Melbourne Marathon

There is excitement in the air. You know summer is coming when footy is over, the weather is warming up and Melbourne Marathon is around the corner… 

For those running this weekend, it’s time to put the final touches on your marathon campaign. The training is done and now it’s all about freshening up. Your coaches will have you tapering which means you won’t be using up as much of your stored energy reserves (glycogen) which is great for getting your body ready for Sunday. With less training this week you don’t want to be over eating but it’s also a BIG mistake to under eat. Try to keep food as normal as possible until Friday. 

If choosing to carb load I would suggest starting Friday. It’s not simply a matter of ‘eat everything in sight.’ Guidelines suggest an intake of 7-12g of carbohydrate per kg. This can be a huge volume of food leaving you feeling full and sluggish if you don’t do it smartly. The trick is target the lower end of the recommendations (~7-8g carb per kg) and use carbohydrate dense snacks and fluids like crumpets with honey, flavoured yoghurts, flavoured milks, sports drinks. 

Some athletes like to dial back their carbohydrate loading campaigns on Saturday and that’s fine (presuming you don’t decide to sneak in one last long run!). Key things to remember on Saturday is;
a) Ease up on the fibre to prevent undesirable loo stops. ‘Whiten things up’ by selecting white bread, white rice, white pasta and go easy on the nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.
b) Increase fluid and salt intake (adding salt to foods and drinking sports drinks are a couple of tricks to think about).

On race day I’d encourage you to have your pre race breakfast around 5am (or 2 hrs prior to your start time) and stick to things you have practiced in training. Toast or crumpets with honey or jam works a treat for most people. Sip on fluid on route to the race.

During the race you need to avoid the crippling effects of dehydration so make use of fluids (sports drink and water) on offer at aid stations. To avoid bonking, or the inevitable ‘hitting the wall’ any worse than it needs to be, take on carbohydrates every 45-60 minute. Gels or sports lollies are highly convenient options I would suggest. 
Good luck everyone, you are all champions !!

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