Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Athletes: What fuels you?




I had to pick up more running fuel over the weekend and the display above was just one of many at a local sporting goods store.  

Needless to say, there are a TON of options out there for athletes. I'm trying to experiment more with my fuel intake this training season in preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon, but my sensitive stomach keeps me reaching for my tried and true products rather than taking a chance on something new. 

One thing I won't be reaching for: Gatorade.  I've never been a huge fan of the stuff and then after a horrible experience during the Philadelphia Marathon I haven't touched the stuff since. My guess is it's the high sugar content in Gatorade and my stomach just can't handle it. 

The hubs, on the other hand, freaking loves him some G2.  He used to do straight Gatorade, but he's since become a bit more conscious of his own sugar intake that he's made the switch to G2.

On thing the hubs won't drink: plain water. It's the weirdest thing, but he insists on having flavored water rather than regular plain water.  I feel like we're constantly having this battle in our house: 



After a few hit or misses with various fuel products I came across these Sport Beans. If I'm completely honest, I think I tried them for the sole reason they were listed at being available somewhere around mile 18 during my first marathon.  That was really my fueling strategy for my first marathon - try everything available on course and see what tastes the best.  


The watermelon flavor is my absolute favorite! However, I can't usually find it everywhere so when I do I tend to buy lots of it. 


Next in line is the assorted packages and I can usually find them everywhere. 

I love that the Sport Beans come in resealable packages, so it's not a messy to open them up an hour into a race and then keep dipping back into the package throughout the course of the race.  They also fit perfectly in a wrist pouch or back pocket.  


Just a few weeks ago I bought my first package of Nuun  Active Hydration Lemon+Lime tablets. I saw these at my grocery store of all places and I've heard of Nuun before so I thought I'd give them a try. 

I picked these up because they were marketed as an electrolyte supplement without the sugar of most sports drinks.  The sugar has always been my issue with Gatorade, so I thought if this was like Gatorade, but without the sugar then it might be perfect for me.

So far so good! I break a tablet in half prior to running and drop it in my CamelBak. Then, when I refill my pack on the back half of my run I drop another half a tablet into my pack.  I really like the flavor and I haven't had a problem yet with my stomach.

The only concern I have is I don't race with my CamelBak. Instead, I rely on the water on the course to quench my thirst during a race.  I thought that would be fine because that's what I've done for my previous races, but now that I'm liking the Nuun so much I'm having second thoughts. I can't figure out a way to get Nuun on the course without carrying my own water.  I think relying on the hubs or a family member to toss me a bottle of water with Nuun in it during a marathon would be risky. What if they don't see me? What if they forget to add the tablet?  What if I drop the silly bottle? What if my family members aren't at a race? 

What do you use as your fueling strategy?  Do you different something different depending on the distance?  Do you keep the same routine for training runs as you do races?  

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