Drinking/Eating for Runs

Hi all,
I am training for a run/walk of a half marathon in a few weeks. I started running a little bit after my diagnosis in January 2009 and it has been good for me on many levels. But I’ve found myself getting into “trouble” on longer runs. I often end up misjudging how much to eat/drink both before and during a run and I end up dehydrated and REALLY sick - nauseous, super weak, just terrible feeling. I can’t help but feel if this is related to having type 2 diabetes.

Today I just ran under 6 miles (little less than 10K) and it jut made me feel really sick to my stomach, first right after but lasting into the night. I feel like I need some guidance on how to best hydrate/fuel myself for these runs. I’m a really slow runner and often take walking intervals, which I am sure I will do during the half.


In terms of hydration, some people are just more sensitive than others. I’d suggest sports drinks rather than plain water. Just replacing the water, without the electrolytes, may not prevent nausea. In fact, drinking too much plain water may cause electrolyte imbalance which can make it worse. How much you need is really individual. Drink up before (at least 16 oz) and during (16-32oz/hr) and see how that works. Use more or less as needed. Also check your bgs when you feel sick to make sure that you aren’t going high/low – high intensity exercise can bring you up. That may not be the case here but don’t overlook that as a cause as well.

when you feel sick do you check your sugars? +1 on exercise can raise sugars and can cause a drop as well and you need to treat both. practice on your next long training run that you run w/ a bottle and drink as you go and see if that helps w/ the dehdration and be sure to drink a lot the night before

Look up my daughther “Jillavieve”. She is in training for a half marathon. She is up to about 8 or 9 miles now. I will ask her to visit the site to look for your messages.

I don’t check them while I’m running or right after (ie at the course) but I have done so when I’m home and feeling sick. They’re usually in normal range at that point. But I definitely willl start running WITH water. The thing is, on these long big runs, they usually have water/electrolyte/food stations every mile (in little cups) so carrying is not necessary. It’s harder when I’m training and there isn’t support like that.

thank you, I will!

Thank you, Tom. I haven’t tried the sports drinks because I’ve worried about the sugar in them. But during a run I just don’t know the right thing to do - maybe alternate them? It seems like practice is going to be the only thing that works this out - so far what I’ve been doing has not been working.

It is best to alternate (esp. so on the course). Another way to do this is to dilute the sports drink. You can also google sugarfree/low carb sports drinks to find recipes that provide electrolytes w/o the sugar.
When you do your long runs you also want to try as best as possible to mimic what you’ll do on race day…or the other way around is to try out different things to work on whether and when you should have extra carbs.
You’ll also want to try to drink water during your workouts so your body is more used to it during race day. So maybe during your walk breaks sip on some water; it doesn’t have to be a lot, and also let it digest too before running or picking up the pace.

Propel and powerade zero have no (well, propel has a tiny tiny bit) sugar, so it’s all good! For carbs, I’d bring them separately in the form of runner’s goo or some other carb/protein gel. Some people do bring two kinds of sports drinks, with sugar and without, but I’d find that confusing and if you end up needing more of one than the other then you’re stuck. Or I guess that you can bring a single-serve packet of the sugary kind and add it only if necessary.

Powerade Zero or Gatorade G2 are low/no sugar with electrolytes, you could also try Propel from Gatorade

also, i don’t run much but I do long hikes A LOT and I make myself stop every 30 minutes and test even when I want to keep going for endurance. My blood sugar is more important and the 30 seconds it takes to test aren’t THAT detremental to my work out.

I signed up recently and just stumbled on this forum. I ran 2x 1/2 marathons (in 2 weeks...) last year and have kept at the running, w/ a slight hiatus to cycle over the summer? I would look into an amphipod belt? http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/runlite-hydration? I got one of these and it is extremely handy as you can clip multiple bottles to it, I use one or two w/ more carbs and one w/o carbs, or bring the carbs as jellybeans in pouches. I think it's very handy as you can get various little bags to carry other junk (keys, cell phones, etc.) along too but the clip on bottles work very well for biking or running.

I am planning on doing another 1/2 in the spring and then a full marathon in the fall next year. I am thinking Milwaukee, maybe Chicago but I don't like crowds that much. I think that for training it's important to have something to lug along with you and the Amphipod belt fits very well. There's a 5.5 mile loop near my house and some people will stash bottles around and my buddies used to drive around to prestock their course, just leaving them in bushes and stuff but you never know if 1) someone will clean it up 2) if some animal will have whizzed on it, licked it, etc.

lol, I don't like crowds either! Were the 1/2's races or on your own? I've done a few 13-14 milers on my own, mostly unplanned. I've thought about doing races, but a lot of what I love about running is being away from other people. What has your experience been like? Should I just get over it?

I ran one on my own, first, to make sure there wasn't some sort of metabolic wall I'd run into. I did 2x 'official' events, one was a much smaller race, a charity even for my Aunt's therapy horse facility, maybe 2 or 300 people. It was on crushed limestone trails through a beautiful forest preserve.

The other one was 14K people (Illinois Marathon, in Champaign, IL) which was also fun as we'd just moved away from there after I'd been around Champaign-Urbana for 20 years, so it was like a run down memory lane. It also finished on the football field so the last 75 yards or so were on really springy artificial turf which was *very* nice to run on! The second race did have a couple of traffic jams but it was fun to run in the crowd, people had hoses, sprinklers, etc. out, bands in parks, hippies in front of the Grateful Dead store, etc. all being very supportive. I agree w/ the being away although I have my iPod anyway so I am on PlanetAcidRock (although this time of year, Russian ballets sort of go w/ the weather?).

I like races b/c it's a good chance to run with a community of people. Everybody is pretty friendly w/ the waves, etc. around here but there's a nice vibe to a big group, even when I'm going about 1/2 as fast as the winners?

There's websites (e.g. http://www.marathonguide.com/races/search.cfm or http://www.marathonguide.com/races/races.cfm) that allow you to browse for races that can be helpful to find one that's the right size. I'm in the Chicago suburbs so part of me would like Chicago but it's like 40K people and I've gone to cheer friends on and it can be a zoo! My aunt agreed to help (she does ultramarathons, ironman triathlons and stuff...I think my mom may have kvetched @ her about the 'risk' factor too but she's very cool and will be good to run with) and suggested Milwaukee as it's a much smaller race, is downhill most of the second half of the race and, as I noticed later, has free beer @ the end!

Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm in my own world most of time anyway, even without my iPod. Definitely something to think about, I appreciate it.