Nutrition & Running – Still Figuring It Out

Nutrition. There is SO much information out there. Good, bad and scary. I’ve added a goal to my list this year. I really want to focus on nutrition. I’ve done an okay job in the past, but I can definitely make improvements. I look at my body now and see the accomplishments I’ve made –> 3:50 marathon, 1:43 half marathon, 3rd in AG for a 5k, 6:40 mile…then I think, “imagine how much more I can accomplish if I get my nutrition dialed in.” My goal is to gain muscle and become more efficient at using fat for energy. Maybe I am waaay behind on this but I have gone to a few nutrition seminars recently, and it seems like everyone is talking about using fat as fuel. Now, I am not going to get too into this because I am still learning about it myself. But the basic idea is to train your body to be more efficient at burning fat, not carbs. The energy yield from a gram of fat is approximately 9 kcal compared to 4 kcal for carbohydrates.

Benefits of using fats for energy:

  • Fat loss (which, depending on your goals may or may not be a benefit for you)
  • No “bonking” or “hitting the wall” because of low blood sugar
  • Improved performance
  • Faster recovery
  • No GI issues (aka runner poops)

These are just some of the benefits of using fat for fuel. AND it depends on you. Everyone is different. Personally, I think I will and already have benefited from changing up my diet/fuel routine for my training. I think it has been about 3 weeks since I started using Vespa. Vespa is a pretty amazing product that I was introduced to by the great peeps working at Fleet Feet Sac. Instead of even trying to explain what it does I recommend clicking this link and reading about their product: vespapower.com

When I was introduced to this product I was hoping to cut out GU all together, and just use this. I really am sick of the taste, consistency and the ingredients in GU Gels. I was told that was unrealistic. I was then told I should try Hammer Endurolytes with Vespa, and I will likely cut down on my GU intake.

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So I also got these. Why has it taken me over 3 years to realize I need an electrolyte supplement and maybe I’ll not feel so crappy after my runs?

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I mean, not all my runs were crappy, but since incorporating these electrolyte capsules with Vespa I have to say I have never felt better during my runs. My recovery has been going well also. My legs aren’t as tired or heavy the day after a hard run; I feel refreshed. I also stopped using GU and switched to Cliff Bloks. The ingredients are better and its kinda like eating candy. I’ll take it for now.

Depending on what kind of training I am doing (Kaia FIT, long run, hill repeats…) will determine what I take pre training. The Hammer Endurolytes and Vespa I will take before long runs or if I am going to Kaia FIT and running after. Anything that is going to be for a prolonged period of time. If it is a short run or early in the AM – like 4am when I wake up to go to my 5am Kaia classes I’ll drink an Arbonne Fizz Stick. I also drink them during the day for a pick me up.

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Gotta say, I f-ing LOVE these things! Probably my favorite Arbonne product. These are great because they have less than 1 gram of sugar, contain B vitamins, electrolytes, guarana, taurine…some of the benefits you can see listed below. I also drink one of these right before a race. Now I’m not saying they help me PR…but I drank one before the Labor Day 5k that I placed 3rd in my age group, I had one before the Urban Cow half where I had a PR of 1:43 – a 7 minute PR from my last half marathon, and I had one before CIM 2014 where I had a marathon PR of 3:53 – which was a 3 minute PR from my last marathon.

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For recovery I try to always make sure to have a protein shake. I use Arbonne’s protein as well.

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After trying everything from Target protein (so embarrassed to admit that, but it is true!) to Vega I finally found a protein I love. Taste & ingredients! Arbonne’s protein is highly absorbable, easily digested & it has a 100% amino acid score. Which is great for muscle recovery.

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  So as I mentioned my training has been going great. I feel super strong on my runs and at the gym. This is a new process for me and my plan is to never stop learning. There will always be something new. Here is my training run from today:

SLO/McMillan Training 60 minute Medium Long Run by haleymg at Garmin Connect – Details.

I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the changes. I am about 1 month into my SLO Marathon & OC Marathon training with my personalized McMillan training plan. I think that has helped with my overall fitness as well. I am slowly learning the balance I need to train successfully. Slowly but surely 😉

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7 thoughts on “Nutrition & Running – Still Figuring It Out

  1. Nutrition is a tricky little bugger. I find that sometimes even if I stick to what I know, my body still has potential to go psycho mid-race. It’s all about experimenting.

  2. Glad you are getting it dialed in. I could never do Gu, from the jump. To harsh on my weak stomach! Hammer has been amazing and the salt tablets totally make a difference too. I’m actually thinking I should try to eat something fun towards the end of the race, because by my 4th Hammer I’m over it. But I haven’t tested it out yet 😦 xoxo, ganeeban

    • I recently had SunRype bars. You may want to look into those They are really good! I am thinking of using them when I need something to eat during a race.

  3. Nutrition is so key, and I think in many ways it’s harder to get it right than the training itself. I’m definitely a work in progress with mine!

  4. Good article. I use the Hammer Endurolytes and Hammer Gels (because they don’t have caffeine). I also drink Gatorade and eat bananas and granola bars when I’m out on really long runs( 25+ miles). 37 Calories for the Vespa doesn’t seem like enough, but I’ll have to check it out!

    • It seems crazy, right? I don’t know if I will get to that level but I am training my body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs & I love what Vespa has done so far.

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