Runner’s, both new and seasoned, preparing for the Chicago Marathon on October 13th (and other early Fall marathons) likely have a 20 mile training long run on the calendar in the next one to two weeks. This is an opportune time to test out your race nutrition plan in the days before the run, the morning of the run, and during the run. The day or two before the long run rest and increase your carbohydrate intake by 100 g from easily digested solid and liquid food sources. Aim for an early wake-up call so that you can practice eating a high carbohydrate pre-exercise meal at least two hours before the start. Many runners like to consume oatmeal on race morning. Hydrate in the hours before the 20 miler and considering popping a gel, block, or liquid shot before the start. Once you settle into the run, start replacing fluid, carbohydrate fuel and electrolytes with a sports drink, preferably the one that is on the course of your marathon. What is your sweat rate in current conditions? How many ounces can you consume per hour? Aim for 30 to 60 g of carbohydrate per hour from your sports drink consumption. This is a great time to practice your race day plan and make any needed adjustments for your marathon.
Monique Ryan is a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics with over 25 years of experience helping active people optimize their nutrition and body composition. Contact us at 847-864-8689 to schedule your consult. Ryan has worked with elite athletes in soccer, football, basketball, triathlon, cycling, and mountain biking. She is the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd edition. Preview the book at velopress.com.