Using Hammer for a Marathon

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Using Hammer for a Marathon

Postby brad » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:25 am

Hi Wayne/ Steve

After reading the thread on “First Time, Slower Marathoner”, I wonder if I should re-evaluate the way I use the Hammer products.-

I’m 168 lb and I kept 2 scoops of Perpetuem in my 8 oz flask and mixed them on the run (as Wayne suggested) – sipping it every 15 min, which would last me 1:30 hr while supplementing with Heed ... I started the race taking one gel 45 min prior to the start. I kept an extra gel if I run out of Perpetuem at the end as a back up.

I have used Heed for hydration while consuming Perpetuem during the Marathon. It appears from the article, you suggest having only water for the hydration source with Endurolytes pills in conjunction with Perpetuem. ? Should I assume that I was taking in to many Calories using Heed with Perpetuem..? Or should I start the marathon using the traditional way by taking Heed and gels then transition over by the second hour of the race with perpetuem and water ?

With that said - how would you schedule the intake the Perpetuem Solids -if I didn’t want do the typical mixing ?

I appreciate your thoughts on this,

Thanks Brad
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Re: Using Hammer for a Marathon

Postby wayne » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:08 pm

Did you complete a marathon? Which one? I have asked the Hammer company to write more information to help runners. I run with a water belt that has 2 20 ounce water bottles in the back. Some people find that is pretty heavy; but if you train with it you find it feels ok. I mix enough Perpetuem to meet all my calorie needs for the event. Then in the other one water. I also carry endurolytes. I would say if you have the calorie count down and the endurolytes down; then all you would need in addition is water. I carry water in case a water stand is too crowded or I end up in a bad position to grab water. In a race once my water bottle is empty I just leave it empty. All the races have plenty of water stations and towards the end they are easy to get to. I have used the solids and enjoy the solids; but really have not figured out how to use them in a marathon. I love Heed and do Heed alot in my training. Once you go with Perpetuem and water; I would leave the Heed out. I did the marathons in a while back. Now I am doing half marathons and hope to again move up to the marathon distance.
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Re: Using Hammer for a Marathon

Postby steve-born » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:09 am

Hello Brad -

There are many, many ways one can properly fuel for a marathon, and it's really up to the individual to determine which method works best for him/her.

For example, if I were able to do a marathon in 3:00 - 3:45 (which I am not capable of doing, by the way), I may just go with Hammer Gel, water, and Endurolytes as my fuel instead of Perpetuem. Will I burn a little lean muscle tissue and produce a little ammonia by not incorporating some protein into my fuel mixture? Absolutely. However, by the time that truly becomes problematic (the accumulation of ammonia), the race will have long been over.

The reason why I might opt for Hammer Gel vs. Perpetuem is because, at least for me, running is a "digestively challenging" type of activity, which means my body's ability to process a more-dense fuel (Perpetuem) may not be as easy to do as compared to a "carbohydrate only" fuel. I explain this in the article "Caloric Intake - Proper amounts during endurance exercise" ( ... .1275.html), in the section entitled "The 'gray area' of fueling."

Now, if you've tested Perpetuem in your training and your body has no issues digesting it while running then yes, it would be the ideal fuel to use during a long-duration marathon. I personally like Wayne's fueling protocol for when he does marathons. He carries one bottle containing all of the Perpetuem he needs for the event, and he carries another bottle containing water (which, as Wayne pointed out, isn't a bad idea if you get to an aid station and it's too crowded and/or if there's no water there). Now, you could lighten the load a bit by mixing Perpetuem even more concentrated, carrying it in and consuming it from a couple of Hammer Gel flasks. Either way - concentrated bottle or super concentrated flask(s) - you've got your primary-to-sole fuel with you so that you don't have to rely on the offerings at the aid station.

I also agree that HEED, while perfectly acceptable to use, is not really necessary. For me, it'd be kind of a pain to calculate my hourly calorie intake if I were using both Perpetuem and HEED. HEED's a great product, no doubt, but I think it'd be a whole lot simpler to keep your calorie needs separate from your fluid needs. What I mean is that your concentrated bottle/flasks of Perpetuem will take care of your calorie needs, and even though there is some fluid left in the mixture, it's pretty inconsequential over the course of a few hours. In essence, those are "calories only" bottles/flasks and I would not count what minimal amount of fluid that's in them towards my hourly hydration total. Like Wayne, I would fulfill hydration needs with water and electrolyte requirements from Endurolytes. As a result of having all three entities of your fueling - calories, fluids, and electrolytes - coming in from sources independent of each other it allows you to know with greater precision just how much calories, fluids, and electrolytes you're taking in on an hourly basis.

It also gives you the opportunity to increase your fluid and electrolyte intake without having to increase your calorie intake at the same time. In a hot-weather race, this really comes in handy... when you're exercising in hot weather conditions your body's ability to process calories may diminish somewhat, while your fluid and electrolytes needs may very well increase. Now, because you've kept your calories, fluids, and electrolytes coming in from sources independent of each other, it will allow you, if necessary, to make adjustments to all three of those fueling entities, increasing your fluid and electrolyte intake but without having to consume more calories at the same time.

Now, if you want to add some variety to your fueling "menu" it's perfectly acceptable to use Hammer Gel or Perpetuem Solids on occasion. Just remember that with each serving of Hammer Gel you'll be taking in 80-90 calories (depending on the flavor) and with each Perpetuem Solids tablet you'll be consuming a tad over 33 calories. If you do choose to incorporate those two fuels into your fueling plan - and again, it's perfectly acceptable to do so - just remember that your intake of your primary fuel (Perpetuem) will have to be less in order to accommodate the calories from these other two fuel sources.

Bottom line is that, from all your fuel sources, you want to stay within a certain hourly calorie intake range. For the average-size athlete (160 - 165 lbs), our general recommendation is an intake of 240-280 calories. However, your intake may vary - it can oftentimes be lower due to a number of variables (the weather, the terrain, your pace, etc).

Oh yes, regarding Perpetuem Solids. The way I view this product, it is really not designed to be used to fulfill one's hourly calorie needs entirely... with each tablet only being 33.3 calories you'd have to chew a lot of them on an hourly basis! The primary reason for its existence is for athletes who are doing long-duration races and want a high-quality solid food/fuel to help break up the monotony of going all liquid. Also, it provides some protein (in addition to the carbs and healthy fat) but in a form that won't go bad in the heat. As you know, when mixed Perpetuem doesn't have a forever shelf life; at some point (which will vary depending on the weather) the protein will eventually sour.

I have found that athletes doing full iron distance triathlons like using a Hammer Gel + Perpetuem Solids combination during the run portion of their event. The reason this is an attractive fueling plan is because many of them will have already been out on the course for 7-8+ hours, which means by the time they get to the run portion of the race, a premixed bottle or flask of Perpetuem may not still be palatable or drinkable.

I know this is a lot of information to digest (no pun intended) but I hope it will be useful to you, Brad. If you need more assistance with this or have additional questions please let me know.

Sincerely -

Steve Born
Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
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