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I Need a New Fueling Strategy

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
The 4th sport of triathlon

The 4th sport of triathlon

I’m just back from a 5k run at a 6:45 minute/km pace (which is fantastic by my standards).  I ran strong.  Strong really is the best word for it – a very fast pace by my own standards, and I crossed the finish line without gasping for air.  My lungs got a a great workout.  My legs didn’t hurt at all.  Everything felt strong…

… and then I came home and ate everything in the house.

I’m having an issue with fueling lately.  On Sunday this past weekend I stretched my run up to 16k.  I came home and ate for the rest of the day.  On Tuesday I ran 6k followed by a weight lifting session.  That night I ate two full dinners.  Yesterday stopped in at the gym on my way to work for a quick 1000m swim (ok, it wasn’t very quick at all, which I think is part of the problem here).  At work that day I felt hungry and low on energy all day long.

It seems this year, as my training amount is increasing, my fueling strategy needs to be reviewed.  My “long runs” used to be 10km – now they’re getting longer, and I’m running out of energy fast.  Check out the splits from my 16k run this week…

16k splitsYou can see right around kilometer 13 I started to run out of gas, and by kilometer 15 I’d hit the wall.  I used to eat a Clif Bar roughly 20 minutes before I start training.  Now what do I do?  I know a few folks who run long(ish) distances.  How do you handle fueling?  Do you eat more before a long run?  Do you bring food with you?

I remember a few years back I did a long charity bike ride, and tried bringing gels with me.  Yuck!  The texture was so off putting, I haven’t tried one since.  But I need to think of something to manage my calorie level so I don’t eat everything in the house for the rest of the day after a training session (because inevitably, those aren’t all “good” calories).

How do you fuel for a long session?  How long does a session need to be before you think about fueling?

  1. Lynne Brooks
    January 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Dave when I was doing my kickboxing 4 times a week and running 3 times a week, I took in a high protein shake after all of my workouts this seem to help me, because it takes longer to digest protein and it stays with you longer, you should go to a store that sells a good quality whey isolate protein. Hope this helps

  2. sweatingforit
    January 10, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I take gels for long runs (girl at the running store recommended starting with peanut butter flavor because the consistency is similar to actual peanut butter), but you may like chews. I just switched to honey stinger chews (kind of like gummy snacks) for during long runs and I’m planning on using them on triathlons too. I used to take about half a gu every 5k or so, now I’ll pop two or so chews in the same amount of time. It makes a huge difference on a long run. Anything over a 10k and I’d take fuel during.

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