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2867 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 29, 2009 9:26 AM by cyndi t
SethW06 Amateur 25 posts since
Oct 13, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 29, 2009 3:21 AM

first long run and food/gels ?

Hi everyone,


I've been running for the last six months or so, run a few 5Ks, and in my training I'm up to running consistently 10K distance in ~58-60 min.  As of now, when I run outside I don't bring anything to eat or drink with me, and when I run on the treadmill I will usually take a few sips of water.  From talking to other runners, it sounds like for runs much beyond an hour I need to start taking in some calories during the run.


I know the answer will be that I will have to see what ultimately works for me, but I'd like to hear what works for other runners in terms of both the food/drink/gels and timing.  For example, if I'm planning a 7 mile run, do you eat/drink around 3.5 miles or wait until closer to the end?  Thanks for any suggestions and advice.



2009 Races

Baltimore Running Festival 5K 10/10/09 29:53

RAMPace 5K 11/21/09 28:15

2010 Races

Tri to Help Maryland Indoor Triathlon 3/6/10 525yds/10min swim, 10.2mi/30min bike, 2.08mi/20min run

Shamrock 8K 3/20/10 46:34

Apple Blossom 10K 5/1/10 56:32

Celebration Sprint Triathlon 6/27/10 2:20:59

Hammer Man Triathlon 9/25/10 1:40:42

Columbus Half-Marathon 10/17/10 2:10:12

  • trailchick Amateur 7 posts since
    Jun 30, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 29, 2009 4:10 AM (in response to SethW06)
    Re: first long run and food/gels ?

    Hey there!


    I know I'll probably be told I am sooo wrong, but still at that distance I really don't worry about food and drinks at all.  If it's super hot out I might carry some water if I'm heading out for 8-10, but i think you should be able to go for an hour (again, not in extreme weather) and be fine.   The only time I've ever used gels or food was when I was training for a marathon and my mileage was getting past 15. But that's me.


    Listen to your body.  If you really feel the need for something it will tell you when, probably not until mile 5 or 6 or so.  I prefer the jelly beans, but it's been so long since I used anything I'm out of the loop on what's out there.  Stash a water bottle halfway on your run and I bet you will be just fine!



  • bellsway Legend 343 posts since
    Jan 28, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 29, 2009 4:44 AM (in response to SethW06)
    Re: first long run and food/gels ?

    I can go for an hour without water but if I'm going long, I usually try to drink every half hour.  As for eating, I tried Gatorade but it made me queasy around 16 miles.  I've changed to GU and take it every 45 min. to an hour.  The GU pkg. recommends every 45 min.  I'd suggest that you go by time rather than miles.  I'm a slow runner so for me anything over 6 miles is taking me over an hour so I'll bring along water and drink every 20 min. or so.  If the run is 9 miles or more, I'll bring GU and take the first one after about an hour since I know I'm going to be running close to 90 min.  You want to take in the water before you feel thirsty.  By the time you're thirsty you're running at a deficit.  When you are dehydrated your heart is beating faster at the same running pace.  When your carbs and electrolytes are depleted you'll be running on empty so to speak and start to feel terrible.  Best to take in the carbs before that happens.

    Plan your run and then run your plan.

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 29, 2009 5:35 AM (in response to SethW06)
    Re: first long run and food/gels ?

    Your body typically has enough stored fuel (glycogen) to last you 15-20 miles, so you don't really need to bring anything to eat on a seven mile run. That's not to say that some extra calories will hurt -- just that you might not need them at that distance. This is especially true if you eat something before you head out for your run.


    To me, hydration is a different story. I bring fluids with me no matter how long or short I'm going. I typically sip every five minutes or so, but sometimes it's more frequent, other times it's less frequent. This is especially true when it's very hot (or if I'm indoors on a treadmill -- I overheat something fierce indoors). I need to stay well-hydrated at all times for medical reasons, so I don't leave anything to chance on that front.


    You can, to some degree, kill two birds with one stone by using a sports drink. Gatorade/Powerade/HEED typically have about 50-60 calories per eight-ounce serving, so a 20-ounce water bottle should provide 125-150 calories. That should be more than enough to help get you through a seven mile run.



    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • cyndi t Legend 1,061 posts since
    Aug 11, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 29, 2009 9:26 AM (in response to SethW06)
    Re: first long run and food/gels ?

    Hi Seth,

    For runs under 6 miles, I usually don't eat or drink anything before or during a run although I do keep water available if I need it (I run loops so I just leave a bottle by my driveway which I pass each lap).  For anything more than that, I will eat 1/2 a protein bar pre run and then drink either a few gulps of G2 and water around mile 4.  I don't use any mid run fuel unless I'm going over 10 miles and then I prefer Accel Gel.  I've tried Gu a few times but really don't do as well with it (a little heavier consistency and it doesn't sit well with me) but that's really trial and error.  I will then use the gel somewhere around mile 7 and then about every 1/2 hour or so thereafter if necessary.  I do have a hydration belt but I dont' really like it so I don't use it but like I said earlier, I run loops so its not an issue right now.  When I start venturing outside my neighborhood I'll need to use the belt.



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