Racing a 42km marathon run
This is a tough event to race, in general lasting from a 2hrs 5 mins for elite runners to up to 5hours+ for the recreational runner
Pre race fuelling
Its always a good idea to practise foods that work for you in training so you can be confident it is going to work race day. the day before its a good idea to reduce the fibre content, fibre is great for you but can accelerate the food through your system, sometimes leaving you feel bloated as well.On the morning aim to have mostly carb due to the intensity of the session, a 5 km is furled almost completed by carbohydrate. Add some protein and fat but remember these can take longer to digest so know long long to leave it between food and high intensity exercise for you personally. Often more simpler food eg cornflakes with a banana and nuts/seeds can work due to the bodies ability to absorb and digest quicker and turn into energy. Id look at these ratios on race day morning
3 hours pre start – 3 x bodyweight (KG) in carb, or
hours pre start – 2 x bodyweight (KG) in carb, or
1 hour pre stat – 1 x bodyweight (KG) in carb
Your body is going to be working moderately hard in a 21 km length race, it takes time to get the body prepared so arrive in plenty of time to be able to warm up properly. this will help the muscles and cardiovascular systems to be ready to go so heres an example
5 mins easy jog/run
light mobility eg half lunges/stretches
5 mins of 40 secs race feel/20 secs easy – Head to start line ready to go
confidence in your ability and what you have been achieving in training of late is key, you should be feeling familiar with the efforts from training and this will help pace. Don’t be tempted to go off with the faster runners, you may well just end up surviving rather than thriving.
- RPE 4-6 feel, always feel like there is more to give. Allow lower RPE for the longer the run time
- 88-95% Threshold Heart rate for 2.5 hours – 3 hours
- 85-92% Threshold Heart rate for over 3hrs-4.5 hours due to lasting for longer
- 80-89% Threshold Heart rate for over 4.5 hours due to the length of time competing
- If using pace as a guide, know what the weather and terrain is doing as you have to be able to adapt for windy or hillier conditions as it can affect things quite a bit
Fuelling during the race
As a whole you will need to top up with energy as you go. Its always a good idea to practise in your training to make sure you get a long with the nutrition you are using. you always have the option of using the race day nutrition. My advice is to buy some to train with first off to know it goes down well!
In a marathon think along the lines of 60-90 grams of carbs per hour (quite often going for 1 gram per KG of bodyweight is ideal) or 2-3.5 calories per KG of bodyweight per hour (work this out in training though)
You can get this from small chews /gels/drinks
- Within 30 mins aim to have some carb to replace the glycogen lost and protein based to start the repair of the muscles/tendons after a demanding effort.
- Summarise what went right and what went wrong (often its usually heading off to hard)
- Aloow up to 72 hours for the body to recover properly in your training, a mix of rest/foam rolling/stretching and recovery runs will help you to feel better and the body will like you for it