Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Experimenting with Fuel for Long Runs

Just finished reading Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich.  He set a goal to win a 100k race and shares his experiences on the foods/drink he experimented with to help fuel his body. Loved his bit about the beer experiment.  He started by running a 20 mile course and at the 10 mile mark he downed a 12 oz. bottle.  He sped up for the final 10 miles and felt he was on to something good. Then this happened....

"For a real test, I entered a long road race toting three six packs.  Presuming a fast racing pace, I planned on having one every 4 miles.  We took off like rhinoceros in rut, and I was soon in the lead, chugging one beer after the other and increasing my lead even further.  While starting to congratulate myself on the great run, with just three beers left to go, I suddenly felt weak.  With two left to go, I lost all my will and just dropped out."  He  goes on to say more fine tuning would have been a good thing.  Prior to the beer experiment, he tried copious amounts of honey (not good), then olive oil (really not good), finally settling on cranberry juice until they switched to an artificial sweetener.  

He went on to achieve his goal in 1981 at the age of 40.


  1. There is a reason why Hashers only run 3 to 5 miles. Usually once the beer starts flowing, the running slows or just stops. A couple of beer stops are ok but not after 15 beers and running.

  2. Neat to see what others can teach us along the way.