beatakf

running a race and fueling

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I am on week 2 of whole 30 and I feel great, I think my runs are suffering a little bit, but I am hoping that will change over time as my body gets used to this type of eating. I have my second half marathon this weekend and I am not sure if I can do it without fueling with gels and gatorade they provide on the course. Do I bring my own coconut water for electrolytes? Do you think if I bring fruit pouches and lara bars I will be ok? If I do have gels on this race how bad of a setback will this be? since I am new to running and this is my second half, I am still trying to figure things out and this eating paleo makes it so much harder.

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Hi Beatakf,

 

I would discourage you from eating fruit and larabars during your run, they can cause serious stomach distress even if even you haven't had trouble before. Find some compliant sweet potato baby food pouches. You really shouldn't need any electrolytes for a half marathon, but bring coconut water if you like.

 

You are on week 2, and your body is furiously working to switch from sugar burner to fat burner. This is a big transition. Please set your expectations for your race accordingly.

 

Gels are obviously not Whole30 compliant. Please note: Even if you decide this race is more important to you than staying on your Whole30, using gels probably won't work as well as you think they will, because your body is already well into in the process of transitioning to fat burning. So mull it over before you decide. And either way, be gentle with yourself. I know you want to set a brand new PR. I hope you will! But if you don't, please don't be discouraged.

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I am ok with not getting a PR, I just don't want to struggle the whole time. I will get some sweet potato or sweet potato and apple pouches for fuel. Any advice on what to eat before a race?

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Speaking from a FODMAP perspective, avoid the apples! They are high fructose, which can cause gas and bloating especially with exercise as that can increase gut motility. Same goes for dates in the Lara bars, as well as many nuts found in Lara bars. I bloat something terrible if I eat those foods.   :(

 

Most others don't seem as susceptible as I do to sweet potatoes, to my understanding they have polyols which can also cause bloating. You'll need to experiment with the foods you might use in the race during a training run to see if they cause problems for you.

 

As for pre-race, I love soft poached eggs. But that's just me, again you'll have to experiment. 

 

Good luck with the race :)

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Speaking from a FODMAP perspective, avoid the apples! They are high fructose, which can cause gas and bloating especially with exercise as that can increase gut motility. Same goes for dates in the Lara bars, as well as many nuts found in Lara bars. I bloat something terrible if I eat those foods.   :(

 

Most others don't seem as susceptible as I do to sweet potatoes, to my understanding they have polyols which can also cause bloating. You'll need to experiment with the foods you might use in the race during a training run to see if they cause problems for you.

 

As for pre-race, I love soft poached eggs. But that's just me, again you'll have to experiment. 

 

Agreed, avoid the apples. Use small amounts of banana or orange (try sucking the juice out without eating the pulp). Avoid any bar. Use a gel (not honey, not -ose) to get caloric intake to 120-160 calories / hour max. Drink up to 500ml plain water. Take a properly balance electrolyte capsule (not salt pill), NOT gatorade because that fails on all accounts.

 

Eat max 600 calories of easily digested food (carb, protein, fat) no later than 3 hours prior to race.

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I'm with Physibeth. I didn't use gels or fuels for any of my 10ks or HMs. I didn't train with them so it felt weird to me to suddenly bring a gel "just in case". I understand that a lot of people do train/use gels and other forms of fuel but for that distance it really shouldn't be necessary (though at my first HM, they gave out chocolate at the halfway mark so took one and put it in my pouch :). In fact, my friend (who does run and partake of gels) ran his last HM and ended up having a coughing fit because the gel went down the wrong wind pipe. It was so bad that he kept coughing for the remaining 5k. It was brutal. Running while drinking and or fueling can be semi dangerous. I think I instinctively avoid it for self preservation since I'm a natural klutz.

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A few things, golden rule to racing, never try anything new on race day. With that being said, it's imperative to make changes during your training. If you fuel and hydrate properly, you should be able to run a HM with only needing water to stay hydrated. I trained and completed a marathon last year while completing a whole30. A few things I did for long runs 10 or more miles:

 

Pre-run: Eat 1-2 HB egg, generous amount of cashews. If I woke up really hungry and had enough time I would have a 1/2 sweet potato with almond butter. 

 

While running, fuel with water. If you feel like you are hungry and are fatiguing- carry the baby food pouches as mentioned above. These are super easy to eat while running (slow your pace of course or stop running). 

 

I have also complete a half ironman while eating as close to whole30 as possible (due to the length of the race, there were a few noncompliant food/beverages that I didn't have a choice about). On long training rides I would pack dates filled with almond butter or Rxbars (again the lengths of the rides were over 30 miles so my body needed the calories), sweet potato with almond butter. 

 

I'm a strong believer in staying hydrated and fueling properly the week of the race/long run. This helps your body to not feel deprived. Good luck and happy running :)

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Thanks everyone! I actually felt great running my half, I fueled with sweet potato baby pouches and coconut water. Mile 12 I wanted to die, but I pushed myself and finished sprinting:)) I was really worried about running it but it felt great. What kind of bars are whole30 compatable? I will be training for my first marathon this summer, and might need something extra, especially in hot Florida. I really think I will be sticking with Paleo eating, I really like it.

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Thanks everyone! I actually felt great running my half, I fueled with sweet potato baby pouches and coconut water. Mile 12 I wanted to die, but I pushed myself and finished sprinting:)) I was really worried about running it but it felt great. What kind of bars are whole30 compatable? I will be training for my first marathon this summer, and might need something extra, especially in hot Florida. I really think I will be sticking with Paleo eating, I really like it.

Congrats on finishing your HM. Rx bars and larabars (not all kinds though) are whole30 compliant. I prefer Rx over larabars.

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Mile 12 I wanted to die, but I pushed myself and finished sprinting:))

That means you ran a great HM and ran it exactly the right way! ;) Congrats.

 

I eat larabars during races (HMs and longer).  My favorites are the apple and blueberry kinds.  The cherry one is too sweet for me.  Tasted sickeningly sweet in the late miles of a marathon.  

 

For training runs, I stick to pitted dates, but I'm going to try to use them less and less during this year's marathon training cycle.

 

Best wishes

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I eat larabars during races (HMs and longer).  My favorites are the apple and blueberry kinds.  The cherry one is too sweet for me.  Tasted sickeningly sweet in the late miles of a marathon.  

 

For training runs, I stick to pitted dates, but I'm going to try to use them less and less during this year's marathon training cycle.

It's advisable to do the same thing racing as you do training. Keep the routines the same to limit errors in thinking, logistics and biology. 

 

Also remember not to over-fuel. 200-220 calories/hour max on the bike. 120-160 calories/hour max while running. The body can't deal with anything more while exercising and only depletes body resources trying to deal with the extra. For HIMs most elite athletes stick to liquid fuel and electrolytes. (On the bike carry a concentrated supply bottle that you sip from ea. 20 minutes or so. Restock plain water in the BTA bottle from aid stations on the go.) At high intensity levels the body cannot rely solely upon fat--not if high levels of performance are desired.

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TaraA73,

   Remember to give yourself time for you body to adjust. It is absolutely normal for you to have very little energy for the first 10-14 days.

   Be gentle with yourself as this major transition occurs. Get out and do a little, but dial back rather than get discouraged.

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I really needed all your comments. .im struggling as im training for a marathon next month..no energy! Urg

Tara, where are you in your nutritional habit changes? Are you currently doing whole30? If yes, ultrarunnergirl is exactly right. If not, is your low energy something general throughout the day or more limited to certain types of workouts? Have you made any changes in your marathon training? Are you cross-training?

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