that can change things.
     
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  11. NickW

    NickW Guest

    Under 13.1 miles I don't NEED anything, but I LIKE to take water on all my runs no matter if they are short or long runs. I never take any fuel with me, but then again I don't run any sort of long distances. I like to take the water with me because I like to take a sip every 15 minutes or so and I like to have it with me when I am doing my cool down walk and then I also already have it with me if I decide to go to the gym afterwards.
     
  12. flammee

    flammee Barefooters

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    I don't need water for under 15 kilometer runs, but I usually take nathan sprint handheld with me for almost every run, so that I can more easily decide to run longer distances if I happen to feel like running longer. I don't plan my runs...
     
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  13. Bare Lee

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    I need a good food base for anaerobic stuff (I like to have two or three meals in me before lifting weights), but for aerobic stuff I would never bring food for something less than 3-4 hours unless I was running first thing in the morning. That's partly why I wouldn't consider doing a marathon unless I could do it in four hours or less. I wouldn't want to eat on the run.

    Water isn't really necessary for anything under two hours, unless it's really hot, like over 90 F / 30 C (I once went through 26 liters of water in eight hours while cycling through the desert), or I'm really pushing the pace, then about one hour is my limit before dehydration starts to sap my energy. For longer summer runs I prefer to over-hydrate before setting out.

    But it seems like it really depends on the person, judging by the comments so far. If you start to bonk then it's probably a good idea to bring a banana or something, or some protein like peanuts if you're prone to mild hypoglycemia. And you certainly don't want to risk heat exhaustion in the summer.
     
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  14. OdiarAmor

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    Regardless if I am running or not, I try to keep water on me at all times. I don't know why (and neither do my doctors) but I'm thirsty all the time. I've gotten to the point though that I can go for short runs without water though and just chew a stick of gum.
     

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  15. rbondi

    rbondi Barefooters
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    Here in Austin TX in the summer water is essential at any distance. I raced a 10 miler a month ago passing all water stops, it was in the low 40s. I just did a triple H(hot, humid, hilly) half and hit every water stop. So water depends on conditions. I don't use fuel for anything 16 miles or under. I have a 30K coming up, not sure if I should fuel or not, maybe since my target(2:45) is well over the proverbial 2 hour mark but should be less time than the typical 16 mile training run.
     
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  16. PB Junkie

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    For this time of year, 8 miles or less (which is about 1.5 hours for me) I don't use anything. But in the warmer weather, I'll take water for 5 or more and honeystinger chews for 8 or more (although my long run is only 5-6 miles right now). BTW - REI in Boise has a good selection of different fuel items (Hammer, Honeystinger, Gu, etc.)

    I did a 5 mile evening race in September and carried water and was glad I did. It was about 80f and I don't deal well with the heat. I'm one of those people that seems to need water more than others do.
     

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  17. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    At this time of year in FL, I can a manage a couple of hours in the morning, about 13mi, if I've already hydrated. I typically have the majority of my carbs in the evening, so I'm already fueled up in the morning. The weather now is cool enough, that I don't have to replace fluids or electrolytes during the run.

    Hot weather is a different story. I had a 4 bottle FuelBelt, refilled it once during a 14mile run, and still felt dehydrated. I got a Nathan 020 but haven't used it, as I stopped my summer long runs, as that 14 miler just wasn't much fun. I might give it another try at some point. Figuring out my individual needs is definitely a work in progress.
     
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  18. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I would after six miles, but if there's water around, I will stop to drink it regardless. I love drinking water when I run. I also like taking Hammer Gels after every five miles.
     
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  19. spoonerweb

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    One time during cross country (Oct in MI - a little chilly out), we ran through a MacDo drive-thru and all of us ordered a large ice water. We saw who could drink it the fastest and then we ran 2 miles slowly back to the high school.
     
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  20. scedastic

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