Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sports Nutrition aka Gatorade and Power Bars

So, at some point I need to start training for Kielder marathon. I've been doing some good running lately. Yesterday was a 4 mile off road run, today about a 3-mile run on-road, tomorrow back off-road for 4, followed by a day off on Friday, and a superdy-duperdy long run on Saturday for about 3 hours. Usually I would do my long run on Sunday, but BB has a triathlon on Sunday. So, Saturday it is.

It is said that when running for more than an hour, one needs to start thinking about 'nutrition'. Actually, that should probably have a capital 'N' as it's rather important. If I run a half marathon (as I am on June 5 - Seaford half marathon across the South Downs btw), I will take a couple of gels and gulp them down with water at the water stations. The trouble with this, for me, is that I cannot run and drink at the same time. So, I have to stop and walk and drink and tick-tock ! I'm supposed to be in a race, no ?

Thankfully I have a solution for this, for my birthday this year, I was bought the most amazing aquapack. Basically, a rucksack that you wear on your back and in the rucksack is a waterproof bag, and a tube coming out of the bag that stretches round to your mush. So you can suck on the tube and run all at the same time. So, what to put in the bag ? I recently tried grape flavoured Gatorade, which I really liked. So, I will be trying that in the Aquapack this weekend. BB also got me a Powerbar to try the other day. I didn't like it, it was too much of a chocolate bar, something I would need to be sitting down and eating, certainly not running and eating. So, I will need to come up with something else... Many people eat jelly beans and jelly babies for the sugar hit. Ironmen (Iron people?) use malt loaf and jam sandwiches for the slow release carb, so I guess I will need to find something like that.. I'm liking the sound of jelly beans actually..

I'm just thinking it's funny that even when I'm writing about running, I'm actually still writing about FOOD!!!


  1. I don't mean to deflate your excitement regarding your new pack, but I think the speed hit you'll take by carrying a pack on your back will be worse than a brief slow down at water stations! As long as you're well fed/hydrated before the half, you'll be fine.

  2. Ah, have you looked into protein supplements for before and after? I quite like the PhD range, and use combinations of diet whey, pharma whey and waxy vol. If I am exercising early in the morning they I sometimes make a shake of protein and waxy vol blended into milk as it doesn't need to be eaten as far in advance as solid foods. I would still give it an hour or so before a run, but it really depends how you get on with it. I can manage half an hour before some exercise. Waxy vol is slow release (low GI) barley starch and I find it really helps me manage my stamina. If I have a half scoop in my shake before going to the I can easily do two energetic classes, with the second being spinning, and feel ok at the end, i.e. able to wait a while for food, and able to stretch. I also find that if I haven't had protein before working out then afterwards helps me manage my nutrition better. A small shake allows me to get on with what I need to do re: finding food without snacking on simple carbs.

    I originally started with the protein when I had my wisdom tooth out and developed a dry socket, but after that found that 300 ml skimmed milk, half scoop each pharma and diet wheys and a medium banana blended gives me a great breakfast that stops me even thinking of food until late morning. It's not the greatest tasting stuff to begin with, but I quite like it now.

    Sorry for the essay, hope it helps!

  3. Hi Andy,

    Thank you for stopping by ! I quite agree with you on the speed Vs weight of the pack thing, it's not needed for the half marathon, I agree ... BUT I want to try this out at an actual race before I do my full marathon in October, when I think I will need it.. Also this half is not like other halfs it's up cliffs, over stiles, totally off-road. I'm not sure whether there are even water stations !! Would you advise not even using it for a marathon either.. ? I'm new to using a hydration pack, so I'd be interested to hear when you think it could be useful. Maybe on the bike ? I am useless at trying to get a drink bottle back into a cage whilst on a bike. Plain useless.

    All the best. KG.

  4. Hi josiejo,

    I have tried 'For goodness shakes' ( which is a sports recovery drink. I must admit that it's always my husband who tells me what I should eat or drink (he's an Ironman/triathlete type), and I just go along with it, but for the marathon I really need to find sth that works well fo rme. The Powerbar above was far too heavy ..
    I can also suffer from tummy problems on a run so I need something that will be easily digested.. I will definitely take a look at the PhD range - do you buy it online? I'm up so early I struggle with what to have for breakfast too - at the moment a banana, a WW yoghurt and small cereal bar keeps hunger at bay all morning.

    All the best, KG.

  5. Ah I haven't tried those, thanks for the tip. Yes, I buy PhD online, usually from monster supplements but actually from whoever is cheapest (and there are big savings from the RRP to be made). I would give it a go, I find it actually helps my tummy, after a short initial period of 'interesting' effects. They say to blend it with water but I find milk is better, which is odd because ordinarily I hate the stuff, so a good way for me to get strong bones.

    Overall, protein helps my recovery whatever sport I'm doing, I've noticed an increase in stamina and overall fitness too, and I'm finally getting a flat stomach! I don't use protein in anywhere near the quantities they suggest, just 2-3 times a week depending on what I'm doing, but it's useful in the store cupboard. It's great if you're coming home from work to go back out to the gym and it's fantastic after running/cycling as it's light on the stomach and stops hunger dead. Usually I can have a shower and then prepare something sensible and nutritious to eat (my current favourite post-exercise snack being an avocado and chicken sandwich on spelt).

    Hope this helps, I think monster supplements do samples of some flavours. It works out at about £20/pouch but that pouch keeps me going about 3 months at the quantities I use.

  6. Thank you JosieJo that sounds great - especially the flat tummy part. I have tummy problems, but I find aloe vera helps to calm it.. I could run into problems during a marathon tho, hence my need to find something that both does the job, but doesn't have me rushing to find a loo ! :o(


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