Marathon: alternatives to goo and sports drinks

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by Photodad, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Photodad

    Photodad Barefooters

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    So I'm 80% on running a marathon in 11 weeks, but One thing holding me back is hydration and replenishing my glycogen/electrolytes etc during the marathon.

    Everything i read is telling me to drink sports drinks, some have said to lose the goo, it doesn't help and can so absorption. But i know squat about this.

    I am a Bakery by trade For (19 years) and have a unique job that allows me to make my own "sample" products from scratch. There is a personal trainer/ finess instructor that works part time in another dept, and we experiment with our own "cliff" bar type stuff. I also made a batch of Barley, chia, flax, almond whole grain bagels... they were awesome btw. great post race food.

    [​IMG]

    anyway a little off topic.

    but I was looking for a healthy alternative to sports drinks to replenish myself during a marathon. Now have run 2 1/2 hours with out food (or water) in cold conditions. the marathon is in May so i don't expect temperature to be an issue. the temp around that time of year is around +5 to +10 Celsius.

    Maybe sports drinks are the only solution, but i find it hard to swallow...lol... get it :)
     
  2. Barefoot Dama

    Barefoot Dama Barefooters
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    You could experiment and make your own electrolyte drink you know?
    Google it for some recipes and go from there.
     

  3. BFwillie_g

    BFwillie_g Barefooters
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    That's a wide-open market. Dog spit is a healthy alternative to 'sports drinks', it's just not as conveniently packaged.

    Anyway ... This being your first marathon, whatever you do, you'll be able to do it better next time. You'll probably just end up drinking whatever they have at the aid stations.

    Alternative to gels - well, you already answered that, man! Bring a little real food along with you, just like you described above. Practice eating on the run, it's not that hard and you don't have to eat that much!

    How long do expeect your run to last? Btw, May can pretty damn warm, don't underestimate a couple degrees rise in temp. Is the course mostly open and sunny? Or shady?
     

  4. peacekaren

    peacekaren Barefooters
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    Coconut water is a natural electrolyte drink that might work.
    I know several folks on the board like using NUUN.

    Good luck on the marathon!

    Peace,
    Karen
     

  5. Photodad

    Photodad Barefooters

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    Thanks Everyone :)

    We've have been experimenting with real Banana, almond, Ground chia, corn meal, Pancake (Or Mini muffins) type things made with stone ground whole wheat. I could next time use Coconut water. Shelly (the Personal trainer) added apple sauce. I dont know if its placebo effect or not, but 1/2 hour after eating them you feel "energized". Probably just in my head.
     
  6. Photodad

    Photodad Barefooters

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    Everything i've seen in "sports science", the same people that brought you the gift of "sneakers" say that 3-31/2 hours is the most runners can run with out depeleting the electrolites and glycogen stores. I'd just like to here what other real runner have found about this? and when should I eat and drink. i assume when I'm on the ground its too late...
    :(

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  7. rbondi

    rbondi Barefooters
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    I eat dehydrated mangos and cantelope. It is as natural as I can get since I don't have your culinary talents. I also like to take advantage of the spectators that hand out orange slices and bananas. I don't like to eat anything before 90 minutes. It is not anything scientific. I think a lot of the 'sports science' is more marketing than anything else.
     
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  8. bubba hotep

    bubba hotep Barefooters

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    I like Hammer products and honey water is a good alternative but use local honey. It is only 26 miles and there is no need to over complicate the process.
     
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  9. Photodad

    Photodad Barefooters

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    I tried eating today on my 21k run, not allot, around 1-2 oz of chia corn banana almond biscut thingy. My stomach seemed to take it well, had no issues.
     
  10. BFwillie_g

    BFwillie_g Barefooters
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    That's a huge overestimate and doesn't apply to you and your first marathon, seriously. The standard dogma on the subject is 80-90 minutes and I think most runners feel a lull in energy around this point. You'd do well to get some calories into your system before you hit that mark in your race. What you might want to try doing is getting a few really long runs (or run/walks) in beforehand and taking note of when/where you feel your energy drops.

    But really, it's all more mental than physical anyway. You'll hit a wall no matter what you do now and during the race, but if you stay focussed and remind yourself that it'll pass, you'll be ok.

    What I now wish I had done before my first marathon is go out beyond the 26.2 mark a couple times during training. Would've made a world of difference.
     

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  11. Photodad

    Photodad Barefooters

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    That is exactly my plan, I did 14 miles sunday after working 8 hours, then a couple shorter runs tues and weds then went out today and did another 13.1 miles today after work on tired legs. I'm not breaking any land speed records they are 140 minute runs. the one sunday was with no water or food. but it was about -7 Celsius. Today I ate a bit. Sunday i was done at 22k, today I felt better, could have gone more but i didn't want to push my luck. Maybe next weekend i'll go for 28-30k area. then in april go for the full as practice.

    I definitely felt today that if i had been on fresh legs and not worked 8 hours i could have got 28k easy. I know i can go 2 1/2 hours no food. I just know that i have to start eating before i bonk.
     
  12. spoonerweb

    spoonerweb Chapter Presidents
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    I can run a full marathon on nothing but water during the race. However, during my training runs, I take some watered down kool-aid with me on any runs of 2hrs or more. If it is less than 2hrs, then I just take water during all the seasons except Winter.
     
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  13. BFwillie_g

    BFwillie_g Barefooters
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    yeah, but, web, you're a certified badass! Would you suggest the OP give it a shot? lol :barefoot:
     

  14. Photodad

    Photodad Barefooters

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    You sir are my motivation...
     
  15. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    IMG-20120220-00665.jpg
    Did a 50k two weeks ago. aid stations had bacon, fruit, pretzels, peanutbuter, real food that tastes good. Nirvana
     
  16. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
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    and all the related quotes that came after it.

    I think this is just a matter of training like everyone else. You can go that long with out depleting your stores if you've worked at training your body to hold on to them. I used to suck down the gus like crazy. On a 20 miler I'd probably do three or so, usually two caffeinated one non. Even at 13miles or so I'd do one or two. Then when I did my first 50k I realized I had severe energy use problems. I ate tons but my body just couldn't process it fast enough to get it to my muscles and I had some really bad searing, tear inducing, pains from it. Lesson learned, after that I did every run in the morning on no breakfast or lunch depending on the time of day. The first long run (all between 18-20 miles) I'd not take any calories at all. At the time it was super hot so I would indulge in some nuun from time to time if I ran in the afternoons, the next day I normally would let myself eat one gu along the way but that was it. I was actually able to mimic the searing muscle pain I had during the 50k after only 15 miles doing it that way because it really was just an energy issue. Kinda proved to me my philosophy was right. Eventually my body got used to it though and I quit having to eat on runs at all. The next one I didn't have those problems and I felt way way better the whole time and the day after. Which isn't to say I wouldn't eat on something like a marathon or something, just that I don't have to during training anymore. I think thats why you see some people who can go ridiculous amounts of miles without food. They've trained themselves not to need food. Its just that it like everything else it does take a bit of work on the outset. Maybe you won't be quite as energetic at first. I like not having to eat gus though. They don't taste very good, cost alot, gives me one more thing to carry and I'd rather eat that 100 calories in the form of something more delicious when I get home. I've actually tried to start doing this a bit with water too after reading how some of you guys hardly take in any water at all. On a summer day I'd go through like 6-8 liters on a long run which is sort of annoying. That one I'm going a bit more gradually though so I don't end up dying along the way.

    quick edit: also I'm quite slow so for time comparison purposes and 18-20 miler would take like 3:50-4:10 ish maybe more depending on the route, day and pretty views.
     
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  17. buzzie

    buzzie Barefooters
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    Just to confuse things... "electrolytes" should not be confused with "glycogen" (see OP), nor with hydration.

    On any given day, a person's needs will likely vary based on temperature, humidity, attire, intensity, time, distance, etc.

    I prefer to manage fuel, hydration, and electrolytes separately - especially for distances of 26.2 and beyond or durations of 3 hours or more.

    Intensity level will likely dictate your ability to tolerate and/or process solid foods. If you want carbs that you can put to work NOW, you're gonna have to go with something that readily gives them up.
     

  18. barefoottyler

    barefoottyler Barefooters
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    My marathon foods are simple: 50/50 water/Gatorade and Fig Newtons(Tons of carbs and sugars)
     
  19. ElyDave

    ElyDave Barefooters
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    I really didn't get on with Hammer, found the gels too thick and the drinks had an odd tang.

    I like Bike Food (www.bikefood.co.uk) for a carb drink, also mix in their hemp protein powder, not sure if it's available in the USA. I also like nuun for electrolytes, or if I'm only carrying solid food or gels. The bikefood gel works for me with a nice honey-lemon flavour. For solids I tend to go mainly with nuts and dried fruit, either chopped in a plastic bag, as fig newtons (we call them fig rolls, but they still taset good) and these http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/, just mushed up fruits, nuts, oats berries etc, but conveniently packaged.

    I think the key thing here is to experiment and find out what works for you. I'm currently working though how much I can eat/drink on the run vs on the bike.
     
  20. buzgal

    buzgal Barefooters

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    I like Recharge as far as "sports drinks" go. :) I'm not crazy about goos, but have used them. I definitely replinish while running even short distances such as a half marathon...if I don't, I feel depleted and don't enjoy my run as much. With experimenting you'll find the right balance for your body's needs. :)
     

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