I ran out of gels a few weeks back and haven’t really thought about buying more. I’ll just mix some super strong Gatorade and figure that ‘carbs is carbs’ and sweat out whatever miles that I had on the schedule. My reasoning? I haven’t died yet so it must be fine. For that matter, that reasoning works well for all sorts of situations. Eating raw chicken, using a public pay phone, using port o’ pots at races…..you get the idea.
Here is what I should be doing:
- Carrying water on runs longer than 20 minutes
- Helping old ladies across the street
- Carrying an electrolyte drink on runs longer than 45 minutes
- Eating gels every 45 minutes (6 miles or so) on runs longer than 10 miles
Here is what I am actually doing:
- NO water or anything on any runs shorter than 7 miles
- Stealing old lady’s purses for delicious hard candy
- One bottle of Gatorade for runs between 7 miles and 14 miles
- Gels every 7 or so miles for runs longer than 15 miles
I was reminded of this after I got back from a run at 5:50am and went for one of my wife’s scotcharoos as a ‘recovery meal’. Just like the Bill Cosby comedy bit about letting his kids eat Chocolate Cake for breakfast, the list of ingredients went through my head and all seemed to be essentially a how-to guide to recovery:
- Karo Syrup: Basically carbs wrapped in clear liquid gold
- Rice Crispies: More carbs, like a poppin’ party in your mouth
- Leprechaun Tears: Aids in carb absorption
- Peanut Butter: Protein and fat to not only heal my muscles but soothe my soul
- Ground up Unicorn horn: Aids in fertility
- Butter: I’m pretty sure 50% of powerbars are butter anyway
So, as you can see, I was doing my body a favor by chowing down on some homemade recovery. To be clear, I’m not going to get all Becky Home-makey and start making my own gels, but I do think that I’m going to continue to see what other normal food options are out there for fuel. Well, that and I’m going to buy some gels. I really need to get back to eating them every 6 miles or so on my runs. All of those crappy runs over the past two weeks can't be 100% coincidence.
How about everyone else? Have you been fueling like you are supposed to be?