Magic Beans – Fuel and Nutrition Plan

There is a great book called “The Year of Running Dangerously” (which is reviewed separately in these blogs) where the main character helps his daughter during a marathon by giving her magic beans to help with cramping. Fact is, you need to manage your fluid and carbohydrate intake during long runs.  I called an old friend last week, who is 82, an ironman and going strong mountain biking in Arizona – his main advice was to manage this stuff and not bonk during a race.

year running dangerously

I’m running a half marathon next weekend which, at my snails’ pace of 11:45/mi, will take me ~2.5 hrs to complete.  After 90 min, you should consider taking come kind of supplement every hour or so.  I have never done this.  This is the beginning of weeks of experimentation to find out which product works best for me.  Coach says to find two gels, two chewables and two powders that I like.

Current items I’m checking out after 90 min to note if it tastes good and if it improves how I feel:

  • Salt Stick – 215 mg sodium vs. Hammer nutrition – Endurolytes
    • “pills” like endurolytes or pill form of salt sticks get stuck in your throat and hurt.  I’m going with the chewable salt sticks (Update:  the non chewables have higher concentration of electrolytes and chewables require way more per hour so I now use the normal sat sticks to take 2/hour).
  • Tailwind powder mix
    • Love this 1 scoop mixed with 22 oz water each hour.  Have tried orange and lemon.
  • Gummies
    • Skratch labs
    • Sport Beans – 100 cal/package, 80 mg sodium, 40 mg potassium, 25g carb (17g sugars).  made of cane sugar, tapioca syrup, apple juice, etc.  These are made by jelly belly
      • Tried this at 1:18 with another 30 min to go.  Too sugary and pain to keep popping the little ones/whole pack of 100 cal.  Did not have noticeable affect – was cold.  No cramping.
  • Gels…. All sweet.  Better chocolate/coffee flavors as less sweet
    • Cliff:  LIKE because little tab at top connected to pack so won’t litter/get lost
    • Vfuel Gels
    • Gu gel – 100 cal packet, 25 g carb made from maltodextrin, water, fructose, leucine, sea salt, 125 mg sodium
    • Hydragel sports fuel gel 100 made from total crap, glucose, fructose, 25g sugars
  • Hammer nutrition – chocolate recoverite and for during training
    • This can be too sweet at end of run

I was happy that I also found some sport beans today a the Heartbreak Hill Running Store in Boston!

I’ll be updating this post with results.

This is my pre, during and post race nutrition plan:


Chew on,



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