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  • Dates and Raisins during race?

    I'm very new to Primal eating, but have been dedicated to it for about a week now. I am a marathon runner, and have completed several fulls and halfs. I haven't eaten any processed carbs in the past week and am feeling fantastic! I have a half marathon coming up and I'm a little nervous about what to eat during my race. Usually for a half, I'll do one gel, but am a little scared that introducing it into my system might upset my stomach. My current thought is that I might replace my gu with a date or two, or maybe an ounce of raisins? They have the same carb count as the Gu plus loads of potassium. They don't have the sodium, but I do drink Nuun during any long run and am thinking it should be enough sodium to keep me going. Has anybody experimented with raisins or dates during long runs or races?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Check this out first:
    How to Fuel a Marathon | Mark's Daily Apple

    I will usually eat a few eggs and a piece of fruit before going on long runs and have been feeling great!

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    • #3
      I have read that post. I have trained low and raced high even before I went paleo. I know what I want to eat before I run, the night before and the morning of. My concern is DURING the race. Taste is important to me... I'm not going to make some concoction that's described as "not astoundingly delicious" I would just use a gel and chalk it up to my 20%, but I'm afraid it will upset my stomach at this point. I need something carby, with electrolytes, that is portable...

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      • #4
        Dates and raisins should be fine. I'm working towards a half (from couch-sloth a couple of years ago) and find on longer runs that Larabars (mostly dates, plus other Primal ingredients) make a solid and portable choice. But dates and raisins would be nice, compact energy sources.

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        • #5
          dates and the high fructose dried fruits are actually great for long runs. you're depleting liver glycogen quite a bit (!), and the fructose is really efficient at repleneshing. they're whole foods, and a lightweight choice.

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          • #6
            I've used dates for long runs. They are awesome. I used to use dried apricots until I realized that they are really low glycemic. I switched to dates, which are like rocket fuel in terms of the GI. Easier to chew, too, when you are breathing heavily.

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            • #7
              dates don't make y'all cramp up? I don't run long distances but i have eaten dates on long bike rides and i know for myself that there is def a limit on dates that i must respect else there is intestinal distress!

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              • #8
                When I read the nutritionals, one date is equivalent to one whole GU carb-wise. Maybe if you cramped you got too many carbs?

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                • #9
                  At what mileage would you all recomend starting to usea carb boost? And what are we talking here 2-3 dates at a time?

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                  • #10
                    I don't normally use a GU unless my run is well over an hour--closer to two. That is an individual call, though, everybody's body is different. My plan is to pop a date instead of one GU, so not more than one an hour. Like I said, I haven't tried it... but that's what I'm envisioning working, just from the nutritional information I read, but I haven't tried it yet, so I'm not sure yet.

                    Here is the information I found online:

                    GU:
                    Calories: 100
                    Fat: 1.5
                    Sodium: 65 mg
                    Potassium: 60 mg
                    Carbs: 20 g
                    Protein: 1 g

                    1 Date:
                    Calories: 78
                    Fat: 0 g
                    Sodium: 0 g
                    Potassium: 195 mg
                    Carbs: 21 g
                    Protein: 1 g

                    So if you chose to replace a gel with a date, you'd have to make sure you're getting your sodium somewhere else, such as salt tabs or a sports drink. I use Nuun, which is not PB approved, but sugar and calorie free, so it works for me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RoyHerb View Post
                      I don't normally use a GU unless my run is well over an hour--closer to two. That is an individual call, though, everybody's body is different. My plan is to pop a date instead of one GU, so not more than one an hour. Like I said, I haven't tried it... but that's what I'm envisioning working, just from the nutritional information I read, but I haven't tried it yet, so I'm not sure yet.

                      Here is the information I found online:

                      GU:
                      Calories: 100
                      Fat: 1.5
                      Sodium: 65 mg
                      Potassium: 60 mg
                      Carbs: 20 g
                      Protein: 1 g

                      1 Date:
                      Calories: 78
                      Fat: 0 g
                      Sodium: 0 g
                      Potassium: 195 mg
                      Carbs: 21 g
                      Protein: 1 g

                      So if you chose to replace a gel with a date, you'd have to make sure you're getting your sodium somewhere else, such as salt tabs or a sports drink. I use Nuun, which is not PB approved, but sugar and calorie free, so it works for me.
                      For a half-marathon, you really don't need to worry all that much about electrolyte supplementation. Just eat some salty foods int he two days leading up, that will be more than enough to sustain you for the 13.1 miles. Unless its opressively hot, then some sodium will help prevent water loss but if you are looking to not cramp you need to train harder, not suck on salt tabs.

                      Tim Noakes is a very credible source that I trust to know what he's talking about - Do you really need electrolytes and water during exercise?

                      I have raced on gels while paleo for two years at distances from 13.1 to 50 miles, never had any problem with it. When the fire is burning that hot your body really doesn't care what the source of the sugars is, it just needs them (that is if you are going hard or are not well keto-adapted). I use gels because they are at all the aid stations and i don't have to carry anything with me. It baffles me when I see people at a 13.1 mile run with 4 water bottles on their belt and pockets full of food. Dude, you are only going to be out there a few hours at most, its not like you are crossing the Sahara desert or anything. There's these magical things called aid stations just about every mile. I run by and grab a cup of water when I feel the need, shooting a gel in the 200 feet before I arrive and using the water to dilute the gel properly (something that if you don't do can lead to GI distress) if the race is long enough to need any supplemental calories.

                      In training I will use raisins, dates, figs, nuts, dried fruit like pinapple, mango and apricots, but on race day I just keep it simple and use the fuel provided on the course if I eat anything at all.

                      As y ou get more keto-adapted, your caloric needs from supplemental sources of carbohydrates will decrease. I started Paleo using about 180 calories per hour of gel and now race on about 100 per hour and I keep getting faster too.

                      Good luck
                      Last edited by Karma; 05-17-2012, 01:07 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for your input, Karma! Your thoughts were basically what I was thinking, but just wasn't sure about. After I thought about it, I generally don't even take a whole GU for a half marathon, so I don't know what I'm so anxious about. I guess it's just change. Add to it the fact that I've only been eating Primal for about a week. I know my system will become more efficient as I go, but I'm at the beginning of the process, so I never know how I will react. I just wanted to know what other people had found so I can adapt to what I know my body tends to do and adjust for myself. Good to know gels, etc. haven't bothered you. Now I will be able to adjust for the race, distance, weather, etc. for myself. Again, thanks!

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                        • #13
                          Update for anybody who was wondering. I fueled with a date at the halfway point of my half marathon, and it worked well. Unfortunately, I'm clumsy and tripped over a traffic cone at mile five, so I had to walk most of the rest of the race with blood running down my legs. I guess fueling doesn't matter if you're clumsy!

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                          • #14
                            The only way to know if it's going to work for you is to try it during a long run before the race. A minimum 6 mile run should give you an idea of how it affects your stomach. A 10 mile run should give you an idea of long term affects.

                            Before going primal, I've used Fig Newtons. But I still plan on using them. It's neat (not sticky), easy on my stomach, and gives the same calorie content as GU. Plus it's cheaper. I'm just looking for it to give me a clarity-shot.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ounce View Post
                              The only way to know if it's going to work for you is to try it during a long run before the race. A minimum 6 mile run should give you an idea of how it affects your stomach. A 10 mile run should give you an idea of long term affects.

                              Before going primal, I've used Fig Newtons. But I still plan on using them. It's neat (not sticky), easy on my stomach, and gives the same calorie content as GU. Plus it's cheaper. I'm just looking for it to give me a clarity-shot.
                              FIG Newtons -
                              Ingredients: UNBLEACHED ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE {VITAMIN B1}, RIBOFLAVIN {VITAMIN B2}, FOLIC ACID), FIGS, SUGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, GLYCERIN, WHEY (FROM MILK), SALT, SOY LECITHIN*, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CALCIUM LACTATE, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SULFUR DIOXIDE (SULFITES) ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, MALIC ACID, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. *ADDS A TRIVIAL AMOUNT OF FAT. CONTAINS: WHEAT, MILK, SOY.

                              Yeah, that's a pretty primal snack you got there! (NOT) Don't try to even think what you are eating is primal if you are including these in your plans.

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