Yesterday’s post was about my training for the LA Marathon. Today I’ll talk about how I fueled myself at the LA marathon.
Race day fueling actually starts before the race. You want to make sure you are eating enough to keep your energy up and glycogen stores topped off, but not too much that will tax your system. And also not too much as your training volume is likely reduced. I don’t carbo-load specifically, but I won’t turn down a few extra carbs here and there. During race week, especially the closer you get to race day, it’s important to stick with foods you know that will agree with you. Because I was staying with my grandparents, I had a relatively (pun intended) easy time of finding foods, especially since about three weeks before my visit, my grandmother asked what I want to have to eat.
My pre-race meal is almost always salmon, brown rice, and a few vegetables. That night it was carrots and green beans – nothing too fibrous. There is also always dessert at my grandparent’s house, so we had an apple cake.
I woke up around 3:35am on race morning. My race day fueling looked like this:
- 4:15am – banana
- 6:00am – packet of peanut butter
- 6:45am – GenerationUCAN chocolate + cran-raspberry
- Total pre-race calories: ~650
Race start: 7:30ish (I crossed the start line at 7:38am)
My plan was at 1:15 and 2:30 into the race consume 1 packet of the cran-raspberry that I had premixed in a fuel belt. It was a 2 bottle belt, which worked perfectly. I was a little hungry about an hour into the race, so I started sipping on the UCAN then and finished the first bottle around the 1:15 mark as planned. My pace was looking on target to be finished shortly after 4 hours so my timing was good. To give me a bit of a burst towards the end of the race I had espresso Hammer gels. I took the first one at about 3:00 and the next about 3:35-40. From the aid stations I only took water. I also took 2-3 Hammer endurolytes every 30 minutes.
- Total calories consumed during the race: ~400 (~100 cal/hour rate).
- Total calories burned during the race: ~2400.
I really like the UCAN because it keeps my blood sugar stable and gives a steady flow of energy. It is also easy on the stomach. I’ve also been using Hammer products for quite some time and liked the punch of caffeine the espresso gives for the final “burst.” of energy. But for this I cut way back on caffeine consumed starting about 10 days before the race.
Did this plan work? Yes!
My 10k splits for the race were as follows:
10k – 1:01:32
20k – 2:00:08
30k- 3:01:19 (there was a pit stop during this split)
and I ran the last mile at slightly under an 8min/mile pace…
My energy and therefore pacing was consistent and I achieved the elusive negative split. Here’s my Garmin data.
Immediately after the race I grabbed a banana from a volunteer and then had a packet of chocolate UCAN on the drive home. The chocolate contains protein and makes an awesome recovery drink. Also, because it stabilizes the blood sugar, while I do get hungry, I don’t go on a feeding frenzy. If you want to give the UCAN a try, go to http://generationucan.com/shop.html and use coupon code UCANTRIND for 10% off your order. (that’s a standing code so use it as often as you want!)
What race day fueling questions do you have?