2019 Sub 3 hour marathon thread (Read 339 times)

darkwave


Mother of Cats

     

    For my first 3 marathons, I've done the following:

     

    Gels: 6, 12, and 18, always with water

    Gatorade: 3, 9, 15, 21(if I can stomach the last one)

    Additional water: taken as needed for hot marathons (my first 2) or if I feel like previous stations were low in liquids in the cup

     

    For my two 12 @ MP runs this cycle, I've run with 2 gels and 2 Gatorades (e.g. gels at miles 4/10, gatorade at miles 1/7), and I'm still getting bad cramping, so I'm starting to think this is something I need to address and not something I can train through. I'm contemplating two different things: 1) just using Gatorade throughout and ditching the gels or 2) still using both, but going down to 2 gels and spreading them out more while reducing the Gatorade input

     

    So here are some questions for you guys, and any thoughts you have on my situation would be great, especially anyone else that has dealt with stomach issues during racing.

     

    1) What's your fueling strategy? Have you tried different strategies and found more/less success?

    2) Has anybody tried a Gatorade only strategy, or maybe a gel only strategy with water?

    3) Do you think I would be good with just 2 gels and water only, or should I try 2 gels and still try to get some Gatorade in?

    4) Any other thoughts/comments

     

    My understanding is that gels and Gatorade are a bad combination when taken together (just too much electrolytes/sugar for the amount of water) and I can see how there might still be some issue when they are separated.

     

    I would experiment first with just one or the other - my preference would be for gels, just because you can always carry those; for Gatorade, you're dependent on whether the race offers it.  And also because Gatorade makes me sick.  (many people have issues with Gatorade, due to the high fructose corn syrup)

     

    Also play with different gels - many people that I know tolerate one brand well, and others less so.  For myself, I really do best with GU, and have had explosive results with others.  But I know others who love SIS, or Honey Stinger, or etc....

     

    Why can you only carry two gels?  I carry many more, and I'm fairly certain I'm smaller than you (no insult intended - it's just that at 5'4" I'm shorter than most)

     

    For myself, I rely on plain water and GU brand gels.  My gel and water strategy is to get in as many as I can during a marathon to keep the tank topped off.  I took 9 gels during CIM, believe it or not.   Who knows if I needed that many, but I could handle them, so why not.

     

    ***

     

    Related and yet unrelated - this morning's track workout went very well with no GI issues or interruptions.  So that appears to be over.  Whew!

    Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

     

    And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

    madisonrunner


      ZZ - I'm doing the Celtic Run Before You Crawl 5k in Monroe.

       

      JMac -  In my marathons I will carry 8-10 electrolyte pills and will take one at the first sign of cramping.  I'm not afraid to take a second a few minutes later either.  I've also used hotshot with success (though warning that it is pretty nasty stuff to get down).  I've had trouble being able to get down enough carbs and for my last several marathons have carried a bottle of sports drink with me as I need to be fueling every 1-2 miles when it's warm (40s or higher).  I've started using Maurten as my sports drink and I love it.  I can get in far more calories with it than Gatorade or anything else I've tried.  They make gels now too which I've been happy with as well.

      Marathon PR:  2:35:49 (2019)  Goal Race:  TBD

      M_M_C


        Huma gels have been pretty great for me. I forget what brand I used to have but they would upset my stomach, huma is very kind to my stomach. I also do not fuel a lot, maybe 3 to 4x starting after an hour

        3K: 8:29.12 (2017)     5K: 14:56.59 (2016)     8K: 25:27 (2016)     15K: 54:46.2 (2019)     FM: 2:58:48 (2019)

        finbad


          I carry 4 gels (SIS) and take them at roughly 5 mile intervals with water here and there. I think I should take on a bit more water.

           

          I'd second the Maurten gels as they are more gel-like and less syrupy they actually go down easily and don't stick to the fingers so much, I think I'll switch to these for Boston.

          Upcoming; 15th April Boston marathon, 3rd May Scottish 5k champs, 9th May Helensburgh 10k, 16th May Dumbarton 10k, 24th May Monument mile, 26th May Shettleston 10k, 1st June Killearn trail 10, 2nd June Milngavie trail race, 16th June 7 hills of Edinburgh, 12th October TAMA half marathon, 27th October Leeds Abbey dash 10k

          steve_


          powered by plants

            I ran Boston 2018 when I didn't take a single drink or gel and while it certainly wasn't a PR, I ran a lot better than many others that day (6 seconds slower than my entry time and beat my bib by almost 4000 places).  In November, I took a Maurten 320 bottle at mile 10 and drank it over the next 10 miles and I feel like that helped the most.  Something about that unflavored, sugary drink that just makes you feel like you're ingesting pure fuel.  I hate gels, but the Maurten ones are definitely different.

            5k: 17:52 (2014); 10k 36:59 (2014); 15k: 56:29 (2018); Half: 1:19:27* (2018); Full: 2:54:22 (2018)

            *downhill AF

            Nimmals


              I dislike gels for my marathon and 50K but sometimes race conditions necessitates it. Then I will use maybe 1 gel.

              If  weather is good, I'll mostly prefer Shot Bloks or Jelly Belly, sometimes nothing at all. In the cold Shot Bloks and sport beans are not chewable so I'm forced to take whatever gel is on the course. when forced, I take a 1/3 of a gel every 6 miles.

               

              Lately I drink a bottle of 320 before the race and that seems to work best. I have also started putting a packet of 320 and a cup of coffee and filling the remainder  with water or ice and 10 packets of sugar in the raw. I have also been using this same mix during a long run or local race where I can put out my own mix.with this mix i do not need anything else gels or chews.

               

              At major races like Boston and NYC I have to go with the program so I have no choice but to use Gatorade or water or whatever is on the course. I'm just happy I'm down to 2 pee stops in a race. In NYC 2013,  I stopped 5 times. So I think the Maurten has been a life saver for me personally.

               

               

               

              Slammin/Nimmals (just realized Slammin is Nimmals backwards . . . ) - Thanks - we'll see.  I really enjoy running and I do think I can keep improving for a couple more cycles.  It's been a while since I've been able to string together 2+ cycles without issue.   Your 50k was quite impressive - was that even a goal race?

               Madison - originally wanted to run 3:15 but I was going to be happy with 2:45 through marathon. the days objective was to get a friend to 2:45. I stopped t use bathroom at 13 mi so he picked up the paced ran 2:43:15 through marathon.

               

              Weatherboy - Thank you. I had a blast until it wasn't fun. Its so much easier when you have company.

               

              Finbad - Sure thing would love to have you on the 2:45 train. I always prefer to share miles and smiles.

              weatherboy80


                Since most of my racing is usually on the warm side I have been sticking with a GU every 5-6 miles and then alternate water and Gatorade (not the whole thing) every other water stop.  Down side is that I hate carrying them at race pace too.  Plus I pretty much hate taking anything since they are so sweet, but I know I'll need something besides water.  However, I do most of my training runs and workouts without anything other than a few sips of water or Gatorade if this is on the warm side.  For example, this morning I ran 19 total with 4 X 2 mile repeats in the middle and took nothing (had some coffee and a peanut butter kind bar about 45 minutes prior to starting), but a few sips of water during the 2 mile repeats.  Today I could get away with this since it was in the mid 40's with no humidity though.  My plan for my next big marathon paced workout is to take 2-3 gels to see how they go down again.  I'd also be curious about eventually trying some salt tabs or something else to replace electrolytes with all the hot weather running, but I'm not going to experiment with that this cycle.

                 

                Other thing I have done in a few recent races is really slow down during some of the later water stops to ensure I get in the fluids.  I even remember walking for a few seconds through 2 of my water stops in my 1:17:15 HM back in December.  Didn't think they slowed me as much as I thought they would!

                5K: 16:44 (11/18)  |  10K: 36:09 (2/18)  |  HM: 1:17:15 (12/18)  |  FM: 2:48:58 (1/18)

                Swim5599


                  As far as fueling I have nailed down what works for me.

                  i take either a vanilla or espresso hammer gel every half hour.  I usually carry a hand held because I struggle to get much water down from the cups.  The last two out of 3 marathons were pretty successful with that.  The exception being the warm conditions in Boston in 2017.  I like Maurten but I always feel thirsty when I take it so I just stick to gels and water.

                  HM: 1/17 1:18:53. FM: 12/18 2:46:04

                  steve_


                  powered by plants

                    the days objective was to get a friend to 2:45. I stopped t use bathroom at 13 mi so he picked up the paced ran 2:43:15 through marathon.

                     

                    It's nice to see that your friend got a marathon result to match his insane training.

                    5k: 17:52 (2014); 10k 36:59 (2014); 15k: 56:29 (2018); Half: 1:19:27* (2018); Full: 2:54:22 (2018)

                    *downhill AF

                    finbad


                      Newsflash - just getting my sandbagging in nice and early before my race this weekend. Messed around by weird circumstances this week -the bomb squad were called to my work yesterday to carry out a controlled explosion and I was evacuated into the pouring rain in my running gear for hours and now I have the cold. Poor me.

                      Upcoming; 15th April Boston marathon, 3rd May Scottish 5k champs, 9th May Helensburgh 10k, 16th May Dumbarton 10k, 24th May Monument mile, 26th May Shettleston 10k, 1st June Killearn trail 10, 2nd June Milngavie trail race, 16th June 7 hills of Edinburgh, 12th October TAMA half marathon, 27th October Leeds Abbey dash 10k

                      JMac11


                        Sorry for the delayed response, things have been a bit hectic with me lately, but these are some great responses! Thanks everyone. I think the conclusion for me, besides that everybody is different, is that maybe I should cut down on the Gatorade and just stick to some form of gel and water. It's probably also important for CIM since they don't have Gatorade. I get through my 20+ mile runs with zero nutrition, so it feels like 2 gels should be enough for me in a race. I understand I could perform better with more, but at this point given how awful my stomach cramps are, I need to take the minimum needed to not bonk.

                         

                        DW - I certainly am able to carry more gels but the thought of eating 9 makes me want to vomit right now! You're right that mixing the two doesn't work, and maybe my issue is that even 20 minutes after taking a gel,I shouldn't be having gatorade.

                         

                        Madison - how many calories do you think you take during a marathon?

                         

                        Fin - I've heard positive things about Maurten, maybe I"ll try that for CIM (too late for Boston at this point as I have no MP work left to practice). Sorry to hear about you getting a cold, that's rough. Now at least when you peform poorly in the race, you can still go for 2:40 at Boston 

                         

                        Nimmals - 5 pee stops! I guess you've never been concerned about behind dehydrated if that's the case. Anyway, seems like you're a good case proving that maybe gels aren't really needed. A lot of threads I ran on LRC indicate there's a good number of people who do well with just some Gatorade, or even no nutrition at all.

                         

                        Weather - I don't slow down, I just grab at least 2 waters (while proceeding to knock over another water or two, probably should stop doing that)

                        5K: 17:51 (5/18)  |  10K: 35:59 (3/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                         

                        Next Race: Brooklyn Half (5/18/19) 

                        darkwave


                        Mother of Cats

                          Sorry for the delayed response, things have been a bit hectic with me lately, but these are some great responses! Thanks everyone. I think the conclusion for me, besides that everybody is different, is that maybe I should cut down on the Gatorade and just stick to some form of gel and water. It's probably also important for CIM since they don't have Gatorade. I get through my 20+ mile runs with zero nutrition, so it feels like 2 gels should be enough for me in a race. 

                           

                          One thing to remember....the faster you run, the more sugars you burn proportionate to fat.

                          I'm assuming that you don't run your 20 milers at MP for the entire duration, which means that you are not burning quite the same fuel mixture as you do when you race.  So don't extrapolate too much from your experience during your 20s.

                           

                          I should also note that I'm very much on the high side when it comes to gel consumption during a marathon.  I suspect that one reason may be that my marathon pace is significantly faster when compared to my 5K pace than many others (about a 40-45 second difference per mile between my marathon pace and my 5K pace), and my HR for a marathon's last 6 miles is pretty darn close to what I see for an all out 10K.  So...it's possible that I run my marathons at a higher relative intensity than others, which is why I need a lot more sugar to burn.

                          Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

                           

                          And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

                          JMac11


                             

                            One thing to remember....the faster you run, the more sugars you burn proportionate to fat.

                            I'm assuming that you don't run your 20 milers at MP for the entire duration, which means that you are not burning quite the same fuel mixture as you do when you race.  So don't extrapolate too much from your experience during your 20s.

                             

                             

                            Interesting. Are you saying that you burn more sugar running 3 hours at MP than you do for 3 hours at easy pace? I was under the assumption that the amount of sugar burned was just a matter of time on feet, and not necessarily intensity. I generally do my long runs in 2:30-2:45, so fairly similar to actual finish time.

                            5K: 17:51 (5/18)  |  10K: 35:59 (3/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:44:43 (4/19) 

                             

                            Next Race: Brooklyn Half (5/18/19) 

                            darkwave


                            Mother of Cats

                               

                              Interesting. Are you saying that you burn more sugar running 3 hours at MP than you do for 3 hours at easy pace? I was under the assumption that the amount of sugar burned was just a matter of time on feet, and not necessarily intensity. I generally do my long runs in 2:30-2:45, so fairly similar to actual finish time.

                               

                              Yes - the higher the intensity of the aerobic effort, the more carbs you burn versus fat  (anaerobic is completely different, so that's why I'm excluding it).

                               

                              3 hours at easy pace is very different from 3 hours at marathon effort, energy consumption wise.  I'm reasonably sure I could go for a 3 hour easy run without any gels.

                               

                              One good discussion of the different energy requirements for different paces is in the Pete Magill/Thomas Schwartz (AKA Tinman)/Melissa Breyer book "Building Your Running Body" (the book has a hokey title and cover, but is actually surprisingly legit.)

                               

                              [Edited to add: this is also why you want to be careful about hammering uphills or dropping surges into your marathons - you just burn through your glycogen that much quicker, and you don't replenish that when running downhill or slowing up later.]

                              Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

                               

                              And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

                              Nimmals


                                 

                                Interesting. Are you saying that you burn more sugar running 3 hours at MP than you do for 3 hours at easy pace? I was under the assumption that the amount of sugar burned was just a matter of time on feet, and not necessarily intensity. I generally do my long runs in 2:30-2:45, so fairly similar to actual finish time.

                                 

                                CIM uses Nuun, it is way better than Gatorade or water it has better delivery of electrolytes. Its the main drink preference of ultra-runners because it doesn't flow through you the way Gatorade does.  "The electrolyte profile of Nuun is superior to that of Gatorade and Powerade, as it contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin C."

                                 

                                My training group has had many Sunday morning long run conversations about the Maurtens formula. Its doesn't make sense math wise because racing math is exponential.  Confusing? Heck  yeah!  We design workouts to put us into a hypoglycemia state (glycogen depletion runs) but we never want to race in that state. So DarkWave is quite right. Our long runs are to train you for what happens naturally but while racing you take on fluids gels etc to stave off that same natural effect we experience\create in training.

                                 

                                So Maurtens theory says a 170lb marathoner running 3 hours will need Maurtens gels every 30 minutes (6 Gels)  vs a 120 lb sub 2:30 marathoner who will need gels every 20 mins (7.5 gels)  Because even though smaller he is burning at a much higher rate than a 170 lb runner running same distance at a slower pace.

                                 

                                Truth: Faster you run during a marathon the more fuel you'll need to consume to prevent glycogen depletion.