Be sure to add your blog to my blog list -- Click HERE or blog list above to add your blog!

Mar 22, 2012

Race Nutrition and the marathon...

5 miles on the schedule today....done!  Another 80 degree yesterday and we are expecting close to 80 degrees today as well.  Looks like the weekend is getting cooler.  I might have to bring out the long pants/sleeves again.  The horror!


I was talking the other day with a fellow blogger, Matt from Faster Than a Turtle and believe me when I tell you he's WAY faster than a turtle.  He's training for his first marathon coming up in May but has not gotten his nutritional needs worked out quite yet.  It actually reminds me of me when I trained for my first just last year.  I was really struggling with nutrition and having enough in my stomach at the beginning of the race.  I tried to eat more but was just worried about my stomach hurting from feeling full.

I actually still eat what I did for the first race-- maybe a little more.  My pre-race routine has been a half banana and a granola bar.  It seems to work for me.  I have since added Shot Bloks to my nutrition on my long runs and I also try to eat them regularly throughout the marathon starting at about mile 3.
Cran Razz is my favorite
I try to eat one ever three miles at least until mile 21 because usually after that I just cannot stomach any food.  I've also been very good at hydrating throughout my training and while on races.  I always carry a Nathan water bottle and it has proved invaluable for me.  The best thing is that I don't have to stop at the water stops along the race except to refill.

So what's your advice?  What do you do to fuel yourself on long runs and races?  Share your advice and help a fellow runner out.

By the way, the one that writes Faster than a Turtle is hoping for a 3:15-3:30 time.  That's faster than a rabbit, isn't it?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. If I'm not racing the marathon I don't eat before the race and on route I only drink water and coke that is handed out on route.
    If races, like November last year. I might have a hot cross bun (we always have them in the house) or nothing, but on the run I will have water and GU, corn syrup, or what ever I have in the house. I take them at 11km, 22km 33km or just over 40min running time.

    For longer races I eat in the morning, and I eat big for 3-5 day events. I find for a 1 day race I have plenty reserves (I'm fat enough) not to need anything in the morning. Practice, see what works for you. and good luck to the Turtle!!!

  2. Before a very long run or marathon, I always eat a bagel. I used to swear by toast w/ PB & banana but after my success at Bayshore and knowing my pre-race breakfast was a bagel, I've stuck to that.

    During long runs I always carry my fuel belt or my handheld water bottle. I like to use Hammer gel, Jelly Belly jelly beans, sport beans or shot bloks for long run & race fuel. I always hydrate w/ water only!

  3. We have been having the same awesome weather out here and I am enjoying it!! Before a long run I usually do bagel and peanut butter with a banana. I stick with GU during long runs and only use half at a time.

  4. I have experimented with the right kind of pre-race and during race nutrition for years and here's what I've come up with.
    I find that I need some protein the night before the event with my pasta. Also, the morning of the event I load up about 2 hours before with a PBJ, a banana, a power bar, and during the event I use FRS energy chews, a GU around mile 14, 18, and then 22, and a S-Cap an hour before and every hour thereafter. Damn, I sound pretty high maintenance.

  5. Great job on your run this morning, Jeff! This weather has been great, especially for early runs. I'm not looking forward to the effect another radical temperature change will have on my sinuses, but I can't complain at all. Even the cooler weekend weather will probably be warmer than what we should be having this time of year.

    Thanks for the mention and for linking to my blog! I really appreciate it, as well as the great advice you gave me the other day. I think I've been very lucky to have gotten away with not eating before or during the races I've run to date. But the marathon is a different beast, as I'm learning, and I really need to figure out a system that works.

    I'm definitely taking your advice this weekend and eating a few hours before my long run, though I still have to decide exactly what and how much (thanks to you and your readers for the great suggestions, by the way). I know I can't get away with not eating before long runs anymore, especially after doing a medium-distance run the day before my long run. I'll also eat some Honey Stinger chews at least 2-3 times during my run. I'll look into trying Shot Bloks on one of my upcoming long runs. I use an Amphipod handheld bottle on long runs, so I'll be able to hydrate during my long runs too. It looks pretty similar to your Nathan water bottle, and it's nice to be able to stash some chews/gel and keys in the pocket. When I signed up for the marathon, I didn't realize that the long runs can be about so much more than just running! But I'm glad I have several weeks to use the long runs as experiments for determining my nutritional needs (and how I'm going to meet those needs on race day).

    Thanks again for the excellent advice, and to your readers for their great suggestions!

  6. Matt - I felt the same way! It seems like after 15 miles, nutrition and hydration and not going out too fast plays a big roll for me. Good luck! I can't wait to hear your race report in May.

  7. I love all this advice. I've only ran two marathons. I took gel at 6 and 12. Each marathon the third gel has made me sick. So I'm trying to find something that will agree with me after miles 12. Any suggestion welcome.

  8. LOVE reading this!! Im so new that Im kinda at a loss as to what to do when!