Monday, February 25, 2013

my favorite things::: giveaway #1

as much as i'd love to give everyone of y'all ALL of my favorite things... i'm not oprah so i had to settle for this. i've picked a few of my marathon must haves that i'd like to share with you all over the course of the week leading up to the big race.

when i started running i was totally clueless about fuel. i couldn't for the life of me understand how people ran so much and kept their energy up. as luck would have it, i stumbled upon the running blog community and found a wealth of information about race fuel.

i've experimented with a lot of different fuels and I've finally seemed to find what works best for me. for half marathons i prefer to use one pack of Clif Shot Bloks. They're delicious and give me just enough energy. I tear into them at mile 7, and consume one every mile until the end.

for marathon training, however, i began searching for a different plan. i'd tried Gu before and hated it, but apparently I just hadn't find the right flavor for me.

through trial and error [aka, gagging on several flavors] i found three flavors that i actually look forward to consuming:  peanut butter, chocolate outrage, and vanilla bean. i've used them for all my long runs and they sit well and also give me a good burst of energy.

in my experience, the only bad thing about gels and chews can be that sometimes i just feel empty. you know that hungry deep down in the pit of your stomach feeling? i had that during my 30K. i just wanted some solid food!

you all know that for racing reasons i split up my two twenty milers. in hindsight that may have not been the best idea for multiple reasons, one of which, i fueled during those breaks with natural peanut butter on ezekiel toast. so now, i have no idea how to fuel for on race day. GREAT.

so i'm trying to decide on race day fuel. should i take 4 Gu's with me [i used 2.5 during my 30K], should i take 3 Gu's and a pack of Shot Bloks, should i pack a five guys burger?

give me your opinion on how i should fuel for race day and i'll enter you for a chance to win an assortment of Gu energy gels. i'll include my favorite flavors plus some others in case your taste is different than mine. 

this giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday February 26th (eastern standard time).

22 comments:

  1. I am no expert...however I did my first marathon on the 17th. I took in 5 or 6 gu's...luckily they had on the course or I would have been in trouble since I only carried two. My issue was when all I had in my stomach was gu's....luckily around mile 18 in a neighborhood people had all kinda stuff set up on their lawns (which in normal life would freak me out) but I was so glad to have some pretzels and it helped my stomach...

    Good Luck!

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    1. hopefully there will be some solid stuff on the course!

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  2. I'm not a marathoner. I'm hoping to run my first marathon this fall. When training for my first half marathon, I experimented with honey stinger gel and their chews. I'm not a fan of chewing something while running. I wasn't a fan of their gel either--way too sweet. When I ran my half, they handed out vanilla Gus. These actually sat well and was easily digestible. I've tried some of the fruity flavors and I have to not let the Gus sit in my mouth--I take it like I'm taking a pill. Water must wash down every mouthful.

    I definitely recommend trying to take advantage of the handouts. At the marine corp marathon--I know they hand out oranges and Dunkin donut munchkins. Not sure how easy those would be eating on the run.

    The only thing I don't like about gels are trying to open them while running. My hand are usually pretty slippery by then with sweat (or numb from the cold)--and it usually takes me about a mile to enhale the whole gel packet.

    I recommend taking more Gus than you need just incase you need the energy boost. Stick with flavors you know work. Oh and don't forget to drink the Gatorade for added calories.

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    1. i totally agree about the opening part! i always open my shot bloks pack before the race, but i don't with the gu because i'm afraid they'll leak!

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  3. Gu is my favourite brand too! I love mandarin orange and chocolate raspberry Roctane the most.

    I'd recommend eating a banana about 45 min before race start. If you are hungry you can take a gel at the start line. I then eat them every 45 minutes. If I'm getting tired near the end I'll increase my frequency to every 30 minutes.

    Hope that helps!

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  4. I use Gu exclusively. I take 1 every 40-45 minutes for any run, training or race, longer than 60 minutes. During races, I choose gatorade over water. You know the number one rule of running - never try anything new on race day! So I would say, pack as many gu as you think you need + 1 extra and leave the experimenting with long run fueling for another training cycle.

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  5. I'm a GU advocate now! I switched between GU and Clif shot bloks to really figure out what I liked more and turns out the GU is definitely easier on my stomach. My favorite so far is the Cherry Lime... yum!

    I suggest having a banana and also a Clif bar, the gluten free one with only 10grams of protein. That is my pre-race fuel and I feel like it keeps me full but energized.

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    1. i used to do a clif bar before long runs and races, white chocolate macadamia was my favorite!

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  6. I actually love the fruity strawberry banana flavored gu. I tried shot blocks this last weekend actually and I hated the texture. My advice is to use the sideline freebies but I also pack a small bag of dried pineapple or fruit to eat. It has the sugar needed but also feels a little more substantial than a gel alone.

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    1. i like the idea of dried fruit, thanks!

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  7. I love GU, I've used it in every long distance race I've done. For me, I fuel with carbs starting 2 days before the race, also drinking Nuun in all my water. Then, during the actual race, I take GU about every 4 miles. During a marathon I end up hauling a bunch of those puppies around. I love when my belt gets much more lightweight and bulky though around mile 15. :)

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    1. i feel like i need to pack a backpack for all the crap i'll need! thanks for reminding me to start hydrating before the race. i drink a lot of water but adding a sport drink is a great idea.

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  8. I have no idea what you should bring but a Five Guys Burger sounds like a great treat after the race.

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  9. I like GU and I also like SHOT BLOKS - either would be good fuel, but I do think the SHOT BLOKS with added salt would be good for a marthon... more salt is good, in my opinion. Good luck!

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    1. thanks elle, i agree about the salt because i sweat buckets :)

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  10. Dont over GU it! I did in my marathon and I puked it all back up. that is my best and only advice on it from my one and only marathon.

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    1. don't over GU it, that's priceless!! thanks christy!

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  11. i've never run a marathon so i can't "speak from experience" but what I can say is I would do a combo of both because the shot bloks you have to chew which is a completely different process your body goes through- the more you 'chew' the more your body thinks its satisfied. Although I didn't race a marathon, i did do all the training runs (20 and 21 miler) and what worked well for me was lara bar or fig newtons during run. Figs / dates are the most readily broken down and put to use type of energy you can get from a food.
    I would actually avoid cliff / luna/ other protein bars as they all have sorbitol in them (sugar alcohol) which has been proven (and even runner'w world wrote an article about it ) to cause intestinal discomfort with repeated impact exercise.. aka running.

    its not that sorbitol is 'bad' for you in terms of sugar, its just that your body absorbs it differently so it has a high tendency to cause diarrhea and cramps.

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  12. I really like the gels and they work for me during a half marathon but for a full marathon, unfortunately I don't have any experience in fueling. I would definitely say double the calories for a half marathon. Good luck girl!

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