Nutrition and Hydration for Marathon training

Something I am focusing on the past few weeks is nutrition and hydration for training.

I have learned the hard way how important nutrition and hydration are for long runs. I did the Sea Legs Shuffle 10 mile race this past weekend and suffered an injury. I have a pulled hamstring/piriformis muscle. Everything tightened up on me in that extreme heat and humidity and I didn’t stretch enough after the race. Even though I drank water at every stop during the race, I should have also been taking in some Gatorade. I had one Gu pack around mile 5 and I think I could have benefitted with some more nutrition during the race. I did drink my recovery drink right after the race and had Gatorade once I got home, but I should have stretched a little more before I sat in my car.

I recently read on the site that you need to drink 4 ounces of fluid per mile and it is recommended to switch between Gatorade and water. When not running, it is best to drink 60 ounces of water per day to stay properly hydrated. And for each cup of coffee you need to replace that with a cup of water.

I learned that a major reason why people hit the wall and bonk is because they didn’t continue to hydrate and fuel their body continuously through the 26.2 miles. So I am going to have to work on eating and drinking during my long runs to see what my body is comfortable with digesting.

I wore my camelback while running today to consider that for an alternative water source for the very long distances. At first I didn’t like the way it felt rubbing against the back of my neck while running and jumping around on my back a little bit. I have to see if I can look past that and continue to wear it. I am also going to look into a smaller pack. I used that camelback when I rode my mountain bike so I have to see if there are some made specifically for runners.

Nutrition is still something that I am lacking information on and I am going to try Chomps and Clif bars and see what will work for me to physically eat while running to provide my body the fuel it needs so I won’t cramp up or hit the wall.

Does anyone have recommendations on nutrition tips?


Sea Legs Shuffle… more like shuffle the legs

What a race! The Sea Legs Shuffle was similar to the Hamden Hills Half Marathon. That was a tough race for me. It is a 10 mile race but there was a surprise to it. There are lots of hills. I was expecting the shoreline town of Guilford to be flat near the beach. Not true. It had lots of hills. And the weather was hot and very humid and the sun was out. At least with the Hamden Hills half, the sun was still behind the clouds. The thing that saved me in this race was that people watching us run by their homes were spraying us with their hoses. I think I ran by close to 10 people with hoses. The last 3 miles of the race were the LONGEST! And the last mile was never ending.

After the race when I went to my car I was talking to the girls who parked next to me and they said that Branford had to bring in ambulances because Guilford didn’t have enough and people were dropping. I saw a guy being rolled out on a stretcher when I finished and he looked like a lean experienced runner. So I guess I am pretty darn proud I made to the finish standing up.

I had a pretty strong start to the race, but then after mile 3 I had to start taking more walk breaks during those hills. I feel like for most of this race I walked. I really had to. It was so unbelievably hot and my legs were wasted.

My finish time was 2:02:57. After the race there wasn’t much food left so I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t get my chiobani loaf of bread. I didn’t want the pasta or a hot dog so I grabbed a hummus and pretzels, a few cups of water and went to my car and had my chocolate milk that I packed. I put some ice on my neck and took 2 tylenol. I was feeling a headache coming on from the dehydration. I stayed ahead of it by drinking a gatorade while I took my ice bath at home.

All in all, considering the heat, I felt pretty good post race. I did have pain in my hip but kept moving all day and it was a little better today. I took a walk this morning to stay loose. Looking ahead I am intimidated about the upcoming miles and races I have coming up because I struggled so bad yesterday. I reached out to my fellow runDisney facebook friends and got good feedback and support from them. I will plan to sign up for the Labor Day New Haven 20K and I am registered for the Gulf Beach Half Marathon on Sept 15. So I’ll keep pushing forward like I always do. Perhaps once the weather breaks I will be that much further ahead.

I heard something in my Two Gomers podcast today that is helping me with my long training runs ahead. Most likely I am going to bonk. I may not know when it is giong to happen during the long run, but it will happen and you just have to be prepared to deal with it. To do so, you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and tell yourself that you can do this. It is TRULY mind over matter. You have to clear your brain of the doubts because the brain is lacking sugar. You can help prepare for this with Bonk training.

Bonk training suggests the following strategy: on an empty stomach the first thing in the morning, when glycogen store levels are low, consume coffee or caffeine equivalent to 2 or 3 cups of coffee, run or cycle at a casual pace (60% of max heart rate) for 20–90 minutes, and have a normal breakfast right after exercising. This will force the body to “bonk” shortly into the exercise, and subsequently burn more fat to generate the energy. .

Weekly summary:
Monday – run 3.4 miles
Tuesday – walk 3.1 miles
Wednesday – walk 2 miles (weights training also)
Thursday – run 5.3 miles
Friday – walk 2.6 miles
Saturday – rest
Sunday – 10 mile Sea Legs Shuffle Race