ANGRYCivilian wrote:I've never thought about food while running....
Like CHCB said, at certain distances you HAVE to think about food - whether you want to or not.
The primary source of fuel for runners is glycogen stored in your muscles. As a rule of thumb, you run out of glycogen after about 50 minutes of sustained activity like running. At that point, your body turns to other, less efficient, sources of energy - but your performance suffers.
The whole point of carb-loading for distance runners is to temporarily increase the amount of stored glycogen so you can go longer before it runs out. As you can see by the 50 minute rule, it is pointless to carb-load for any event less than 50 minutes, but carb loading can get you up to the 80 minute mark that CHCB was talking about (useful for 10Ks for slow runners, and 10milers or 1/2 marathons for fast runners) without taking in additional carbs during your run (other than Gatorade).
By the same rule, it is critical to take in easily converted carbs for any event longer than that, such as a marathon. Easily converted carbs come from sources like Gatorade, power gels, bananas, etc. Without consuming enough of these during a marathon, you will experience what marathoners call "hitting the wall" when your carbs run out. For my marathons and all my long training runs, I used power gels and Gatorade - what you choose is personal preference. For any run longer than a marathon, you also need to take in proteins and other nutrients. That's where CHCB's menu comes in handy.
Pain is inevitable...
... Misery is optional (>o|<
RS 06-93, RTB '96-'97