Picture: Scott Draper
Working a profitable marathon is undoubtedly difficult. At 26.2 miles, there’s extra alternative for issues to undermine the end result of the race. And one space that units the marathon aside from shorter races is fueling. The human physique solely shops sufficient carbohydrate within the muscle tissue, blood, and liver (within the type of glycogen) for roughly 20 miles of operating, particularly at extra strenuous intensities.
Run out of gasoline and the inevitable crash or bonk occurs. Any marathoner who has “hit the wall” round mile 20 of a marathon will attest to the pervasive fatigue and dead-leggedness that follows. Slowing down is physiologically essential to preserve the quickly diminishing gasoline shops that energy a marathon efficiency.
The answer? First, correct marathon coaching is important to show your physique to preserve gasoline and use it correctly. Subsequent, a mixture of carb-loading earlier than and in the course of the race will increase carbohydrate shops and obtainable gasoline that can assist you end the marathon robust.
Observe these do’s and don’ts of marathon fueling to assist your subsequent marathon be your finest.
Do Carb-Load Earlier than the Race
Carb-loading works. In a research revealed within the Worldwide Journal of Sports activities Medication, researchers adopted over 250 runners who competed on the London Marathon. They discovered that solely 12 % consumed sufficient carbohydrates earlier than the race—and those who did ran a median of 13.Four % quicker!
The brand new tips counsel 7 to 10 grams of carbohydrates for each kilogram (2.2 kilos) of physique weight. That is admittedly extra carbohydrates than most runners are used to consuming; 1 to 2 liters of sports activities drink is a useful option to make consuming all these carbs potential.
Take your pre-race fueling severely. For a 4-hour marathoner, this might imply operating greater than 25 minutes quicker than in case you didn’t give attention to carb-loading!
Don’t wing it
A runner as soon as instructed me he was going to depend on adrenaline to get him over the end line of his first marathon. However that’s a really unhealthy thought!
First, adrenaline isn’t enough gasoline for an endurance occasion (it’s for brief bursts of excessive depth power, usually in a “battle or flight” state of affairs).
Not having a vitamin plan for race day is like going into an examination with out learning. You merely is not going to be ready.
As an alternative, use the information on this article to place a plan collectively. And naturally, observe it earlier than the race.
Don’t do something new on race day
This can be a well-worn piece of recommendation for any runner, irrespective of the gap. Don’t put on new sneakers, shorts, or have completely different meals for breakfast. And experimenting with new fuels or a distinct fueling schedule is introducing a doubtlessly unpleasant GI state of affairs!
Keep on with meals which are suitable along with your abdomen each the day earlier than and on race day.
Which leads us to my subsequent level…
Do observe earlier than race day
Similar to you observe lengthy runs, pacing, and racing technique earlier than your objective marathon, you must also observe your actual fueling technique earlier than the large day. There ought to by no means be any surprises if you’re racing.
Intention to run two to 3 lengthy runs utilizing the identical fueling schedule you propose to make use of on race day. Make sure that all the pieces is deliberate: use the identical gasoline, on the similar time of day, in the identical timing sample that you’ll on the day you race your marathon.
This helps be certain that there received’t be any surprises if you lastly line as much as race.
Do eat enough carbs in the course of the marathon
Through the race (and if you’re training), it’s important to eat the correct amount of carbohydrates.
Too little and also you threat limiting your potential. An excessive amount of, and also you threat GI misery.
With correct carb-loading earlier than the race, most runners then want about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour throughout a marathon for optimum efficiency. This works out to be about two gels (or equal) per hour.
To produce a gentle stream of gasoline and to cut back the probability of a porta-potty break, break that into two periods: one gel each 30 minutes throughout a marathon.
Additionally remember to drink roughly Four ounces of water with every gel. The electrolytes within the gels have to be processed with water (and too many electrolytes, in case you drink sports activities drink, can leech water out of your cells for that processing, inflicting dehydration). One or two mouthfuls of water is all you want.
With these methods, fueling for a marathon turns into easier. And racing the marathon will likely be much more profitable!
In regards to the Creator:
Jason Fitzgerald is the top coach at Energy Working, one of many internet’s largest teaching websites for runners. He’s a 2:39 marathoner, USATF-certified coach and his ardour helps runners set monster private bests.