Running

Marathon Training Monday #15: Fueling For Real!

Hi Friends!

This week was a bit milestone in my training cycle. To anyone who has ever trained for and run a marathon, you know that the 16-miler is kind of a big deal. When you’re stepping up from the half-marathon, running 16 miles is the first time the whole “oh my gosh I am going have to run TO HALVES IN A ROW” feeling hits. and rumor has it, if you can run 16 miles, you can run 26.2 (although I would not recommend that…)

Lucky for me, I was able to join my charity team for our group long run. Most running groups in Boston train along the same course around Heartbreak Hill on Saturday mornings, so not only did I have the support of my own team, but I also ran into my student’s and some of the teachers from my school from the marathon running club! Every familiar face and conversation I had along the route helped me power through, and I didn’t get that yearing-to-be-done feeling until the last half mile!

Sunset Hill Run:)

So this week’s training was pretty encouraging. Here’s how it all went down.

  • Monday: 3 miles @ medium pace + leg lift
  • Tuesday: 30 minutes swimming
  • Wednesday: 3 mile w/ hill repeats
  • Thursday: 3.5 miles @ easy pace
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 16 mile Long Run
  • Sunday: Yoga
    • Total Weekly Milage: 25.5

So, one of the thing I have been focusing on during this training cycle is fueling. This has been a real weakness of mine in the past; Like, during my full marathon two years ago I fueled not at all. I grabbed some gatorade along the way, but I never took my gels because I didn’t feel like it.

Does anyone else experience this? I hate gels and chews, and I’m not even that big of a fan of candy. But all of those things help me keep myself together on longer runs. I sort of practiced taking gels before my first marathon, but when it came to race day my stomach was super jittery. After 20 miles without fuel, I noticed that my pace was slowing down significantly, my thoughts were more panicky and disjointed, and I was actually super nauseous. By then it was too late for me to start fueling, I think. I just had to push through and hope for the best.

I’ve been much more regimented with myself this time around, and I’ve managed to take 1-2 gels during every run I do over 10 miles. I like to take one at 7 miles, and another at 11, and sometimes a third if I want it. I’ve been loving the Huma gels I got for Christmas (they seem to agree with my stomach best!) and I like to make sure I get at least one caffeine-containing gel into my system somewhere in the middle of the run, as well. And I always take my gel when I catch sight of a water stop, so I can wash it down with some fluids.

That said, pre-and-post run fueling has also been more of a priority for me lately. I’ve added a little more carb into my daily diet to energize my weekday workouts, and I make sure to have TONS OF WATER in the 36 hours leading up to a long run. Like, I refill my water bottle 5 o 6 times a day. And of course, I have some toast with peanut butter and a banana before I head out for my run. Peanut butter isn’t always the easiest on my stomach, but it gives me a ton of energy and doesn’t totally hold me back.

Then after the run…it’s all about the protein. Protein bars, protein shakes, greek yogurt. I try to get 90+ grams of protein in throughout the day, with 25-30 of those grams coming within an hour of finishing my run. Doing this helps so much with next-day soreness and recovery, guys. So, so much.

Then comes the other kind of fueling…. getting out into the world and doing real person things.

Too often marathon training can be lonely and anti-social. You miss a lot of social functions because you’ve got to sleep or run. Your schedule is just more tightly packed when you’re training, and finding the time to hang with people sometimes feels like a non-priority. 

But GUYS IT SO IS. a priority, I mean.  After my long run this week I napped and then went to a “Game of Thrones” themed bar with my friend, which was so weird and fun and a great way to spend an afternoon. Quality social and family time should be part of a balanced life, no matter what race is on the radar.

So get out there:)

See you soon!