Long Run – Testing Nutrition: Training Log 1

March 5, 2017 Long Run

My main goal for today’s long run was to test out some new nutrition strategies, pitting at my car, and running the same loop multiple times. I was also hoping to implement some form of OCR component to this run whether that be burpees, push ups, etc. However waking up to -18oC, snow falling, and dense grey cloud coverage pretty much killed all my motivation to run.

I was able to muster up the courage to head out like I planned, but with the cold temperatures and fresh snow I passed on the OCR components of the workout. Rolling around in snow at -18oC and running for 4 hours didn’t seem like I good combo.

Once at Nose Hill Park (inter city park with some decent trails) I set out to run a ~8km (5 mile) loop four times so I’d hit my goal distance of 32 km (20 miles). On each loop I made sure to drink at least 500 ml of Nuun Active and Nuun Plus, and 1 Gu Energy gel. Nuun Plus adds 40 calories and 11 g of carbohydrates to your water. Having never used Nuun Plus before I didn’t know exactly how it would work for me. Then at the end of each of loop I’d stop at my car grab some solid food, chug any remaining water (making sure I hit the 500 ml mark), grab a new bottle and head back out on the loop.

I drank a big swig of my Nuun Active/Plus mixture every 15 minutes and ate my Gu gels 30 minutes into the first lap, and ~30-45 minutes after pitting at my car. At my car after loop 1 I ate half of a peanut butter and jelly and bacon wrap, after loop 2 I ate 1 Cliff Protein Builder Bar, and after loop 3 I had the other half of my peanut butter and jelly, and bacon wrap. With this strategy I was consuming ~400 calories, 55-60 carbohydrates, and 1000-1200 g of Na every hour. I typically consume 200 calories/hour (2 Gu’s every 30 minutes) but often find I start to crave food and have an empty feeling in my stomach on long runs. Therefore I wanted up my calorie count today and see how it went.

A look at my nutrition strategy for today’s run

It’s commonly stated in literature that the body can only absorb ~250-300 calories/hour, but some ultra runners claim to absorb much more (400, 500, 800! Calories/hour), and I’ve also heard recommendations of replacing ~half of what your burn (burn 1000 calories/hour, consume 500). Need to experiment with yourself and see what works for you, which was one the main reason for this run today.

Overall I felt good. All the food (gel, wraps, and bars) went down easily. I had a little difficulty finding my stride after pitting and while chomping on my wrap/bar, but nothing major. The only real issue I had was with my drink. After consuming the Nuun Plus, I’d often feel a minor discomfort in my stomach and proceeded to fart…A LOT! Luckily this was the only discomfort experienced, and the farts remained farts. So with that I think on my next run I’ll half the dose of the Nuun Plus and see how that goes.

Pitting at my car was quite easy. I wasn’t expecting this to be hard, but it is extremely simple if you know what you want/need (have a plan and be prepared). Do a quick swap and you’re on your way. Pitting does take up valuable time in a race so keeping this to a minimum is essential.

Running the same loop sounds a lot worse than it was. I thought this would be a big mental struggle, but had no issues of running the same loop 4 times. I think knowing that I had a treat waiting for me at my car played into this. I knew what to expect from the loop, and I knew that once I was done I’d get some real food at my car!

The 5 mile loop at Nose Hill

All in all today’s training run was a success!


Distance: 32.3 km

Time: 3:39:57

Heart Rate: 138 BPM (peak: 153 BPM), kept it nice and low

Elevation Gain: 990 m

Calories Burned: 3592 (1220 consumed)

Water Consumed: 1.5 L (cold day, should drink more, especially in the heat)

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