Something I’ve been thinking a lot about in regards to training is my nutrition. I can run all of the miles I want and prepare physically but one thing I know I need to work on from last years marathon is nutrition. Last year at the NYCM was a bit of a disaster as far as nutrition and timing goes and here is why:
I was up at 3am (technically 4 because the clocks fell back). The race started for me close to 10am. That is 7 hours of being awake before actually running. If you know me in real life you know I struggle not eating before a run. I normally wake up hungry. I can eat about an hour before running (normally) and not have a lot of issues.
Here is my timeline before the race:
3:00am: wake up have a waffle with peanut butter and coffee
Take the train to the ferry to the bus to the corral.
7:00am: have a bagel with peanut butter and more coffee as well as hot water because it was cold outside.
9am: have a gel
9:50 (I think or was it 9:40) start the race.
I consumed roughly 1000 calories before the actual race. Before a race that I could wake up a couple hours beforehand I wouldn’t consume nearly that much. Before all of my long training runs, half marathons and other races I generally eat about 400-500 calories, 2 hours prior. (This included the majority of my training runs).
I didn’t practice this (at all) beforehand. I pretended as if it wasn’t real life and went along with it. I knew what I was going to do, but had not actually tried it. (You know the age old wisdom, don’t try anything new the day of race…).
I took 3 gels along the way of the course. Maybe that was enough, maybe not. Looking back, I claimed that I have never been that tired during a race. It was most defeinetly true. The marathon humbled me a lot. That being said, it wasn’t like my pace went from 7:15 miles to 10 minute miles. It went more like 7:20 miles to 7:30 miles.
I do still think nutrition played a large role in my training and race day. It is something I’m actively looking to improve this training cycle. I do know during my next marathon, I think I’ll take four gels. (Past that I really don’t know).
I don’t really know about main nutrition yet. For my training runs and half marathons I’ve found eating two hours beforehand has normally always worked for me. (There have been a few exceptions that I’ve just felt off). I am hoping I’ll be able to do something similar. It’s a constant challenege I guess.
Questions for you:
How do you fuel yourself for marathons?
How long do you need between eating and running?