Monday, April 23, 2012

How many carbohydrates during your long run do you need?

As many readers of my blog know, I have given advice in the area of pre-race loading and how much to eat beforehand. The schools of thought of how much is enough during a long run has varied from runner to runner based on successful long runs or races. Maybe the controversy is over? A reader sent me an article written by Scott Jurek on how to fuel during a long run. Scott should know since he has competed in everything from Half Marathons to 135 mile races. And won most of the ones that involved anything over a marathon distance. So, we have to take seriously anything he has to say about the subject. What I like about his article, is that he doesn’t endorse any jell or supplement, but rather speaks in terms of how many grams a person needs each hour in relationship to his/her weight and distance that they plan to run. He came up with a formula that takes your weight in kilograms (so, your weight in lbs./2.2) and then applies either a factor or 70% or 100% to the result. Can’t be more simple than that. So say you weight 150 lbs., your range would be 48-68 grams of carbohydrate per hour that you need. He says that if you are running 90 minutes to 3 hours, you would stay on the low end of that figure (48 grams in this case) because you would be running closer to your tempo pace than if you were running 3-8 hours. In the case of going beyond the 3 hours, he recommends going with the greater end of the range (68 in the 150 lbs. example). For me this makes sense, as I have often gotten stomach issues if I try to take too much Gu when I’m pushing it hard in the race but it doesn’t seem to be an issue on my slow long runs. I plan to try this on my longer runs and the Half Marathon I’ve got planned for this weekend. Using his calculations, I have been taking less than I need in my runs and races over one hour. In either the runs/races this year, I haven’t had stomach issues, but I guess if I was taking less than I should be, that would make sense. The article showed up last summer in Competitor Online Running Resource == > Since we have a reader than has tried and tested it, I guess it’s my turn (and yours).

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