Wednesday, March 9, 2011

GU Time?

So, I did it. This past weekend I completed my longest run to date - 10 miles. I was pretty proud of myself, and as promised...self-rewarded, accordingly. It was a perfect day for a long run in DC. Temperature in the 50s, not too windy and slightly overcast. Miles 1 through 8 felt fantastic and I was really in a rhythm. Miles 9 - 10...notsomuch. My run turned into something more like a shuffle and on the 10th mile I was basically willing my legs to finish. Any sort of hill or incline was out of the question.

This complete lack of energy and inability to finish strong like I normally can when running 5, 6, and even 8 miles got me it GU time?

In my brief research, I've found varying times at which it is appropriate to refuel and replenish the glycogen store during long distances. Some sources say anything over 75 minutes is the magic number, others say the 90 minute mark is a good threshold. I guess it's time for me to begin experimenting with what works best for me.

So I ask you, what is your threshold? When do you find yourself needing to refuel? Also, what are your favorite forms of refueling: jelly beans, gels, sports drinks?

Along these same lines - Sal recently purchased wrist strap water bottle. I still haven't given way to running with water yet. What works for you? Do you like the belt that has multiple water bottles? I think that would annoy me. The wrist strap water bottle? The Camelbak? I imagine the straps of the Camelbak cause some chafing on the neck and shoulders?

Just full of questions today and ready to be enlightened,


  1. It's all trial and error. I use a handheld water bottle (the amphipod one) and tend to gu for any run over 7ish miles. I usually take gels every 5 miles or so. SOme people find the gels cause stomach issues, but I've never had any problems. I have tried chomps and sports beans, but chewing while I run isn't something I'm good at.

  2. Different for each rule is not to take GU or gatorade unless I'm over 10, but you might be different. Consider what you ate beforehand too--did you have enough calories to sustain you? Keep toying with it until you get it right.

  3. well- i'm so not a pro so I feel stupid even replying ;) But I always have a gu at around 7 or 8- and I LOVE the chocolate outrage gu- tastes like brownie batter. and then I just take one when i feel like I need it. I really think to each his own depending on how you feel. and i never liked carrying anything except an ipod. I used the amphipod micropack landsport- I could hold about 4-5 gus, advil and is small but i didn't like alot around my waist....

  4. I usually take a GU if I'm doing 7 or more miles. I like the way the Sport Beans taste but I feel like I'm choking on them when I run and eat them at the same time.

    As for the water bottle, I use the handheld kind that I think you are talking about.

  5. For my first (and only) half- I ingested gu around mile 7, I think. The vanilla falvor is really tasty. I had a problem with dehydration during the long runs (would shake violently after the run and was freezing). I started running near water fountains and would sometimes bring water...I'm not the best runner so I probably needed more help than the average person.