Tuesday, May 24, 2011

OK A Little Late: Marathon Fueling Tip

Not only is marathon fueling important during the race, but it is extremely important pre-race. Especially in the 24 hour before the race.

There are many train of thoughts when it comes to fueling for a marathon race. Carb depletion, carbo-loading, etc.

I've tried the carbohydrate depletion routine during the first half of the last taper week. You basically go on the Atkins diet for 3-4 days. You drop a ton of weight, but you usually feel like crap, drop your immune system when you really don't want to get sick, have horrible runs because you feel like crap and doubt why in the hell am I doing this.

So after doing some research, I found what works best for myself. It's the Western Austrailian Carbo loading method. Basically, its Carbo-loading for dummies. Here's my routine....

1. For about 2 weeks out from the race, when we are in our taper. I simply cut back on over-indulging in food. I don't change my diet, I just don't have the second or third servings that normal marathon runners during training eat. I'll have smaller portions of snacks. I won't drink soda, beer, etc. Doing this method,  I usually drop 3-4 lbs and get pretty lean pre-race. I got down to 153.2 lbs before I left for Boston this year.

2. I let the flood gates open about 2-3 days before the race. I basically eat anything I want, concentrating a little more on carbohydrates. There's is nothing special to this though. You just eat. Eat what you want.

3. The Australian Carbo load mentioned above is a 24 hour carbo-load which usually consists of:
a. A short run (I do 2 miles), with 2:30 at mile pace, and 0:30 all out.
b. Immediate ingestion of copious amount of carbs after this run.
c. Continuous ingestion of copious amount of carbs during the day.
d. Cut-off solid food ingestion 12 hours before race.
e. Ingestion of copious amounts of liquid fuel about 3 hours before the race.

For my liquid carb consumption, I use Ultra Fuel.

It taste like child's paste dissolved in water, except worse. It's difficult to mix, but it works for me and I won't change to anything else. Basically, the rule of thumb is three hours before the race the number of carbohydrates you need is your body weight in kilograms (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) times 3. Then divide this number by 100 and you get the number of servings of UltraFuel. Each serving of UltraFuel is 4 scoops.

I also use 1.5-2 servings of UltraFuel after the fast paced WAC run about (3a).

Just a note, be near a port-a-potty when doing this because its a lot of liquid to ingest.

I haven't hit the wall in a marathon since I've been doing this. 7 straight.

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