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3464 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2010 5:45 PM by Thrash1
LPARafael Pro 166 posts since
Sep 13, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 24, 2010 12:53 PM

Energy bars, gels, coffee???!!!

I am fairly new to running - actually I call it still partly jogging and partly walking - as I have been doing this about three months now.  I started it as part of a weight loss routine - lost 45 pounds and started feeling good about things, no more arthritic pain in the knees, so i started walking about April.  Pretty soon I was able to increase my distance and speed, to the point where I was going to attempt to walk a half marathon.  My pace was down to a sub15 MM and purely walking.  I was unable to participate in the half marathon as I had to travel for work, but I digress.  I figured that if I wanted to build in some wiggle room to complete a half marathon I should start jogging a bit and so far so good.  I have completed three 5Ks so far and all have been under 35 minutes, the last being 31:40.  If I am to increase my distance, as well as my time, I need to get better educated in a lot of things.  One of these things is maintaing proper nutrition during my training, as well as during the races themselves.  I don't know anything about energy bars or gels from a bath gel.  For the 5Ks I have been going to Starbucks for a tall coffee and a coffee cake to start off my day.  I hear about carbo loading the previous night for the longer distances, but nothing about what I need during the race.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

To paraphrase Newton, "A body in motion tends to stay in motion", so keep those feet moving ....

2012 Races

Year 2 Year 5K - 12/31 - 1/1

Tinkerbell Half Marathon - 1/29

Rock n Roll Pasadena Half marathon - 2/19

Old Agoura 10K - 3/24

O2O Half Marathon - 6/3

City Impact Half Marathon - 6/16

Channel Islands 10K - 7/4

Disneyland Half - 9/2

Marine Corps Marathon - 10/28

  • Thrash1 Rookie 5 posts since
    May 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 24, 2010 2:19 PM (in response to LPARafael)
    Re: Energy bars, gels, coffee???!!!

    In a serious effort you can sustain output for about an hour and a half before you need to refuel(eat). Most fueling depends on how well you eat throughout the day. You not only need carbs but they need to be clean carbs for sustained efforts.


    Instead of the coffee cake choose something a little more simple like a bagel or oatmeal. Skip all the add-ons and you have a good start to your training day. Starbucks also carries mixed fruit cups and yogurt/fruit cups. I Try to eat 500-600cal per meal with 200-300cal snacks in between. Notice I didn't say don't drink coffee :-) but caffine has its own downfalls. Even though it reduces some of the preceived effort it also reduces your ability to hydrate properly. In the Heat that is very bad as you can loose up to 4-6lbs of just water weight on a longer run even drinking 300-500ml of water per hour.


    Back to your original question if your workout/race is shorter than on hour Skip the Gels/Bars and drink good old H20(or Lite Electrolyte Fluids, G2, NUUN, ZeroPowerade). One hour Plus some type of Sports Drink(Cytomax, Gatorade or Powerade). Over Two Hours your glycogen stores are running low so start eating Gel's or Bars about 1-1/2hrs into your Run or Race Whichever works with your digestive system and remember to drink 100-200ml of water with any gel or bar you eat. If you don't your body WILL pull fluids from your blood to aid in the digestive process and could lead to overheating and dehydration.


    There are Tons of articals on nutrition, Google is your friend here. The Triathlete Training Bible(Joe Friel) has an entire section devoted to the subject.


    Happy Running

  • silvereagle Legend 1,159 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Nov 24, 2010 3:35 PM (in response to LPARafael)
    Re: Energy bars, gels, coffee???!!!



    To me the bottom line is you need to try different things during your training runs to find out what works for you and what dont. its a process that doesnt happen over night. everything you read should be a guide for you to make your own plan on what you need. you need fuel and water so its up to you to make the choices of what foods, how much and how often, because everyone is different, most of all you need to learn during training runs.....




    It's not only about finishing, its about finishing healthy!

  • Marathon1981 Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 30, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 24, 2010 8:13 PM (in response to LPARafael)
    Re: Energy bars, gels, coffee???!!!

    I think the advice others have given is great!  One thing I would add is make sure to fuel post workout.  A ratio of 4:1 Carbs to Protein is what you should shoot for. Just a little snack to help your body repair itself.  A glass of milk (lots of people rave about chocollate milk post workout)  I slice of Deli meat and an apple.  Remember it is when we rest that our bodies get stronger.

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Nov 25, 2010 4:33 AM (in response to LPARafael)
    Re: Energy bars, gels, coffee???!!!

    I think Dennis hit it right on the head.  You need to find out what works best for you.  Follow simple guidelines but then try different combinations to find what works best for you.  It took me a couple training cycles to really get a feel for what helped and what hurt.  Best advice I got was to pay close attention to how your feeling at around the 1 hr point in your runs.  That's when I usually start using energy bars.  Typically I eat 1/2 an energy bar at around the 1 hr mark and then again in 45 min to 1 hr.  I also make sure and drink electrolytes during all long runs over an hour, usually every couple of miles I'll drink a couple ounces to keep myself hydrated.  It took my a while to find the right combo but once you figure it out it really makes a big difference in maintaining you stamina.  Good luck!


    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • sueinNC Pro 80 posts since
    Jan 31, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Nov 30, 2010 12:44 PM (in response to LPARafael)
    Re: Energy bars, gels, coffee???!!!

    Thrash 1 had a great synopsis. Coffee depends on the runner. It is my addiction of choice however I only count half the ounces as most research, but not the lates,t says it is a diuretic. For some people it is a laxitive as well and that is something you may need to factor in.  I haven't solved the problem with sticky GU packets, so right now I am leaning toward chomps which are sortof firmer gummy bears or fruit chews with simple carbs and some electrolytes. Good luck you are making great progress. Runners world has tons of articles on various aspects of nutrition.

    Jan 1, 2010 39% body fat

    July 1, 2010 28 % body fat

    Total pounds lost: 4.5

    Crawdads Home Run Trot 5/8/10  5k 44:29

    Hickory Crusaders 5k 8/23/10  Volunteered- shut down a road

    Komen race for the cure 5K 10/16/10 45:20

    Hot chocolate 10k 1/22/10 Asheville, NC 1:30:00

  • Thrash1 Rookie 5 posts since
    May 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Nov 30, 2010 5:45 PM (in response to sueinNC)
    Re: Energy bars, gels, coffee???!!!

    For Longer Runs Clif/Energy bars would be too heavy and you would need to go with something more digestible like Gummies or Gels. There's just not enough time(45-50min) for the digestive process to work and get your body what it needs to continue to perform. You probably felt full, cramps or nausea. Those are caused from not enough water during your refueling process, Fruits and Meats would be good post run to aid recovery but they contain too much fiber(Oranges, Apples) to digest quickly enough to help during your run. Banana's are the exception but they tend to give me stomach upset during hard efforts. They may work for you though.


    For Cycling Clif/Engery Bars work OK, but you aren't bouncing up and down like you do running. I use a combination of both Bars/Gels for longer Rides +3hrs.  For Extended Runs +13mi I prefer Gel's only, some prefer Chomps/Gummies with H20 chaser(I use it to douse on hot days LOL). I've tried both but and find Gels work better for me.


    Gatorade/Powerade should also Be considered in the Calorie Replenishment since it typically has (50cal/8fl oz) and aid in electrolite replacement.


    Just remember 200-300cal per hour and Drink 100ml-250ml per hour H2O to help digestion, increase water 300ml-500ml or more on hot days. And if your run is +1-1/2 hours start refueling(GU/Chomp/Gatorade/Powerade) 45 min into your run and every 30-45 after that. It takes a little experimentation to find the combinations that best work for you. But that's why we train

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