Ever wonder how a sports RD fuels for a marathon? Are we all talk and no action? Well, here is my proof that I, too, create a nutrition plan for every race in which I compete. This week I'll tell you my plan; next week come back to hear how it went....to follow along the course as you read my plan, click here.
Event: Detroit Marathon - Sun, Oct 16th
Anticipated Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees
Start Time: 7am (wave start)
Approximate pace: 8:40/mi for first 13 miles; re-evaluate at the half
Goal Time: 3:45-3:50
4:45/5am - Wake up. Immediately drink 2 cups water followed by breakfast of 1 large bagel with peanut butter on half and jelly on the other half + 1 banana + 1 cup Gatorade at end. Eat all by 5:30am.
6am - Drink 1 c water + a couple of sips Gatorade (I tend to start getting nervous at this point, so too much Gatorade doesn't settle well)
6:15am- Drink 1/2 c water
6:30/6:40am - Be in start corral. If feel hungry at this point, will take a gel with water (will be wearing fuel belt to supplement water/gel intake throughout as needed - I trained with it so am used to it).
(Approximate start time 7:10/7:15am)
Mile maker 2.5 - 1 c water at aid station (I'm guessing will take in ~6 oz per cup)
Mile marker 3.5 - Start taking 1 gel after cross bridge (takes me a while to finish each gel pack)
Mile marker 4.25 - 1 c water at aid station to help digest gel
Mile marker 6 - Take gel
Mile marker 6.5 - 1 c water at aid station to help digest gel
Mile marker 8.5 - 1 c water at aid station
Mile marker 10.5 [~90 min in] - Take gel
Mile marker 11.2 - 1 c water at aid station to help digest gel
Halfway point - Reassess body's hydration/energy levels - mentally adjust nutrition plan as needed
Mile marker 13.7 - 1 c Gatorade at aid station + 1 c water if needed
[Mile marker 14 - Possibly drop fuel belt here to family member]
Mile marker 16 - Take Gu from aid station [if I don't get a berry flavor, will not take as I only like berry flavors - I will be carrying enough on me still so can just take one of mine]
Mile marker 16.2 - 1 c water at aid station to help digest gel
Mile marker 18.5 - 1 c Gatorade at aid station
Mile marker 20 - Take gel [~3.25 hrs in]
Mile marker 20.7 - 1 c water at aid station to help digest gel
Mile marker 22.5 - 1 c water at aid station
Will likely take in little else at this point depending on how I feel as I will have taken in quite a bit throughout, though will reassess as pass two remaining aid stations.
After finish: Lay down and contemplate why I just put my body through that. Take in Gatorade immediately; solid foods as soon as can tolerate. Stretch. Go to lunch!
So, there you go. I should mention the gels I use are Clif Shots...for no particular reason other than I like the flavor, tolerate them, and (most importantly) have trained with them. Also, Gatorade is what is being provided on the course (and yes I have trained with it).
My plan comes down to taking in something approximately every two miles. This works with my pace and the weather I anticipate. Remember, EVERTYHING is individual! Also notice I'm trying to do a lot of front-loading (taking in more at the beginning of the race) because I anticipate having little interest in anything toward the end of the race except finishing.
Wish me luck!