Nutrition Strategy: Richmond Marathon 2014

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

This is a quote that I have seen many times on social media and it definitely holds true to Marathon running. Race day nutrition can make or break your race experience. As Richmond approaches, I have settled on a race nutrition strategy.

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This is my first time running Richmond so I don’t have experience with the support stations along the route. By looking at the course map (here) it looks like there will be a water station every 2 miles on the even miles, then every mile after mile 20. And they will provide gel at mile 14 and 17. There is also a junk food station at mile 16 and 22 (not gonna lie, this was one of the deciding factors for signing up for this race!).

That said, I don’t plan to partake in the nutrition provided on the course. I am more of a BYON – bring your own nutrition kind of gal. And water. For a couple of reasons. I’m SLOW. Meaning, in past races of this magnitude, by the time I get to the stations, they often have run out of Gatorade or sometimes even food. Though, this race looks pretty well supported and may not be an issue. Secondly, if you’ve read my other posts you know that I struggle with my blood glucose as a prediabetic. A lot of the gels and nutrition provided are all carbs and I prefer to take my calories as a mix (carbs+protein+fats). For some that upsets their “system” for me it works (VERY IMPORTANT: everyone’s different. I’m just sharing my experience)

A note on the junk food station. I love the idea. Like I said, it was one of the reasons I decided to sign up. But… No, I will not be taking part in it. Miles 16 will be one of the toughest miles. It’s a tough segment of the marathon (physically but especially mentally), there’s also a big hill in this mile, to mix in junk food, if you didn’t train with it, may spell disastrous stomach trouble! And mile 22? I will hopefully by in my “don’t talk to me, touch me, or even look at me”-focused, hard to the finish zone.

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Here’s my plan:

– take nutrition roughly every 5 miles (equates to every hour for me)
– alternate between honey stinger chews (all carbs) and chia bar (mixed)
– take the picky bar at mile 20 – this is when I get hungry. So something more substantial helps me feel better.
– bring my own water but partake in the powerade as needed in the second half of the marathon
– avoid water stations as much as possible and the slippery paper cups on the course!
– I probably will skip the pizza at the finish line too

Man. I sound like no fun! But I’m Richmond Ready.

Have a great race everyone!