Marathon Running and Race Support
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How do I take in Fuel during Winter Training?

I struggle with low blood sugar so am going to have to learn how to take in fuel now that my long runs are extending over an hour. While training for my walking marathon a few years ago, I was able to master eating and drinking while power walking, but I failed miserably today trying to take in water while running (I think I wore more than what went in my mouth 😆). So, I had to wait until I got to my turn around point to peel off my jacket and drink some water. Although today was a balmy 2C, most of my winter training will be in much colder temperatures (-15C or colder on average) so any advice on how to prevent my water from freezing would also be greatly appreciated. I have 2 different fuel belts - one with a single 500 ml bottle, the other with 2 x 500 ml bottles. I was whoozy after my run today on my drive home so I will definitely need to carry a fuel source for future runs. I was a little off before my run so I took my water belt and fruit gummies on my run in case I had struggles. Other than heavy legs for the last 1k (I ran faster than planned...oops) I felt good during the run but got light headed and whoozy on my cool down walk so I ate the gummies and had a decent drink of water. I'll have to see if my local sport store carries gel packs, I guess. They'll likely be easier to take in while running, I would think than food you have to chew (and will get harder with freezing). Any advice on how others deal with this would be greatly appreciated!

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How long are your runs?

I run with two 300 ml bottles. I like it when my bottles get some ice in them, but it hasn't happened so far this season, and my coldest run has been -7. I ran at -14 last year, and only some of my water froze, so it shouldn't be a problem. I suspect it has to do with the belt brand. Last year I ran with a Ron Hill belt, this year Nathan.

I bring jelly babies in my pocket, and have been eating one every 2 K. On this week's long run, I had one every 20 minutes, followed by a swig of water. It worked surprisingly well. I didn't need the gel I had brought at all.

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Thanks C3PO. It is reassuring to know I shouldn't have any problem with the water bottles freezing up. I was worried the spouts would freeze rendering the bottle useless on the run. If it happens with the belt I have, I can try a different brand. At this point, my runs are 75+ minutes but I'd like to work up to HM distance over winter . I suspect my longest runs will be between 2 - 2 1/2hours as the distance increases.

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You stop, drink, carry on 🙂or drink from a bottle with a bite valve

A recommendation for a proper calorie replacing drink is the Tailwind sachets. Powder which you mix into a 600 ml bottle, or jug and then tip it into your chosen bottle. It’s for long runs and gives back 200 calories You can always carry an extra sachet if needs be if you have access to water en route. If not you have to tote another bottle. I think one bottle of it would be enough for two hours if it’s not hot weather

It bought a box of it for my marathon as it was recommended to me by a post on here 😀

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Thanks misswobble. I'll look into that. I could use my double bottle belt and use Tailwind in one and water in the other. I used a Shaklee product when I was training before and liked it, but what I have is old so will need to get something new.

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I went to the Tailwind website. I really like the sounds of it. I'll need to order some. Thanks for mentioning it.

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During my last marathon I managed to consume 1 gel, 6 jelly babies, and 6 Mars Bar bites on the run. The trick was to slow down, time swallowing with breathing out, and have a sip of drink ready to chase the food down. That said, I might practice this a bit during training of course, but mostly I would just stop to eat and drink - I always take rest breaks on long runs anyway, so that's a good time to eat. And to be honest I would also consider walking to eat during a race, which I did do with my other gel at Brighton :)

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Mmmm mars bar bites, that sounds like my kinda fuel 😋. I'd have to hide them from the family though, they are a definite family favourite. I don't think I'll be coordinated enough to chew and run (can I pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time 🤔😜) so will likely need to slow down or walk during those times. I had to stop on yesterday's run twice - once to detour into the public library to use their washroom and the second to peel off my jacket (and drink some water) so if it needs to become part of my longer runs so my nutrition and hydration can be balanced, it's worth it.

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The Tailwind is supposed to be all you need, no extra food or gels required, which is why I bought it It tastes ok too

Yeah walk, eat and drink. Multi-task! LOL

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I like that they describe the taste as mild, and it sounds like you'd agree on that? Some of the products are sickening sweet even when your tummy isn't in a state of distress.

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They had a Canadian store that carries it and will ship for a reasonable price so I just placed my order. Very excited! The store I ordered it from is in the city where my brother-in-law lives but I don't want to wait (and if we go over Christmas I'm not sure if they'll be open or if I want to brave the Christmas shoppers & traffic 😫). It is 7hours away from us, so this online ordering sounded more reasonable. I'm waaaay too excited over this 😆! Thanks again misswobble! You're helping feed my running addiction (literally 🤣)

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I haven't watched this, saw it linked from a blog I was reading, thought of you...

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Thanks for the link roseabi. Some useful tips I hadn't thought of -like using the little charcoal activated handwarmers (I have bags of for skiing and snowmobiling!) to keep your fuel warm.

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Update from me. I did an 18 K run this week at -4. I was wearing a backpack with a hydration pack, and it froze about halfway. I tried to squeeze the tube to break up the ice, but it didn't work. I suspect that the culprit was the fact that I was only sipping water every 20 minutes, instead my usual every 2 K, giving the tube plenty of time to freeze.

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Good to know C3PO. That is unfortunate that that happened. Were you using plain water? I read somewhere that using an electrolyte solution may reduce the risk of freezing given the salt content if you're so inclined to use one of them .

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It was regular water. I'll have to look into your tip!

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If you try it, let me know how it works since you're out there covering some serious distances!

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2.5 hour run today, but the temperature was only just below 0. I poured half a bottle of Lucozade in with my water, and it didn't freeze. But it could have just as well been the temperature.

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I'm planning on a 90 minute run on Sunday and the forecast is a high of -16. I'm let you know if I freeze or not at that temp. I'm using a 16 oz water bottle in a waist pack. Will be interesting to see if it freezes or not.

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