Guest Post: Alexandra and Kymberly from Fun and Fit

6 Nov

Hi Friends! Today’s guest post is brought to you by identical twinsAlexandra and Kymberly at Fun andFit. They have been teaching exercise for over 25 years, and try their bestto put fun into fitness. 


I chose this post from their wide array of posts, because I always worry about fueling and hydration for long runs and races.  


Running a Half Marathon: Hydration Belt or Water Stations? Gels or Sports Drink?

Dear Fun and Fit: So, I signed up to do this half marathon in October.  I’m scared to death, but seem certain this is something I need to do.  I’m required to maintain at least a 14 min/mile throughout or be disqualified.  So, I need to finish in 183 minutes, basically.  I’ve found training that seems to be working for me and my knee issues that allows me two short runs, an easy walk and a long run during the week.

At any rate, I’ve bought a hydration belt and have been using it. I’m wondering
a) if you think it best to wear it for the race and (keep to) my drinking schedule instead of relying on water stations (except the chocolate aid station. This is Hershey’s!).
b) do I need energy gels or just go with Gatorade in one of my drink bottles
c) anything else?
Amy, Hershey, PA

Alexandra: Dear Amy: First of all, my condolences. In my vast experience of running races (none), I believe that’s 13 miles. My first reaction is to advise you to drive–you’ll definitely meet the 14 min/mile rule. But you seem intent on actually running. Sigh. You know that cars have been invented, right?
During your race, if you find energy gels to be more convenient or mentally a “boost,” choose that. Researchers tend to differ, but it does seem that most of them held hands, sang “Kumbaya” and decided to agree that you are just as well off with a less expensive alternative. Say, you can even put some grape jelly into a baggie, then cut a hole and squeeze that into your mouth during the race. Urgle – I feel saccharine-sweet just thinking of that! Heck, the Stone Research Foundation even recommends a Pop-Tart over an energy bar!
Jelly for running energy

Grape jelly has been around longer than marathons it seems!
Pop-Tarts everywhere

Pop-Tarts: an almost natural color!
Kymberly: As to the decision about Gatorade or water, we will say that the most important aspect is taking in carbohydrates and electrolytes when engaging in a true endurance activity. So a sports drink is probably better than water since you’ll be running for 183 minutes, which is essentially two soccer matches. Now we’re talking!

A: As to the chocolate station, forget your troubles, come on get happy, ‘cause chocolate milk is a good post-exercise recovery drink.
chocolate milk as post-race recovery fuel

Chocolate Milk – the perfect post-race fuel
K: We asked a few of our experienced running friends to comment on the hydration belt issue. They had some great comments:
  • “If you’re in a very specific or exact hydration routine, then I would recommend carrying your own water. If nothing else, it’ll be a nice safety net for if something goes wrong (super-warm weather, big crowds, lack of supplies, etc). I’ve had several races where I wished I’d brought my own hydration and zero where I was sorry that I had.” Dawn Dolobowsky
  • “Always stick to what you do in training. Wear the belt.” Sarah Stanley
  • “I’ve found that I need to drink when I need to drink and having the belt has been a life saver.” Erika Howder
  • “If you have your own belt, you drink when you need to AND you can always use course-provided fluids if/when needed. If you use something like Heed or other electrolyte replacement you can carry your own and not worry about the race-provided fluids causing GI distress.” Amanda Brandon
Running Readers: is it all about distress or de-stress when entered in a half marathon?
************************************************************
You can find thetwins at @KymberlyFunFit and @AlexandraFunFit and at their Facebookpage. You can check out the original post and all reader responses here.
Tell me, my friends and loyal readers, what do you do? How do you fuel and hydrate for big races?


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