One of the most frustrating things I found when I first started running was all the advice from various articles, books, and magazines. The advice mostly pertained to fueling in terms of nutrition and hydration. What I found to be most frustrating was that each source told me to do something different, for example, “Do it like this, no do it like that, no this way is best”. There was just so much contradiction. Even getting in-person tips and advice became frustrating for the same reason: there was no consistency.
As an experienced ultra-runner, the best guideline I can offer those just starting out in terms of seeking guidance is to understand that when you do seek advice from people or sources, to use that advice as more of a guide to help you better understand how to prepare, rather than following it strictly. It is meant to be a loose guide, but everybody is different, and what works for one person will not work for another. You really just need to get out there and do your own thing when it comes to fueling and hydrating. Experimentation and trial and error is really the only way you will create your own path to success.
One good example of it being different for everyone is that many years ago, I read a book titled, “Racing Weight”. In the book, it strongly suggested that losing weight would make a person run faster and get better results at races. I followed what the book told me to do in a somewhat close manner and lost the weight, moving from 140 pounds to about 112 pounds, but I did not seem to run any faster. I got the same times I would always get at races, even with speed training and nutrition and weight loss techniques described in the book. So in short, everybody is different, and every person’s body is different too. We just need to get out there and start moving around and experimenting with all the different types of gear, nutrition, and hydration. Get out there and do your own thing and the frustration shall cease!