22 Mile Run: Side Aches & HRM


I ran 22 miles a couple of days ago in training for the Texas Trails Endurance 50K that takes place in less than 2 weeks. I tried a few things that might be helpful.

Preventing Side Aches During a Run

I've been getting stomach cramps or side aches during some of my runs so before this 22 miler, I ate 3 hours beforehand in order to give my body time to digest my food. On my shorter morning runs, I skipped eating all together. I haven't had any cramps since trying this out. The only drawback is being hungry before I run.

Eat (or not) & run links: Hammer: Nutrition and Active.com.

Like this post by ultrarunner Ian Torrence advises, I sipped my water and gels slowly (each gel eaten over 1 to 1 1/2 miles) rather than gulping them down at mile markers during my 22 miler. This might help, too.

HRM

I wore my heart rate monitor this week. Watching the numbers was interesting, but I need to learn more about it. Kristen's post with her HR numbers and this Runner's World post is helpful. Part of the fun of running is that there are always new things to learn.


Nutrition for the 22 Mile Run

Pre-run (3 hours) - pancakes
During - 4 Hammer gels (apple cinnamon tastes like apple pie!)
Post-run - I brought a breakfast cookie (I added cinnamon - yum!) on the run, but I ended up eating it after the run.

Taper

Now all of my future runs leading up to the 50K will be shorter than 18 miles. It's taper time!

Comments

  1. I'm glad you've managed to sort out your stomach cramp problem! I seem to be alright eating up to 1 hour ahead, but my longest run isn't yet 20 miles!
    I usually take my gel and water over 5 minutes or so, although that yummy apple pie one sounds like it could go down a bit quicker!
    Enjoy your taper!

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    1. The apple cinnamon flavor is one of my favorites - just like the pie filling without the apples!

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  2. Yay for taper time; boo for side aches! I'm still a GU fan, but through my recent training, found either replacing GU with regular food or balancing it was much easier on me. It's definitely more work constructing the food, but well worth it for those longer races. Can't wait to read about your 50K!

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    1. I like GU gels, too. In fact, I just stocked up on some for the 50K. I found a couple of new flavors: chocolate peanut butter and Root Beer!

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  3. What do you use to carry water with you? I always wear a heart monitor, it has always been very interesting to me what is going on with my heart rate while running and feeling great, not feeling so great, hills, etc...

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    1. I used a Camelbak that holds 40 ounces, but I haven't decided on whether I'll race with it this time. For my last 50K, I wore a 4 bottle Nathan belt that holds 40 ounces.

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  4. Only an ultra runner tapers with runs shorter than 18 miles!!!
    I always have trouble fueling.
    How did you feel like you were doing with the HRM effort-wise running vs without it?

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    1. Ha, ha, yeah! Seeing how low my heart rate was while I was running in the second half gave me the little push I needed to push myself a little harder.

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  5. Yay for taper time! I have several heart rate monitors but I almost never wear them running. Did you like wearing it? Do you think you will keep wearing it?

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    1. I hardly notice that it's there. I'll keep wearing it so that I'll have some numbers to compare at least for a while. I really need to learn more about it!

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  6. I noticed at one point that if my breathing changed for some reason or I got out of cadence with it, I would get a side stitch. Weird but true! Hope you can keep yours away!!!

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    1. Me, too! I think that happens to me, too, with my breathing, but sometimes I'd get a side stitch when I didn't think anything had changed.

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  7. Yikes sorry you were getting side aches. Glad you got some stuff figured out!

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    1. They were only an occasional problem. I think that's why I didn't think too much about them until recently when I carried a mustard packet with me to see if that would rid me of my cramp. The cramp went away, but one time is not much of a test!

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  8. I have a lot of tummy troubles when I run, especially long distances. I switched my fuel to Tailwind this year, and like the ultrarunners do, I sipped it slowly throughout my run. This means I have to carry a handheld, which I did for the Chicago marathon, and I had to refill it every hour to properly fuel. It was a great plan, and altho I had to stop twice for the porta potty, I never hit the wall, and felt pretty good for the entire race. Recovery was great too.

    That's my plan and I'm sticking with it!

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    1. I used Tailwind during a 25K race I ran this year. I like the idea of having my nutrition in a bottle like you can do with Tailwind!

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  9. Interesting since I di occasionally get side stitches. Congrats on reaching taper time!

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    1. Thanks - looking forward to it!

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  10. I also take forever to eat my GUs too. Over a mile, and that seems to help me. Enjoy the taper! -L

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    1. What surprises me most is how it doesn't bother me to carry it in my hand for so long. Thanks!

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  11. Pancakes with a thin smear of peanut butter are my new favorite pre-race and long run (12+ miles) breakfast! Glad eating earlier helped resolve your issues with stomach cramps. Maybe being hungry at the start of the run is the lesser of two evils in this case.

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    1. I think you're right and I like pancakes and PB, too!

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  12. That’s great that you wore your HR monitor on all of your runs this week. It can definitely be helpful, especially during those longer endurance runs. There is so much to learn from “data” in general. I must try that apple cinnamon Hammer gel – I’ve never heard of this flavor! Good luck tapering and can’t wait to see how you do on your next 50k!

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    1. Kristen, it was your post that gave me the little push I needed to pull out my HRM, so thanks for that! It made my 22 miler more interesting because I kept my eye on my HR.

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  13. I hope you have the soda aches/stomach cramps figured out - no fun to run with that kind of pain!!!

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    1. The last time I got a side ache was a couple of weeks ago. I pulled out my mustard, worried about what it would taste like to eat it by itself, ate it, looked up and saw a huge deer watching me. I waved my arms. The deer and the cramp went away and I never had time to think about the mustard taste!

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  14. Yay for taper time! That's good you figured out some solutions to the side aches and stomach cramps. I've found that for me, if I eat oatmeal an hour before a run, I'm good. If I eat a wheat based product instead, I'll end up with side stitches. We all react differently so experimentation seems the only way to figure it out :) Apple Cinnamon is my favorite Hammer Gel!

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    1. Running fewer miles will give me more time to plan for our next trip in our new RV!

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  15. New follower. We are very close in age, but my nest is still not empty! Good luck on your 50k. I'm in awe!

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  16. 22 miles is so long. Good for you.

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  17. Good luck with your taper Tina! Sounds like you've got the side stitch worked out.

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  18. Enjoy the taper....your training has been great! I don't get stitches too much but recently did in the 2nd half of my last marathon. Nasty things. Hopefully they don't continue to bother you.

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  19. Congrats. That's a lot of miles! I hate those side stitches. I just run through them. Good luck on the Texas Trail Endurance Run

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  20. Awesome! yay for your last longest run before your big race! Enjoy the taper Tina!

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  21. Side aches are never fun! Sounds like you have a handle on it! FYI learning to not eat before you run takes time, but eventually it gets easier I promise. Eventually, you won't even notice that you didn't eat!
    Also, congrats on the 22 miler!!!!

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  22. Side aches are awful. I may need to try those Hammer gels that taste like apple pie. That sounds delicious!

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  23. Almost there! It sounds like you have a few new tricks up your sleeve!
    I'm pretty sure this 50 K will be shorter than the other one. :-)

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