Tag Archives: Pekin

Varying my nutrition plan for ultra success

3 Mar


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Let’s put a Burger King at the 20-mile mark of every run!

With just over 4 weeks to my 50-mile ultra, this was a weekend for learning little lessons about the long run and pushing my limit a bit further out.

Saturday was a 10-miler and Sunday was a 25-miler — run from Keokuk, Iowa, to Fort Madison, Iowa, and back about 5 miles. The first run was simply designed to put some stress on the body before heading into the longer run on the following day.

One thing that has me nervous about my pending ultra is how I will handle the nutrition during the run. I’ve been OD’ing on Honey Stingers and the like on my shorter training runs, and I think I need to branch out if I’m going to make it through the ultra. I’m prepared to stay on the trail for 12 hours or so, and I don’t think I can subsist on sweet gummy chews for the whole time.

25 mile runSo Sunday I decided to branch out with two different fueling snacks.

I stopped at a Casey’s convenience store about 11 miles into the run to pick up a chocolate milk and replenish my water. The chocolate milk went down well, except for the foam that it developed as I sloshed down the road for 2-3 miles.

My second snack was a bit more substantial, but now I think every run/race should have a Burger King at the 20-mile mark! I ordered a Whopper Jr. and a small Coke, and I made use of the restroom (another much-appreciated luxury when doing a long run). I’d say in the future I would only eat half or three-quarters of the burger, but it sure tasted good.

It took about 15 minutes to get my burger and Coke and get back on the road, but I felt a surge when I hit the road again. The last 5 miles went pretty well.

In addition to the two snacks, I also ate a couple packages of Honey Stinger gels, two Keebler cookies (their rip-off of the Girl Scouts’ Caramel Delites) and three waters.

I don’t know if my nutrition plan is good or not. There’s probably a lot of protein in the two snacks I ate today, but it seemed to work for me so far.

Next week, I’ll extend the Sunday run to 30 miles while keeping Saturday’s at 10. And from there, it will be a taper until the Saturday, April 6, race — the Potawatomi Trail 50 in Pekin, Ill.

ADVICE WANTED: Do you have any great ideas for fuel during ultras? I’d love to hear them.


Sunny and 50: Let’s run

19 Jan

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” — Dean Karnazes, ultramarathon runner

Today was warm and sunny and a great day for a long run. The temperature was unseasonably high — mid-50s– for Iowa in January.

I was pleased with today’s run. Here is a map of the run. I use either Endomondo or MapMyRun to live-track my runs so the family knows where I am.

The run-walk approach is helping me complete the runs without getting too beat up. I used a 5-minute run, 1-minute walk pattern, which I also utilized on Friday’s 7-miler. I am pairing fairly long runs on back-to-back days in order to simulate the stress of the ultra. I will continue to lengthen these runs in the coming weeks.

The Million Dollar View from Keokuk's Rand Park showed blue skies and a blue Mississippi River on a gorgeous January day.

The Million Dollar View from Keokuk’s Rand Park showed blue skies and a blue Mississippi River on a gorgeous January day.

I ate a package of Power Bar Energy Blasts on the run. Only the second time I have used them, and today’s lemon-flavored chews were yummy! I normally eat Honey Stinger Energy Chews, and they are very good, too. But I’ll have to add the PowerBar chews into the mix.

Unfortunately, I suffered from some nausea after the run. This is generally not a problem for me, so I reviewed this article and this article on the malady.

Since the ultra in April is on trails, that brings a new challenge for me. I ran a marathon on the Wabash Trace trail in Shenandoah, Iowa, in September, but that was on a converted railroad bed. It was wide and flat and covered with crushed limestone.

The Potawatomi Trail run is on a more traditional trail: some single track, some grass, and plenty of ups and downs. Or at least that’s my impression, after reading about the race. I think I need to scout the locale. If the timing works out, I’m going to head to Pekin next Saturday for a trial run.

Proof that it was nice enough to run in shorts in January.

Proof that it was nice enough to run in shorts in January.

I’m concerned I may need to get some trail shoes to handle the terrain. Not knowing how many trail races I’ll run, I’m not sure I want to invest in another pair of shoes. But a trial run will help answer this question.

I do think I’ll invest in some gaiters. In preparation for the trails, I am running on the shoulders and the grass as much as I can. Today, I got a rock in my shoe in pretty short order. This also was a bit of a problem on the Wabash Trace.

Eleven weeks until race day, and there’s still plenty of work to do.

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