Bleuch! And other musings: Hello dear... - Marathon Running ...

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Bleuch! And other musings

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon
โ€ข26 Replies

Hello dear running fiends ๐Ÿ‘น

Woke up today to another gorgeous sunny morning and I was eager to get out before it got too hot. So after some toast and peanut butter, with an hour to digest, off I popped to find out if last weekโ€™s 14k run was a flook.

I also thought I should start experimenting with some on the go fuel. I was in Holland and Barrett buying nuts last week (I am part squirrel), and saw this seemingly natural and useful fruit purรฉe things that you can use on a run. At 9k, feeling confident I would be going on to 14k plus, I slurped some down. It tasted VILE. Then, 10 mins later, my stomach agreed, and started to hurt. Ah well, guess thatโ€™s not right for me then! Next week: Peanut Clif bar. Watch this space.

Quick Q: is Tailwind in your water enough to fuel a HM? Havenโ€™t tried that yet.

In other news, my VO2 max drops a point after a long run. WTF?!

Happy sunny Easter running, chums!

Sadie-runs xxx

26 Replies
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Sadie-runsHalf Marathon

PS I have been running for over 18 months now but am a complete novice when it comes to fuelling right, it transpires.

Madge50Half Marathon

Looking good there Sadie, this is probably no help to you at all, but iโ€™ll be interested in the replies you get. I havenโ€™t used tailwind, have used rehydration tabs dissolved in my water on hot runs - seems to help, I have used gels, however, I tend to use only jelly babies every 5k when training, and so far plenty for me for a HM, - Iโ€™m ravenous afterwards though cave woman stylee.....๐Ÿ˜‚

Iโ€™m not convinced these manufactured refuelling things are much help. I donโ€™t recall any particular change when using gels - however, I do gulp them down - a mate recently suggested they should be sipped.....and not to take water immediately with them, but wait a few minutes......Iโ€™ve got some freebies, so plan to test that out over the coming weeks, otherwise Iโ€™m sticking to my jelly babies....๐Ÿ˜‚

Hope you find something that suits


Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Madge50

Thanks Madge! Given how my tummy felt after the fruit purรฉe thing, Iโ€™m not confident Iโ€™d be okay on gels! ๐Ÿคข But, unfortunately I appear to be a hungry runner. I have used half a Clif bar (really tasty, like a flapjack) before, so will give that another go. Interested in Tailwind as I would rather not have to eat anything solid at all in my HM! Will also try your jelly baby trick - thanks for that! Rehydration tablets in water are a godsend when itโ€™s hot, arenโ€™t they?

I will keep you posted on my human experiment!

Sadie xxx

SaskAlliecatHalf Marathon in reply to Madge50

Interesting comment on not taking them with water immediately Madge. When I was trying to use gels, my understanding was to take some water with them to help reduce gi distress that can be associated with them. I switched to Tailwind because I found they are so sweet, my tummy just doesn't care for them and I'm never sure if I have enough water or not with them. Now, it has been a few years since I've tried fuelling with gels, so perhaps it has changed? And I imagine every person is a bit different.

Madge50Half Marathon in reply to SaskAlliecat

Thanks sask, they do ones with water, which apparently you donโ€™t need to drink with.....(Isogels) not that I like those one very much they are bulky to carry.

I must admit I donโ€™t like too much sweet/sugary, 4jelly babies = 1 gel, I can only stomach 3 jelly babies at a time and am usually desperate for something savoury at the end, and Iโ€™ve only ever taken 3 gels max, otherwise they begin to make my stomach washing machine like.

I might try these clif bloc things and perhaps tailwind - that certainly seems to have good reviews.


SaskAlliecatHalf Marathon

I switched to Tailwind because after training for a full walking marathon and using gels hourly on training and race day (for 6 hours ๐Ÿ˜ณ), I just can't take them any more. My stomach was so queasy by the end. As I mentioned above, it was my understanding to ensure you have enough water when you take them to help with gi distress, but perhaps this philosophy has changed (it has been a few years since I did that). You can change the concentration of the Tailwind depending on how much you add to the water (I buy the big bags, not the individual portions) and have been using about 3 scoops per litre of water (but I might increase that for my next long run). My issue lately in my long runs, is I get hungry about an hour in. I tried the Maple syrup portable fuel last week (too sweet but will keep in hand for emergency) and am experimenting with different "foods" on the go. On my trail runs, I may try more real foods (like peanut butter sandwiches and baked potato) but for now on this HM attempt next week, I'll be taking some real fruit gummies and Cadbury mini chocolate eggs with the hope that the Tailwind will be enough. C3PO has used cheese chunks and roseabi spoke of Mars bars bites (I really liked them in the winter when they would freeze, it may be too warm now). Feeling is such an individual thing. What works for one person, may not work for another so you have to experiment a bit on your runs to see what works for you.

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to SaskAlliecat

Thanks dear Sask and ha ha! I had the feeling that fuelling is just a matter of trial and error; we are all so individual I suppose. But, very helpful to hear of your experiences. ๐Ÿค” I do like the idea of going with โ€œrealโ€ food, as thatโ€™s how I eat day to day! I will experiment...

Sadie-runs xxx

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to SaskAlliecat

Oh, and good luck for your HM next week, I look forward to hearing how you get on! You got this. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

SaskAlliecatHalf Marathon in reply to Sadie-runs

Thanks Sadie ๐Ÿ˜Š. I'm a little nervous. Haven't been able to run since Tuesday due to a busy on call schedule but will get out for a run on Monday, I hope ๐Ÿคž. I should be well rested....maybe. There's is still 4 more nights of call before my HM attempt.

Oh Sadie, that's a really solid run there, you are a clever lady you know and with such stamina too, I'm so proud of you. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

Can't offer any advice on the old fuelling, but I will peruse with interest as to how you get on xxx ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to quirkybee

๐Ÿ˜˜ Oh you are kind, Beth! I am very excited and ready for a new challenge, but no idea how it is going to pan out! I am just going to trust the training plan and do my best. ๐Ÿ˜Š But 21k is a whole new ball game - itโ€™s like I have to learn a whole new sport! 14km was hard today, so I cannot even imagine running 21k right now...but I trust the training plan (I kinda have to!) I hope that you are well, lovely. xxx


Hi Sadie, not sure if it would help but for both my HMs I used Tailwind and a couple of maple gels. They are very sweet being made of maple syrup but I have a sweet tooth so they worked for me. On my 30k race I also brought two but could have used three really. Also sometimes bring trail mix on longer 18km+ runs. I am using Nuun for the drink mix now (similar to Tailwind) as it is just easier for me to access.

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Decker

Thanks Decker. I think I need to try me some Tailwind. ๐Ÿ˜ Unfortunately I donโ€™t have a sweet tooth, so super sweet stuff just makes me gag! Even jelly babies are a bit of a struggle! I can handle the sweetness of a flapjack with honey, so that is in my list of โ€œto trysโ€. So much to learn! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Wow Sadie you are really progressing and doing fabulously!! Remember how ridiculous 5k seemed in the beginning? You will definitely get to HM, have faith :) xx. Looking at your puree stuff...My general rule of thumb is anything other than a real banana is repulsive, so avoid at all costs! How would a real one go down on a run do you think, too bulky? xx

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Fishypieface

Aw, thanks FPF! I still feel like I have a mountain to climb, and hope the ole body can cope with all of this! Hips a bit achy today, so think I am going to have to investigate โ€˜hip strengthening exercisesโ€™ now. Sigh, another thing to add to my weekly regime!

And yep, am thinking I am going to experiment with natural foods - donโ€™t know what I was thinking with that vile baby food crap! Will try banana. ๐ŸŒ (But without skin ๐Ÿ˜‚) xxx

I have a deffo problem with my left hip/ arse.... niggling again but higher up now!! After a day of wheelbarrowing yesterday I could do with a stick to walk today!! ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„ So I shall rest it well and stick with the gym for a week I think. Let me know of any good exercises you find. Good luck with your fuelling.... I would keep it light, I run on an empty stomach too and the thought of any food is grim ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคข. Iโ€™ll be interested to hear what works well xx

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Fishypieface

Bloody niggles. Grrr. I always think the best remedy for a niggle is to rest and desist from the activity that is causing the niggle, so good call, FPF. I am not going to run again until Weds now, so a good 3 days rest from running for me. This is what I have found and am going to try:

Will report back!

Sadie-runs xxx


Good idea to experiment before the event. Take enough of your favourite to last you during the race. I made the mistake of taking a freebie gel during my marathon. It tasted like liquidised orange peel and drain cleaner! I needed it though so gulped it down. Bananas are often offered at water stations so maybe try out your reaction to those?

My VO2 max goes down too when I start increasing the distance and doing fewer short fast 5-10k runs. I think the algorithm in running watches sees a lower sustained heart rate over a longer period (e.g. a 21k joggy Hm run) as somehow less deserving of a VO2max Brownie point than a few flat out 5k Parkruns. It could also be that we sacrifice a bit of cardio fitness (from high hr short runs) for endurance fitness in the legs by running longer. I expect my VO2max to spike upwards when I run some future HM events though, as we tend to push the limit in races, so my heart rate will be much higher than in training runs. My VO2max started off around 42 in c25k days and went up to 47 after c25k. On starting to run longer distances during marathon training it went DOWN to 44! Then after the race back up to 49 by the autumn. This year it has been oscillating between 48-49 depending on how often I put in a short fast 5k/10k to get it back up to 49. I'm hopeful I might see 50 after my first HM race next month but I fear age is against me in terms of how high VO2max can go.

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Lordi

Well, maybe Iโ€™ll let go of my obsession with my VO2 max then, Lordi! I was just so pleased at how it was creeping up at the start of the year, it is hard to see it sliding down! It always shoots up a point when I do intervals or a quick 5k, and to be fair, it is only 2 points down now from where it was in Feb, and still in the excellent I should just let it go, right?!

Drain cleaner! Yes, thatโ€™s how the stuff I had tasted! Bleuch! But it was more the effect on my stomach that worried me - it really hurt. ๐Ÿ™

Thanks for your reply. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

SW16Half Marathon

If its any use, I nibbled on Nakd bars through my HM. (All natural ingredients, dates, nuts, berries etc. ) I have no scientific proof about how or what they do in terms of the impact on my running, but they are easy to break into smallish pieces and donโ€™t take too much chewing. I had a piece every mile post, a very welcome treat! I have tried gels but found them unpalatable. I guess its each to their own. Hope you find your favourite.

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to SW16

Oh I shall try those, SW16! I am now veering towards the more โ€˜naturalโ€™ fuels, and I am guessing it will very much be trial and error (though hopefully not too much error). Plan is to truly get it sussed before the race. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘


Fab run Sadie! I use SiS Go (tropical... not keen on the other flavours) in my water for long runs or even one flask of SiS and one water. I've not compared the two products but I image they're similar; electrolytes and carbs.

I think you would have to either drink more than you would want to carry or increase the powder ratio to such an amount that it would be unpalatable to consider just fuelling with that.

I prefer a couple of snack bars. I did try a gel thing on a ride once but the texture is awful, just not for me.

I usually start at 4 to 5 miles with just a couple of bites each mile so 2 to 3 snacks. Nakd bars are great. I also like Frusili for an oaty treat. My rule of thumb is start to nibble towards the end of the first hour and keep it up from there. My fiance likes Clif, I find them a little too dense and heavy but we both like Wiggle fruit bars, softer and more squidgy, easier to nibble.

Long runs (usually 9 miles+) I finish with a protein recovery drink. I use SiS rego but you can buy "for goodness shakes" in the supermarket which are pretty good too. Ideally you need to have this within 30 mins of stopping.

Fuelling is an important part but we are all very different with our needs so it's great to experiment early.

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Thanks Jo! Good to hear about your experiences. Nakd bars have come up twice now, so I shall try those. My stomach tends to react well to oaty things. ๐Ÿ˜Š I am normally an empty stomach/early morning runner, but clearly that wonโ€™t work for a half marathon! I need to train my stomach now. ๐Ÿ˜‚

KatnapHUHM v10Mile

Have you tried making your own fuel? If you can cope with flapjacks you can try adding different dried fruit to the mix: apricot, goji berries, cherries, pineapple. Or different seeds and nurs: sunflower, millet, walnut.

Banana bread? It can be quite heavy so maybe cut a slice into smaller cubes?

๐Ÿ˜ธ Katnap ๐Ÿ˜ธ

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Katnap

Banana bread! Now thatโ€™s a great idea! I could add some walnuts too, right? Thanks Katnap. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

KatnapHUHM v10Mile in reply to Sadie-runs

No worries! Happy experimenting and happy running! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ช

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