Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fueling experiments

I have posted before about my concerns with fueling in distance events. I may be closer than ever before to having figured out what might work for me. This summer I have experimented a bit more than in the past, so I figured it might be time to post.

I have tried the following e-gel, e-Fuel, Chocolate#9, Nuun tablets, Stinger chews (Cherry and Fruit smoothie), GU chomps (cran apple), Heed (strawberry), Succeed Clip, ginger, peanut butter sandwich, Boost (chocolate - glucose control) along with my old standards - Clif Shot electrolyte (crisp apple), Sport beans (cherry, fruit punch, berry), Clif Shot blocks (cran razz and mt. berry), GU gels (Chocolate) and S-Caps,

Here's what I think.

S-Caps and Succeed Clip - S-Caps are the most important thing I think at keeping my stomach working. When I feel nausea coming on, I take an S-cap and it usually goes away. I have gotten in the habit of taking an S-cap every 40-45 minutes and I have not had an issue. Granted it hasn't been hot but I think if it was I would just take them a bit closer together, the thing is I have worked my way through some stomach issues with the S-Caps. Clip electrolyte, I didn't like the taste of it, it might work fine but since I didn't like the taste, I have put it aside at this time.

Clif Shot Electrolyte and Bloks - I have drunk Crisp Apple electrolyte since 2007 and I have yet to throw it up. I did get nauseous at Run Toto Run and Chippewa but both times I was drinking it through my Nathan and I failed to properly hydrate in the first hour of the run. Since I started carrying a 1/2 liter bottle and paying attention to drinking it in the first hour, no issues. The Bloks have seemed to work ok, I like the fact that I can take one or two or three based on how I am feeling, that they are easy to carry and I seem to be able to tolerate these fairly well, I like the makeup of the bloks both on hot and cold days.

e-Gel and e-Fuel - Wayne had kindly donated some after my fueling concerns at Chippewa, it has worked for him really well but for me it takes too much like gels. I have thrown up gels more than once so that is a taste I don't welcome. E-Fuel seems ok but I decided to stick with Clif Shot. My thanks to Wayne for his kindness in sharing what worked for him.

Chocolate #9 - this is good, I have just tried it and I like it but it is sweet almost like eating chocolate icing. On my last long run it worked out well, so I am going to give it a try at Surf the Murph. I think it will be really good when it gets cold. It is low glycemic which should mean the avoidance of an energy spike. Speaking of low glycemic, I should post on it, my wife has changed her diet to a low glycemic diet and it has worked for her.

GU gel and chomps - Gu gels have been replaced by Chocolate #9, I found them the best of the gels before chocolate #9 but liked them best on a cold day and I found them not as good on a warm day (too gel like). GU Chomps tasted like a solid version of a gel with a bad aftertaste. I would go for stingers or bloks.

Sport Beans - I carry these when I need a boost, I can usually tolerate them but I carry them more as a quick fuel burst if I feel a larger energy drain.

Nuun tablets - These are so easy to carry and they give me an easy alternative to my clif shot electrolyte. I don't think they work as well but over the course of a day they provide an alternative if my stomach turns against Clif Shot. Plus they are easy to carry and make up. I figured I would be able to easily use these to get a re-fill at an aid station with a handheld.

Stinger chews- No issue, seemed a bit sweeter than Clif shot bloks so I decided to stick with the bloks and beans.

Heed - Didn't like the taste of it at all.

Ginger - I have received some through orders with Zombie, I tried one and the taste was ok. Will it work for nausea, my hope is I don't need to find out but I have some in my Nathan just in case.

Coke - I would be remiss to not mention it as I count on it at the aid stations, I have found it helps give and energy boost and settle my stomach.

Chocolate Boost - I have drank these after long runs and they seem to help with my recovery.

Peanut butter sandwich - a nice alternative to gels, beans and bloks. I will probably throw one in my Nathan or my pack for Surf the Murph as I seemed to tolerate it fine.

So what do I plan on having with me at Surf the Murph? I will have Chocolate #9 gels, Clif Shot electrolyte and bloks, Sport beans, PB sandwich, Chocolate Boost, some hard candy and ginger. Then you add in the normal chips, pretzels, coke, soup (I hope), candy and smiles at the aid stations and I think I will be just fine.

So, will my fueling work for 50 miles? I will know in 4 weeks.

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