Run Faster .. Reduce Sugar .. SOS Marathon Fueling by marathon super coach Gaz @Getrunning
We recently caught up with Gaz at Getrunning who has taken hundreds of runners through their first (and subsequent) marathons to talk about his experience of using SOS during a race.
Here are his top 5 tips:
- Train your body away from excess sugar. Many first time runners are very reliant on sugar as a key fuel to their normal diet, so when they first run for a long distance (60mins plus) many people crave sugar when in reality they should be able to run with less of it. You should be able to get to the 2.0 to 2.5 hour mark before you begin to seriously fuel. Our suggestion is to train the body away from using high sugar drink products. It does not feel great when you first begin to train without using sugar, but trust us, after 6 weeks or so you will notice how good you feel when you run and how moving away from excess sugar can help your running performance over time.
- What should I eat after 2.5-3hrs? We have seen the benefit of using prunes, bananas, oranges and dates at this time and using them every 40 mins or so. They are well digested and easy to take on board. Other fuels we have seen are sports Jubes, you can take on smaller amounts of sugar this way, but really you have to learn what fuel works for you. Don’t forget the more hydrated you are, the easier the fueling process becomes.
- Race preparation week? Get hydrated the week before and don’t just guzzle it the morning before. Drinking water in large volumes the day before the race wont make you run faster. We believe getting SOS into you the night before and in the week leading up until you are hydrated works very well. If you have hydrated consistently the week before, then the morning of the race you don’t need to over-hydrate – all the work has been done. Take sips of SOS for thirst but you should be fine if the week before has gone well. Nothing worse than finding the toilet on the start line!
- Race time? Sorry but many race courses do not provide great products for runners, too much sugar and often causing you to get back into the sugar cycle. Our athletes take SOS in a variety of ways 1) in a fuel belt diluted, 2) as a concentrate in a fuel belt and mix the concentrate with water at a station or 3) in longer races take the powder and mix on the go. Yes, it might not be the most time effective but trust me you will finish faster doing it this way – cramping may even cause you to stop and finish competing. Or if you are really lucky a race will be serving SOS on the course! Lots more races to come next year as well.
- Afterwards? It is all about recovery and getting hydrated. A good check is urine volume and colour and if you are smart enough to have weighed yourself before and afterwards then you will have a great gauge on how much sweat you have lost. Replace it 1:1 SOS for sweat loss.
- Finally good luck. If you have any questions about your experiences feel free to email us and we will talk you through your hydration plan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. For Gaz at Getrunning see www.getrunning.co.nz.
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