Weaning off the Gu

Steve got on our case a few weeks ago about being “Crack Adicts”. Gu, Carboom, Cliff Shots … whatever you call it. He wants us to try and not take as many of them as we have been (varies by person) to get our bodies to be better at processing fats instead of glycogen in our bodies. I went through something similar a few years ago. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to have less and less Gu. On long runs waiting an hour initially, now an hour and a half. At the same time I have been much better about making sure I eat and hydrate well throughout the week.

On today’s 24 mile run it was a little warm and I wasn’t too sure about how I would handle not eating much. I ended up taking my first Gu right after an hour and a half of running (more if you could stopping for water). I’d normally then lock into just taking one every 40 minutes. At an hour and a half I was starting to feel a little lethargic but not bad but I figured I might as well. Then we kept running and it was around 2 and a half hours that I had another Gu. I don’t think I’ve run 24 miles with 2 Gu’s in quite a while. Two of the water stops (one we hit twice) did have gatorade so I can’t discount that. I did take six thermolytes (2 for every hour) and those seem to make a huge difference. During the week unless I was running over 2 hours I wasn’t taking any Gu either and it was fine. As long as I can keep my nutrition going the long run may be the only time I need a Gu, but we’ll see. I can’t afford to be zonked out at work so a Gu towards the end of a run may be useful just to keep my energy level up.

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2 comments

  1. I have never really thought about how much GU I use on a run. I never use it during the week and maybe one GU on long runs. However, I have this nasty little habit of eating some sport beans or power bar chews right before the run. Didnt today…maybe that was why it seemed ridiculously hard. Hats off to you guys for sucking up 22 miles in this unreal heat/humidity.

  2. I did 18 on Saturday — the farthest I’ve ever run — without gels! I think it works, and I didn’t bonk. Of course 18 isn’t 24… or 26.2! I think that, for a lot of people, gels are a mental aid, even if they aren’t a huge physical assist.

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