Fueling with Perpetuem and Heed
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I’ve discovered through trial and error that my body absolutely refuses to digest protein during high-intensity long runs. Perpetuem, a carb-protein drink, has always been my fuel of choice for endurance events, but recently I’ve found that the protein in it can cause my digestive system to completely shut down. Since you need to consume some protein (it should make up 5-15% of your caloric intake) during long runs to prevent your body from cannibalizing lean muscle protein, I have been working on finding a happy medium that my stomach can handle. This past weekend, I finally got a chance to try fueling with a mix of Perpetuem and Heed, a carb-electrolyte drink, on a fast-paced long run. I mixed the Perpetuem at half-strength and added the Heed to make up the difference. The lower concentration of protein, which accounted for about 5% of my calories, seemed to work just fine, and I had no digestive issues. WIN!
100 Calorie/Hour Liquid Diet
Hammer Nutrition, my source for all things fuel and recovery-related, recommends fueling exclusively with liquids during endurance events up to 12 hours long. The reasoning behind this is that liquids are easier to consume and easier to digest than solid foods, thus saving you time and energy. Also, Hammer suggests that the average-sized athlete should take in no more than 120-150 calories per hour (or less for lighter weight athletes) because this is all that your body is capable of processing. (You can check out their advice for yourself HERE.) I’ve never tried this approach, but it makes sense, so I decided to give it a shot. I figured that my 30-mile run would take me about 5 hours, so I mixed my Perpetuem and Heed accordingly. I brought along a flask of gel and a bar just in case, but never ended up needing them. I never felt hungry or like my energy was fading. WIN!
A cold, but beautiful day for a run!
Running with a Neuroma
Two weeks ago I randomly damaged a nerve in my foot while walking around my house! I was simply walking from room to room tidying things up, and all of a sudden, I felt this explosion of pain as I pushed off my right foot. I know, THE MOST ridiculous injury ever! At this point I’ve just accepted the fact that if there’s a foot injury out there, I’m going to get it at some point for one inexplicable reason or another. Anyways, for a couple days, the neuroma was super tender, and I had to be really careful how I walked. My athletic-trainer-sister, Hannah, advised me to cut a hole in my insole under the tender spot to take the pressure off of it, and that worked wonders. With my modified insole I was able to run normally without any pain. I did a 17-miler last weekend with no problem, but I wasn’t sure how it would hold up to a LONG run, and since I have an ultra race coming up in a few weeks, it was time to find out. You probably think this is the part of the run where everything fell to pieces, but no, the neuroma was just fine (WIN!), though I only got to test it as far as 24 miles because I had an…
Achilles Tendon Tear
Yep. About 12 miles into our run, my Achilles started feeling really tight all of a sudden. I’ve had a long history of Achilles problems, so I knew this was not something to mess around with. I decided to abort the mission to run 30 miles and turn back immediately. I stopped to stretch often, but my Achilles kept getting worse and worse. I ended up walking the entire last mile because my Achilles was so trashed that I could no longer push off hard enough to maintain a running stride. So in the end I destroyed my Achilles over a run that was neither long enough or fast enough to be a worthwhile training run for my race. That is what I call a complete and utter FAIL.
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The good news is that I have successfully rehabbed both my Achilles tendons in the past, and I know I can do it again. The bad news is that it takes time, and I now have 2.5 weeks until my 50K on Dec. 5th. I don’t know if that’s enough time to recover and rebuild enough to run that far without risking a relapse. I guess we’ll find out!