One of the major reasons I posted so extensively about my first marathon training cycle was so I could eventually go back and reread those posts. I could reread posts and see what worked and what did not work (the internet never forgets). Sure, I could have written in a diary instead but with blogging, I also received a lot of feedback that helped shape my marathon planning for the Phoenix marathon.
Since the New York City Marathon was 18 months ago it’s hard for me to recall exactly what worked and didn’t.
In 2013, I found nutrition to be one of the key factors I flopped during the marathon.
I categorize the changes I needed to make into two main topics (The week before and actual racing nutrition)
The plan for the week before the marathon:
Here is what I did for my first marathon: Carb Depletion Post
Long story short: I think I overdid the carbohydrates. In 2013, I depleted my glycogen stores a few days before and then ate carbs to “top them off” until the marathon. It wasn’t that I went crazy with carbs but my body wasn’t used to that situation. In hindsight, I broke a golden rule of changing something before a race. I think it changed my digestive system.
I understand this method works for some people but I do not think it was the best thing for me. I hadn’t practiced it very well and I don’t think I got the the benefits that were intended.
For this marathon I have continued to eat more normal. I haven’t changed a lot and I haven’t depleted my carbohydrates. Throughout this training cycle, I ate better all around. I ate less fried food as well as less junk food. I didn’t do it to lose weight (I haven’t), I did it because I felt better. My eating is nothing strict or crazy (I did a post about here) but I think I will eat closer to my normal intake. I will do some minor tweaking by adding more carbohydrates towards the end of the week. I’m not going to go for another carb depletion then overload. Instead of eating only carbohydrates the last few days I am going to up my carb intake but still stay more similar to my normal diet and routine.
The race is on Saturday. On Thursday and Friday I will eat more bland, easily digestible food. This will be more difficult since I will be traveling but it will involve planning (and we all know I’m not a planner).
Race Day Nutrition:
For my previous race, I was up 7 hours beforehand and I know I didn’t take in enough calories. I had to wake up at 3:30 am to make the logistics of the race. On a normal day that would be like running a marathon at 1pm. On a normal day at 1pm, I’ve already had 1200 calories, if not more. I only had about 800 calories before the marathon. In hindsight that was a huge mistake.
Phoenix is different because I’ll be able to race about 2 hours after waking up. This is my normal running schedule and it makes it much easier for me. I’m a morning runner and I like to eat about 2 hours before I run. So this race time works out exactly how my training runs normally do.
Race nutrition will be the easier of the two sides to attack. I can eat a normal breakfast and then fuel accordingly with gels.
Breakfast 2 hours before (500 calorie waffle with peanut butter…this is what I eat before most races)
4 Cliff Gels (every 45 mins)
My favorite gels right now are the cliff chocolate cherry. I don’t have a sensitive stomach and have never had issues with gels (unless I mix gel and gatorade). This race I’ll be more fueled prior to the race and take one more gel.
Hopefully this is a better plan of attack for the marathon. Since it is my second marathon I am still very much in the experimenting phrase.
Questions for you:
What do you do for marathon nutrition?
What is your favorite prerace meal?
Do you have a sensitive stomach?