This is what 80% chance of rain looks like in Austin:
Yeah, I’d say the weather people got it a *little* bit wrong. Oh well, I’m definitely not complaining.
So as you can imagine, my mind is filled with everything about Boston this week so I’m sorry because you get to read all about it.
Today’s topic? My fueling strategy.
If you’ve followed my races for awhile, you know that this is something that I struggle with. I for some reason have started getting severe GI issues during races and have done some crazy stuff to try to fix it (like self-diagnose that I’m gluten intolerant… yeah, not smart). The worst was at the Houston Marathon a few months ago when I had to stop and go to the bathroom THREE times.
So anyways, I’m making a few minor tweaks to how I’m fueling for Boston and keeping some things the same.
Marathon eve meal
For nearly every marathon (minus my first one and when I ran the Brooklyn Marathon), I’ve eaten my favorite dish from Chipotle — a vegetarian burrito bol. I know what you’re thinking — THAT must be what’s giving me my gut issues! I partially agree with you. I say partially because I’ve eaten this meal for nearly 10 years and there have been some super strong races where I haven’t had any gut issues.
But what I’m switching up this time around is taking out the beans. I know, I should have done that a long time ago, right? I’ve realized that eating some very fibrous black beans the night before a marathon can be a bad decision if my gut doesn’t want to cooperate.
I thought I had this all figured out when I ran NYC last fall because I had a bagel and some nuts and NO GUT ISSUES! I felt like I had a monster ah-ha moment and even though I didn’t have the race I wanted, I felt successful in the fact that I figured out what to eat before a race. Fast forward to Houston, with all the gut issues and realizing that nuts before a race may not be the best decision.
So, I’ll be sticking with the bagel, but will be skipping the nuts. Instead, I’ll be snacking on some PROBAR Bolt chews, which have become a pre-run staple in my house.
During the race
I’ve struggled with this during my race. I used to eat three gels, and wouldn’t take the first one until I was about five or six miles in.
What was I thinking?
I’ve since learned that this was probably the culprit of my intense bonks at the end of races and it’s better to give yourself MORE fuel, especially on race day. I’ve been using the following fuel strategy for my past few races (minus Houston, where I got pissed at my body towards the end and refused to give it fuel due to the bathroom stops… not quite sure if that was a wise decision yet):
Mile 3: One whole gel (I use Honey Stinger – Ginseng for the extra caffeine benefit)
Mile 6-26: 1/2 gel every 3 miles or so (sometimes I forget what mile I’m on so that’s where the “or so” comes into play)
On top of that, I’ll be bringing my Bottleband + bottle of Nuun (likely cherry limeade) to drink through the race as my source of electrolytes. I’m debating about having another one ready to grab from my family when I see them… TBD. That’s another thing that I realized — it’s not that smart to never drink Gatorade because you think it’s too sweet and then down it like nothing on race day.
I promise, I do make smart decisions sometimes. 🙂
Anyways, I’m feeling pretty solid about this plan and like my previous 18 marathons, I expect that I will learn a lot from what I decide to do. I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m so intrigued by the marathon — I still haven’t mastered every aspect of it yet, especially when it comes to nutrition.
What’s your race eve dinner?
Do you struggle with fueling during a race? What are some things you’ve learned along the way?
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