April 26, 2014

Glass City Marathon: Race Day Nutrition

Its pre-race day Saturday! I am pretty set for tomorrow, well I think and hope at least! I have my clothes set aside, my alarm is set, and my breakfast is ready to be made! Well, I guess the last last 16 weeks (plus) have also prepared me for an endeavor of a lifetime, my first MARATHON!

I have mentioned in previous posts, my true goal is to start and finish alive, and I am fairly confident that will happen. My second goal would be to not walk; only to use the bathroom. And my third goal would be to have fun, while soaking in my last few days/weeks in Toledo.

Earlier this week, Chris at Renegade wrote a blog post about race day nutrition. I enjoyed his post, and after reading it was content that I had already been following many of his suggestions. Here are his three main points: (1) Do what you have practiced, (2) Supply your body with energy for competition, and (3) Don't eat foods that make you feel uncomfortable. Please read his post, but let's see how I have fared.

Do What You Have Practiced
Basically, Chris explained that to have peak performance one would want to practice and rehearse as if it were race day. He recommended waking up at the time you plan to race, run at the time of race (i.e., 7:00 am for the Glass City Marathon), and eat the foods/breakfast you plan to eat on Race Day!

Well, on a weekly basis, I arise at 5:00 am to workout at Renegade, and typically run in the evenings as my second workout. On my long run days, Sunday mornings, I eat oatmeal + protein and drink my BCAAs in my water pack while running. I plan to do this same routine tomorrow. I have a slightly sensitive stomach, and never really delved or experimented with the Gus and energy snacks. I, however, did find that the BCAAs provided a nice amount of energy. I also practiced drinking a little at each mile. I have a tendency of forgetting to drink. That is also expounded because of my frequent need to urinate. So mix that up, and I mistakenly try not to hydrate. I have, in the past, run 1/2 marathons without drinking any liquids, which has always backfired!

I also am stoked that I have run and/or driven on a good portion of the race route.

This morning I ran some of the Ottawa Hills (OH) portion that I have not covered before. I ended up running 7 miles, which is a little more than I had anticipated, but I got in a really nice groove. The only portion of the race that I am not familiar with is the Sylvania residential area. While running in OH, I saw a couple driving the course (I could see the female holding a print-out of the race course in her hand!) If I ever chose to do another full marathon, I think I will consider driving the course, especially if it is in an unfamiliar city. Overall, I am predicting about 4 miles of the race, I will be unable to really "know" where I am at. 

Supply Your Body With Energy for Competition

I am really glad that I joined the 7 Week Renegade Challenge as it was such an educational experience. I have completely yielded to the fact that nutrition plays a substantial part in having a "visible" fit body, and of course your insides. Ugh, I kind of detest this realization as I would much rather run 10 extra miles. I have always been a workout fanatic, but not always as strict with the foods that I put in my mouth. Now, I would still say that I am, or was, a "healthy" eater, but the training received by Chris and Jen transformed my definition of healthy.

Quick disclaimer - my post-race meals will certainly not fall within the "healthy" category. I am stating that now, so everyone knows that I am completely aware. However, I do believe people should chose their diet (defined as what you put in your mouth) consciously, and everything in moderation.

Don't Eat Foods that Make You Feel Uncomfortable

Basically, Chris was explaining that it is not in your best interest to try out some new food the day or even the week before a race. Last night I had shredded chicken (which I had boiled), quinoa pasta, steamed broccoli, and feta cheese; and I plan to have the same exact meal tonight!

I have been drinking lots of water, through the 7 Week Challenge, and even more the last few days. I am going to cut off my water intake at 8:00 am, and try to sleep at that time as well. Ha, I know that is super early, but I am at least going to wind down at that time. Coach Kemp will be arriving late tonight/early tomorrow morning so I am anticipating being woken in the middle of my slumber.

Question of the Day: When training for races do you follow the three suggestions above? What works for you?