The questions before a marathon

January 10, 2009

After my 22 miler this morning I decided to sit in on some of the pre-race prep conversation between a few Rogue coaches and their athletes. I haven’t coached a group since the Chicago group in I think it was 2006 and it was good to listen to the different questions that come up as well as the quick tips and tricks.

Some of the questions and the answers (from memory so there may be some inaccuracies):

  • Q: I drink a glass of wine each night should I not do that? I do all the other hydration etc.
    A: If you have been go ahead, a glass of wine or a beer isn’t going to hurt you … a half bottle or bottle of wine is a different story.
  • Q: Running a negative split, when should I go anaerobic?
    A1: Not at mile 18 when you’re picking your pace up.
    A2: That’s more than 20 seconds faster than your marathon goal pace (MGP), it’s unlikely you’ll do that early on.
    My addition in hindsight: In a marathon we’re basically trying to delay the buildup of lactic acid as long as possible and if we enter an oxygen debt too early fatigue. I would say gradually pick up your pace so you’re hitting the last mile where you might go anaerobic if at all … unless you know you can run with an oxygen debt for a longer period and have trained for it.

Some good tips:

  • Take a small water bottle for the first few miles to avoid the really busy initial water stops.
  • Don’t get freaked out by other runners and people at the expo or the hotel etc. People will ask you what you’re wearing, what your race plan is and compare it to their own … don’t doubt your plan.
  • Pack for all weather conditions, you never know what will change.
  • Go to goodwill or somewhere else to get some throw away clothes and layers. You can get a long sleeve t-shirt and cut the top and bottom so you can rip it off super man style.
  • Eat what you’re used to eating, if you don’t eat pasta normally don’t start loading up on pasta now.

Today’s Run: 22 miles at around a 7:30 pace

Current Wins: Time with college friend, time with family and nephew, low interest rates

Current Losses: House cleaning, leisure reading


Snacks for Marathon Weekend – Check

November 30, 2008

I haven’t really got too much that I’m taking with me, the goal isn’t taste or variety just get the food I need into me. So my big list of stuff I’m taking with me is:

  1. Box of Cliff Bars (12 mojo bars). I’ll probably end up going through 6 on Fri and Sat and one Sun morning.
  2. Nutella. I do NOT like peanut butter. I think PB is an American thing and try as I might to like it it just isn’t going to happen.
  3. Nuun electrolyte tabs.

One nice thing about the hotel is the rooms have kitchenettes so space to put food and keep it cool. Once in Sacramento I need to make a few purchases:

  1. Bread. For the Nutella 🙂
  2. Bottles of water.
  3. Bottles of Gatorade (yuck), Vitamin Water (not as yuck) or other “energy drink”.

Time to start laying out all the clothes and stuff for the trip now to make sure I have everything I need.


Throw away layer – check

November 28, 2008

Goodwill rocks. It’s good for not only giving but getting. It’s a great place to find race gear, especially throw away layers. I ended up keeping a few things from a batch I was dropping off and picked up a few.

Throw away clothes for CIM

Throw away clothes for CIM

The Mizuno jacket and the tights were my purchases from Goodwill today. Yes, the tights are women’s tights … they didn’t have any mens sports wear … c’est la vie. The shirt is a polo I was giong to get rid of, the buttons are nice since I can leave them open which makes it easy to get rid of them. The Hat and scarf are a pair I’ve had for close to 8 years I was going to drop off today but kept for the race instead. The socks are … well those are my version of a throw away gloves.

One more thing off the list for the marathon.


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