My nutrition in marathon preparation
The Marathon. The ultimate challenge for many people. Less than 1% of people on earth ever manage to complete one. At the same time, the word "marathon" is used everywhere as a synonym for activities that require great endurance and take a lot of energy.
Well, I can tell you that preparing for a "real" marathon, a race over 42 kilometers, takes that too. I couldn't do it without paying close attention to my energy. In collaboration with BYE Nutrition, I manage to maintain both my fluid and energy balance well alongside my normal diet. Normal nutrition is the foundation, but without the supplementation of sports nutrition in the right way, I don't manage to sustain the process and perform well as well.
Over the years, my views on energy intake have changed through trial and error.
Whereas a few years ago I was proud of myself if I completed a long endurance run without drinking or taking gels, now that is really a no-go.
In marathon preparation, a positive energy balance throughout the day and during workouts is extremely important. I make sure I always have carbohydrates left in my body at the end of a workout so I don't run into the well-known man with the hammer. Not even close, I try to stay far away from "him. When I run alone I prefer to take a Pro Fuit gel from BYE every half hour. Actually the only gel I like because they really taste like smoothie and are easy to absorb. During my long endurance runs of 75 min or more I look forward to the moment I 'may' take one.
Even better is to take in energy and maintain fluid balance.
Ideally, I don't have dark urine after after a long exercise. Sometimes it means I drink a little too much beforehand and occasionally have to make a short pit stop. I gladly take that for granted. During workouts, I drink 500 ML BYE Isotonic sports drink per hour. Every 15 minutes about 125 milliliters. This is also the strategy during the marathon so in workouts practice the same rhythm. After all, drinking and running at the same time is a profession. This way I replenish my energy, minerals and fluids. The perfect combination to "keep going" and create the right condition to recover well after training. It is often thought that drinking well should only be done in warm conditions, but dehydration is especially lurking in the winter. Because it can be cold, we wear several layers of clothing and actually sweat a lot.
I noticed often enough that after a long endurance run, I was lethargic for the rest of the day and recovered poorly. By paying close attention to my diet, nutrients such as protein are also better absorbed after training. Recovery is more effective and it also makes me feel more ready for the next workout.
Normal nutrition is the foundation, but I cannot do without the supplementation of sports nutrition to ensure that I always have a positive energy balance.
What about during the marathon?
Personally, I am "lucky" to have my own water bottles every 5km during the big city marathons. This is a service normally provided by the organization for the professional runners. I then drink about 125 ml of the sports drink every drink station. Only the last post at 40km I don't drink anymore. Then I just swish some of the sports drink so I get some sugars in through my palate and don't have to drink.
Most runners do not have this luxury and will need to prepare and practice the process well in the training situation. For example, you can give family or friends water bottles that are at certain points. Can't do this? Then I would assume one gelletjes every half hour supplemented with water from the organization. Try to drink about 500 ml per hour or if it is warmer a little more.
Finally, I want to pass along that nutrition is very personal. The energy needs are different for each person, so do not take this blog as the absolute truth. It can give you a handle, but you are always responsible for knowing your own body and adjusting your nutrition accordingly. Try to practice what you like during the training period and don't try new things on race day. Try to keep your energy balance positive so that you beat the man with the hammer, cross the finish line well and recover well.
Sports Nutrition Guide
Before the race:
In the last hour → 1 bidon of 500 ML Isotonic Sports Drink
During the race:
→ Average of 500 ML Isotonic Sports Drink per hour (spread over 2 to 4 times) and 1 Pro Fruit Gel every 30min
→ Every 20 min 1 Pro Fruit Gel supplemented with water from the organization (approximately 500 ml per hour)
After the race
Within an hour -> All-in-one Recovery Drink
This blog was written by Frank futselaar, if you want to know more about him check out his Instagram