Fuelling for the long runs(17 Posts)
I am running the Brighton marathon on the 9th April so am getting into the really long runs. Have done 13,15,17,14 the last four weeks and have 20 to do this week.
My issue is that I am constantly exhausted! My legs feel done in the whole time. I am doing intervals plus one other 5ish mile run in the week and trying to fit in some strength training as well to help the body stay strong.
I am eating pretty well but haven't upped my calorie intake much apart from more carbs the day before the long run (and too many 'treats' at the weekend!)
Does anyone else feel like this? How do I give my body enough fuel and rest for the long runs over the next few weeks? Any tips?
During the runs I have the usual water, blocks, electrolyte drinks, gels etc
But it's not that I tire well into them it's that my legs are knackered all the time!
How long have you been running?
Is this your first marathon?
To be honest, your legs are knackered most of the time when marathon training. It gets better when you taper.
Are you eating immediately after training sessions? If yoy're not doing that already it should help with recovery.
When dh was running marathons we worked out this fuelling regime through a mixture of research and trial-and-error.
Say the long run was on a Saturday, During the week preceding he would:
Drink a large glass of beetroot juice every.
Carb load on Wednesday night.
Carb load on Friday night.
Have porridge with honey/sugar/syrup 2-3h before the run.
Fuel etc during the run (water, with jelly babies for sub-marathon, plus gels for marathon, plus muesli bars for super-marathon, plus soup/tea for ultra-marathon).
Protein drink immediately after the run (he preferred home-made: chocolate milk with egg white)
I thought he would want a carbie dinner after the run, but he preferred a larger portion of a balanced meal.
This is my first marathon but I did 1000 mile challenge last year so was running 20 miles every week, though in more shorter runs and didn't ever do longer than 13 at once.
Maybe I just need to suck it up for the next five weeks!
I will try carb loading earlier in the week though. Post run I usually feel pretty sick so really struggle to eat.
I sometimes feel sick after exercise too, and sipping very dilute squash or an electrolyte drink usually sorts it out. Then I try to get something with a bit of protein in as soon as I can (usually something milk-based or an egg sandwich, but I'm sure you'll have your own preferences). Good luck!
Thanks bluegoats. I used to make a smoothie after a hard workout so I got everything I needed down me quickly but since the miles have gone to 15+ I really struggle to eat until a few hours after which I know isn't good for me. Maybe I will try and keep drinking the electrolyte drink after the run and see if that helps. Marathon training is just so darn hard!!
Chocolate milk. Easy to drink and a good choice for recovery. With a banana if you can manage.
Also, are you doing your long runs too fast? Most folk do. Really they ought to be circa 90 seconds slower than marathon pace. My pace is around 8mm, so long runs 9.30 mm. Sounds too slow but it encourages the body to use the right fuel (fat) and is easiest on the body.
I'm in the phone so can't post fully.
My half marathon race pace is around 8.40 but the last few long runs I've done have been 9.20-9.30 so a fair bit slower. The issue I have is that I'm training with me sister who is much faster than me but insisting on training together so 9.30 is about a slow as she can manage
Another vote for chocolate milk. My stomach just doesn't fancy food after a long run but I can manage a pint of chocolate milk and a banana. The banana is full of magnesium and that might help you.
I'd also be trying a very cool / ice soak for your legs after the long run and then straight on with some compression wear. Either full skins or just compression socks or calf sleeves. Ice and elevate to boost recovery.
Soaking your legs in the bath with a good dose of Epsom salts in the water can be very helpful too. Maybe even arnica tablets.
I'm doing Brighton too!
The midweek carb loading doesn't appear to have any basis in science, but it works for dh.
If you feel sick after the run, it may mean that you're not hydrating enough, or that you are losing too many electrolytes. You can continue with the isotonic drinks or gels after the run, too.
Do you cool your legs after a long run? If dh ends a marathon near water (Brighton: the Channel) he always goes for a paddle or a swim. If not he puts cold packs around his knees. You can get instant disposable packs that get very cold. And then, of course, you also need a warm-down stretch and stroll.
I always have good intentions but too often just jump in a hot shower and then am straight in the car dashing around before school run.
Refueling within 90 minutes is really important. You can even buy recovery drinks. No wonder your legs feel dead!
Also, you perhaps need to think about whether it's appropriate to run with someone much faster, I know it's your sister I feel sure that if you slowed your runs down by 30 seconds per mile you would notice a difference. 40 seconds slower than HMP isn't that much slower than MP.
Honestly I have tried to ditch her! She keeps going on about how proud our parents will be to see us cross the line together! I think i would train alone but when I've tried to suggest it she says she will pull out if she has no one to train with. Anyway that's another story!!
Refuelling I will do, regardless of feeling sick I will try to have something.
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