General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!) Rss Feed  
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2016-08-02 9:22 PM

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Subject: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)

I did Vineman last Saturday and ended up with an unexpected 54 minute PR at a 12:12:23.  This was huge (especially for a 58 year old!) but I felt I could have done even better if I could have kept on fueling during the run.  Fueling and hydration went great on the bike and the first part of the run.  I felt I was hydrating right on target and gels were going down every 30 minutes just like in training, but gels stopped being an option somewhere around the 16 mile mark; I just couldn't stomach another one.  My pace fell off and my HR dropped down into z1 and I just could not get it to come back up and sustain it.   I've only used gels on the run for my marathons and tris, what are some of the other options you've found to be effective.  12:12:23 is close enough to sub-12 that I've got to chase it.



2016-08-02 10:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
Were you drinking water? My normal setup when I have gels is to grab them at an aid station and carry it for ~.75 mile and then down it with a little time to spare so I can drink water quickly after. Gels + sugar drinks don't mix well with me. I do drink sugar drinks between gels though or even at the same aid station, after the water, if I feel like the gel went down ok.

Edit: Also congrats on the PR! Vineman was my first full IM. Felt amazing crossing the line. Loved that they held up the finisher line for everyone they could (great finisher picture! )

Edited by Blastman 2016-08-02 11:01 PM
2016-08-03 12:42 AM
in reply to: TTom

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
Congratulations man on that PR! I think at that point, you could have started eating some other food that you feel would have been safe to eat. I found grapes and pretzels okay for me that late in the race.
2016-08-03 8:00 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)

Originally posted by Blastman Were you drinking water? My normal setup when I have gels is to grab them at an aid station and carry it for ~.75 mile and then down it with a little time to spare so I can drink water quickly after. Gels + sugar drinks don't mix well with me. I do drink sugar drinks between gels though or even at the same aid station, after the water, if I feel like the gel went down ok. Edit: Also congrats on the PR! Vineman was my first full IM. Felt amazing crossing the line. Loved that they held up the finisher line for everyone they could (great finisher picture! )
I actually was carrying water In a 24 oz bottle on the small of my back.  I'd fill it with water and ice at the aid stations and use it to hydrate as well as squirt on myself to stay cool.  That worked really well as although the the temps were in the mid-80's I never felt like I was overheating.

The race was bought by Ironman this year and they don't do the holding up of the tape for everyone anymore.  But the participant count is way up and there were tons more spectators and a lot more finish line energy.  I'd recommend this race to everyonne.  

2016-08-03 10:45 AM
in reply to: TTom

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
I've been trying to figure out my nutrition for a century ride later this month. I brought some sour patch kids and fig newtons to break up the monotony of gels.
2016-08-03 1:24 PM
in reply to: TTom

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
I am no where near your tri level experience. But, I have found shot bloks and honey stinger chews to be enjoyable - easier to manage biking vs running though.


2016-08-03 1:30 PM
in reply to: TTom

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
Coke. The wonder drug when things start to fall apart on the run.

Fluids. Easily digestible carbs. Some caffeine.

Coke is my entire nutrition strategy for the IM run. Coke and water and keep moving forward. One cup of coke per aid station. If I start to feel energy deficient, I will walk an aid station and drink two cups of coke (crazy, I know).
2016-08-03 8:31 PM
in reply to: wannabefaster

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)

Originally posted by wannabefaster Coke. The wonder drug when things start to fall apart on the run. Fluids. Easily digestible carbs. Some caffeine. Coke is my entire nutrition strategy for the IM run. Coke and water and keep moving forward. One cup of coke per aid station. If I start to feel energy deficient, I will walk an aid station and drink two cups of coke (crazy, I know).
This might work for me.  Coke is ~100 calories/cup.  If the serving of Coke is 3 oz at each aid station and I hit 6/HR, that'd get me nominally 220 cal/hour which is about the same I get from taking a gel/30 min.  I like the concept of smaller doses more frequently too.  I'll have to figure out how to try this during long training runs.  Question - is the Coke at the IM carbonated or flat?

 

2016-08-04 8:43 AM
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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
Originally posted by TTom

Originally posted by wannabefaster Coke. The wonder drug when things start to fall apart on the run. Fluids. Easily digestible carbs. Some caffeine. Coke is my entire nutrition strategy for the IM run. Coke and water and keep moving forward. One cup of coke per aid station. If I start to feel energy deficient, I will walk an aid station and drink two cups of coke (crazy, I know).
This might work for me.  Coke is ~100 calories/cup.  If the serving of Coke is 3 oz at each aid station and I hit 6/HR, that'd get me nominally 220 cal/hour which is about the same I get from taking a gel/30 min.  I like the concept of smaller doses more frequently too.  I'll have to figure out how to try this during long training runs.  Question - is the Coke at the IM carbonated or flat?

 




It is supposed to be flat but isn't. I would count on it being carbonated.

I never did try it in training before the first time using it in a race but there are a lot of reports of people rescuing their races by going to coke late in the day. I just decided to go with coke right from the start of the run. It probably wasn't too smart to do it that way but it worked then and has continued to work.

Last year at Steelhead I thought I had enough fuel on board from the bike to run with out fueling, so for the first half of the run I took water only. I started to feel very low on energy at around 6-8 miles (hard to remember) so I took coke at the next several aid stations and got things back together to be able to finish strong. Lesson learned.

Cans of coke are not how I fuel in training.

Edited by wannabefaster 2016-08-04 8:59 AM
2016-08-04 10:04 AM
in reply to: TTom


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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
Congrats on the PR!!

I had the same issue when I did my IM last fall. I executed my bike nutrition perfectly and went into the run feeling great. On the run I was sticking to my run nutrition plan until about mile 10. That was when things fell apart nutrition wise. Like you, I couldn't stomach gels, my HR dropped, and my pace slowed. I was freaking out a little bit because I never experienced that in training and didn't know how I was going to survive the next 16 miles. Fortunately I saw my coach and told him what was going on. He told me to forget the gels and switch to real food at the aid stations. At each aid station I had chips, grapes, coke, and water. Once it got dark I had the chicken broth. This combination worked great for me and I was able to hold it together until the end.

I'm training for my second IM this year and although I'm planning on carrying and using my own nutrition (this year I'm using Infinit instead of gels), it's nice to know that I can switch to the aid station food if the need arises.
2016-09-20 7:27 AM
in reply to: wannabefaster

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
Coke sometimes hits the spot. I once had a doctor explain it to me at breakfast. He was a urologist and it was just conversation so full disclosure there who knows if he was right. He said that because of the caffeine, sodium and sugar coke was very rapidly absorbed. Just boom. So that makes sense.

When you say you couldn't take anything else in at mile 16 was it nausea or just couldn't swallow anything that wasn't more liquid-ish? I'm just curious.


2016-09-21 10:02 PM
in reply to: miamiamy

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Subject: RE: Alternatives to gels on the run? (Vineman PR too!)
This isn't an ad for UCANN (I have no affiliation), but all of my long course athletes are gradually switching over to UCANN fueling from 50 mile trail runners to Olympic & IM distance athletes for exactly that reason. All of my athletes have so far been pleased with this approach.

Also, Darbi Roberts, just won IM Wales, with a total of 900 calories start to finish.

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