The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

My training progress

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Eating while running

times 2 = 2,260 calories

This week's numbers:
Total mileage: 40 miles
Long run: 20 miles
Average pace: 10:18 minutes/mile
Average heart rate: 152 beats/minute

It was finally a pleasant 70 degrees so I had a great long run today. Today's experiment involved drinking a bottle of Pediasure after 10 miles. Lauren had recommended Slimfast half way through a marathon and since we always have a stock of Pediasure around I thought I would give it a try (Pediasure is similar to a meal replacement drink, but made as a nutritional supplement for children). It went down easily and gave me a good influx of calories so I might be taking a some to the race. It's always been recommended to me that you test out various food before the race so that you know what sits well in your stomach after a few hours.

It's actually a bit of a challenge getting enough calories. Consider this. According to SportTracks, I burned around 2,400 calories on today's 20 mile run. I drank 80 ounces of Gatorade and 8 ounce of Pediasure. This meant I took in 760 calories over just about a 3.5 hour period. This is around 217 calories per hour and obviously well below the 2,400 calories that I actually burned.

Clearly I'm burning more calories than I consume, but it would do me little good (even if it were possible) to shoot for eating as many calories as I burn. Seriously, I would need to have eaten two McDonald's Big Mac Value Meals, including full calorie sodas. Not only would it be unlikely that I could continue to run after even one such meal, but more importantly it wouldn't have mattered. As Steve Born points out in this article, athletes simply can't digest food that quickly. He suggests that any calories over 280 calories per hour will remain undigested.

Well, that still leaves me deficient by about 60 calories per hour. It's something to work on in future runs. Hmmm... the really disturbing thing is that you have to run 10 miles to burn the calories of one McDonald's Big Mac Value Meal.

Also, many thanks to Pat from South Dakota for the donation to the Lupus Foundation. Good luck with your 50k this fall!


dht said...

I'm always interested in the nutrition issue, since I've had a tendency to hit the wall at the end of marathons. I usually eat three or four gels in a marathon and try to consume sports drink whenever I'm not eating a gel (every two miles or so). When I ran the 60k, I had two Slim-Fasts, four or five gels, and a couple quarts of Cytomax.

As you said, it's simply impossible to replace all the calories lost during a run of 20 miles or more. Also, I've read that the average human can store enough glycogen to cover around 20 miles. Therefore, I try to look at this like a race car. I want to time my refueling so that I get just enough gas to cross the finish line without losing time. There's no reason to have extra fuel in the tank, because it will slow you down and maybe cause stomach distress or blood sugar fluctuations. Instead, you want stay just above the point where your body runs out of glycogen and begins consuming itself.

Happy training.

silvenwolf said...

Interesting... for some reason Supersize Me (movie) comes to mind.

Heh, on a general note, it definetly makes you think about what you're putting in your body and how it affects you - either good or bad. Guess I'd better stay away from McD's, but Andre could never understand my penchant for McD's fries on occasion.


Brian Thomas said...

I need to look more into the glycogen stuff. I think that I'm pretty close to a good formula for me during a run, but I've been pretty careless about what I eat the days before.

Sandi, I still have a good old fashioned Big Mac attack every once in a while. Try googling "acrylamide" if you need more motivation to keep those cravings to a minimum though. :)

ellie's momma said...

This. Terrifies. Me.