7.13.2012

Just Call Me Baby

I have a confession to make. I eat baby food. It makes me run fast.

I was volunteering for a 50k a couple of months ago and in the process met some great guys who put up with my incessant questions about Ultra Racing. What do you eat? How often do you train? How many miles do you go for your long runs? Do you walk up all the hills? What is a good time for a __k? How much water do you carry? What shoes do you use? They were very patient with me. We ran 20 miles together; they had no choice.

I learned...they run runs by the hour, not the mile. For instance, on the weekend, they may go for a 4 hour run, regardless of the number of miles. I learned that they mostly use hydration VESTS, rather than belts. I learned that they use Montrail and Asics and Some Weird Shoe with a bigger heel. And, as far as fueling, I learned that some of them eat baby food.

So I tried it. I tried a few different kinds. Each were apple based and were in those squeezable packages. I know, it's landfill, but I am only using one a week at the most. Here are a few I tried.


Target Up and Up Brand Baby Food -- 1 x 3.5 oz $0.79 each  -- $0.23/oz
Trader Joes Crushers -- 4 x 3.17 oz packs for $2.99 ($0.75 each -- $0.24/oz)
Safeway Brand Squeeze Applesauce -- 4 x 3.17 oz packs for $2.50 ($0.63 each -- $0.20/oz)**

The results? I love it. It goes down MUCH easier than Gu (which I am not a huge fan of but will use if I need to). It's about 50 calories per pouch, so you may need to carry several, which could be a drawback. I used them in tangent with my other favorite fuel, honey stinger chews. I take a shot of applesauce around the 1 hour mark and a few chews about an hour afterward (2 hr mark) and probably about a half an hour after that (2.5 hr mark). I've never been big on fuel, and so far, this seems to work for me. I may start to carry two of them (hey, that's why I wear a bra, right?) and take them on the hours and the chews on the half hour. Who knows. I still have three 20+ mile runs ahead of me to test it out.

What kind is the best? Seriously, just go with **the cheapest one. They all taste the same to me. Just make sure there is no added sugar. They should be made from fruit, which is already naturally sweet!

Now that I mentioned this, you may wonder why I need to worry about all this stuff. It's because I got a wild hair and finally signed up for my first ultra (after hemming and hawing and watching the price rise and the number of available spots drop!) Which one!? It's the Skyline 50k which is right near my place in Oakland! Click the icon to go to the site!


The race is on August 12. That means I have about one month to complain, ask more questions, be nervous, get over my fear train! I have decided NOT to buy new shoes. I will probably wear my regular old Asics that I have been wearing on the street and trails for the last few months. I am still not sure about a hydration vest. I am not sure I need the water, but the added storage pockets may be nice. Also, for my marathon training, I still have 2 more 20 milers. I can decide whether to do one of them on trails in preparation for the 50k. Does anyone have any advice for these issues? 

Don't forget to stop by Jill's for more Fitness Friday posts!  Also, happy FRIDAY the 13th!


Have you ever eaten baby food? If people ask you lots of questions about something you are knowledgeable about, is it annoying or flattering?

21 comments:

  1. Love this! You sound like me with Chad and anytime I'm around ultrarunners. Questions!!

    Baby food? Brilliant! I can't stomach Gu so this might be my perfect alternative. I think Chad has mentioned this in the past before I was determined to run a 50K. Guess what our conversation will be tonight after he gets home from work :)

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  2. When my daughter was a baby we use to get the plum organics that come in pouches and the flavor combos were pretty darn good! they have great sales on them at babies r us!

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  3. Ah, popping the ultra cherry. Mine's going down with a 40 miler in December. I already have some trail shoes and I'll be getting a vest soon enough. The world of trail ultras is amazing and wild. The people out there are so completely different from road racers, it's a completely nuts community. I'm trying to embrace it. Good luck!

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  4. I used those for my daughter! They actually were really good! I love this idea of using them instead of gu!

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  5. I used to love to eat baby food, some of there fruit flavors like, apples, bananas and pears were my favorite. I never really thought about eating that for running.

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  6. I tried Buddy Fruits once but there was something about the texture that threw me off and the package was kind of bulky but it's definitely a great idea! I don't think I realized your 50K was in August, that's exciting. I think you are going to be more than prepared. I've never been able to get in any long runs on the trails, it just never works out logistically so the most I've ever done on trails outside of a race is probably 12ish miles.

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  7. Very fun post to read...different...I like this! Never heard of this before but I will share this with my hubby who is aspiring to do the longer trail running. He will like this. :) Great post.

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  8. INteresting, I might have to try it. I recently starting eating more "real" food during long runs and less gels and have found my GI system likes it much better.

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  9. Interesting post! Applesauce sounds like a great alternative to punches of gels - and much cheaper too! Wonder if there's any way of putting homemade applesauce in mini bags that would be tough enough to carry round....I do like my own homemade applesauce!

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  10. One of my runner friends carries those squeezable PB packets (the same brand they put in the Starbucks protein pack). I've seen them at target and she gets them online.

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  11. I'm reading Born to Run right now, and have enormous respect for ultra runners!

    I don't mind when people ask questions because they are looking for info. I'm happy to share and help when I can. I don't understand why anyone would find it annoying?

    Oh, and I use Sports Beans mostly, sometimes GU, but never baby food.

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  12. I love it! That makes so much more sense than sugar-packed gus. I've never thought of using those for long runs, but have bought them occasionally for L and she loves them. Now if only they could come in a compostable container. :)

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  13. Interesting, hadn't thought of that one but it makes sense. I hate most fuels so this might be a good solution. Wow your 1st ultra awesome!

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  14. that is awesome that you are doing a 50k! I never thought to use baby food as fuel, but that makes sense! I usually eat gu. It works for me and doesn't give me tummy trouble, so I just keep doing what works!

    I don't mind answering questions about something I am interested in - like running. I do get annoyed when they ask for my advice and then blatantly ignore it and make not-so-great decisions...

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  15. I've so thought about using the pouches for fuel during my long runs. Some even have chia seeds in it. I might try it tomorrow for my 18 miler. I've got a few stashed for my kids. Green beans, peas and pears - it's actually pretty tasty!

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  16. Wow wow wow, I can hardly fathom running that long, but I know you can do it!

    When I was in high school girls used to eat baby food. lol, I totally forgot about that until now. I think it makes sense to eat it on runs for fuel. So much better than gu. I tried gu during d2d and was not a fan. I felt like I was eating hair gel.

    I like it when people ask me questions about something I am knowledgeable about. It is definitely flattering.

    I can't wait to hear how the ultra goes, I know you'll rock it!

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  17. I think this is a *great* idea! I'll try it if I'm ever allowed to do truly long runs again (kidding about "ever"--I hope). I'm very much looking forward to hearing about your race.

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  18. Interesting about the baby food. Probably easy to digest and get down. Wow, so exciting that you signed up for an ultra! Woohoo! You will do awesome and I think it's great that you asked lots of Q's:)

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  19. I have tried baby food but not for running, I only tried it when my kids were eating it. Those squeeze packs they have now would make it more convienient to carry while running. I started wearing a vest on my long runs at the end of marathon training and liked it so much better than a belt. Good luck with your training can't wait to read all about it!

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  20. Wow, didn't know that about baby food. I never ate the stuff when my kids were babies (although my daughter hated it just as much as me). I guess the sugar content is similar to a gel? That would make sense.

    Good luck with your training. An ultra is awesome!!

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  21. So, what you're saying is, we have the same shopping lists each week? hahaha.

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!