What to Eat Before an Endurance Race

So you’ve decided to tackle an endurance race—maybe a marathon or half marathon, maybe a triathlon, century ride, all-day hike, or some other multi-hour effort. Of the many tough decisions you’ll make that day, one of the first is: What should you eat for breakfast?

There’s only one right answer, in a sense, and that is: Whatever you practiced during your training. Race day is not the time to try anything new, because you’ll be living with the consequences for several (possibly agonizing) hours. Still, you have to start somewhere, so here are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind to prepare the best breakfasts.

Source: What to Eat Before an Endurance Race

Here are the rules that can’t be stressed enough:

  1. NO SURPRISES ON RACE DAY.  That includes finding out what type of gels or drinks they might be handing out. Find out in advance, try out in advance.
  2. It’s very personal.  Some like gels, some do not.  Vice versa.  There’s no wrong answer, just what works for you.

For me, gels take a while to kick in.  And it really depends on what what I’ve eaten and how soon.  Which is great – knowing that, I can take one before getting in the water so it hits when I’m on the bike.  But I was finding myself quite parched when I got to running – and it’s been hard to drink water while on the run.

Your mileage may vary 😉

Dean Karnazes: The Man Who Can Run Forever

Most runners have to stop when they reach their lactate threshold, but Dean Karnazes’ muscles never tire: he can run for three days and nights without stopping. What’s his secret?

Source: Dean Karnazes: the man who can run for ever

For those thinking “breed him” – it wouldn’t work.  The article said his lactate threshold is determined by his mitochondria, which is inherited maternally.  You would have to breed his mom or his sisters, but not him.  Additionally, it’s not that he’s immune to getting sore – he just doesn’t feel sore. And it is muscles only, so cardio and everything else is normal.

I’ve heard this sort of thing is common attribute in rowers.

Tim Peake Beat the Record For Running A Marathon in Space

The London Marathon was held earlier today, and among its runners? Astronaut Tim Peake, orbiting above the Earth on the International Space Station, and he set the world(?) record for running a marathon in space.

Source: Tim Peake Beat the Record For Running A Marathon in Space

Can one beat a “world record” not on said world? 😉

Meet the 72-year-old Cancer Survivor Who Was Thrilled to Finish the Boston Marathon – Dead Last

It takes a special kind of person to make finishing a race dead last feel like a win, but Fran Drozdz is just that person.

A 72-year-old cancer survivor, Drozdz had run more than 75 marathons when she signed up for the Boston Marathon with a charity team supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Source: Meet the 72-year-old cancer survivor who was thrilled to finish the Boston Marathon – dead last

Finishing is still quite the accomplishment.

Hello, It’s Me: The Taiwan Marathon Ghost

For a December 8 marathon, organizers in Keelung, Taiwan hired a “ghost” to scare runners into faster race times. Hello, it me: the Taiwan Marathon Ghost. Here to scare you through your toughest of times.

Source: Hello, It’s Me: The Taiwan Marathon Ghost

Plenty of marathoners poop their pants without help 😉

Zombies would be my first thought, though there is also a Monty Python skit from “The Meaning of Life”…

Heart Risk? Marathoners Have Increased Artery Plaque

Who do you think would have more artery clogging in the heart: (A) a group of sedentary, overweight men; or (B) a group of men who are slightly older, much leaner, and have run at least one marathon annually for 25 years?

Source: Heart Risk? Marathoners Have Increased Artery Plaque

The sample size isn’t terribly large, and while the study says they couldn’t pinpoint why the plaque was happening.  But from numerous people I’ve spoken to, there’s a percentage who run marathons/etc but eat poorly.  Those that eat poorly, due so because they are looking to consumer lots of calories, salt, or just “reward” themselves with nutritionally poor food.

A Road Map for Taking Your Running to the Next Level

When you laced up your shoes for the first time, you probably had a short term goal in mind: Finish this run. Do it again soon. Maybe work up to a short race. But if you like running, you’ll need a road map that takes you farther into the future. Here’s how to figure out what that goal is—and then get there.

Source: A Road Map for Taking Your Running to the Next Level

Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to eventually run a marathon. I’ve been running long enough to know that I’m not really interested in the training I’d need to race a marathon.  Same goes for triathlon – I have no interest in doing a half-iron or more (3/4 iron is becoming popular).  It’s the constant question I find when people engage about my hobby/interest.  I’m happy for those who do, but I could do without the people who can’t respect my decision or feel that I should have the same goal(s) as them.

How to Look Beautiful While Running a Marathon

The author needs to take some notes from this 92 year old marathoner

A week and a half ago, as I was packing for Chicago, I noticed that all of my good running clothes are a bright vitamin-piss yellow. My new shoes are that color. My lucky tank top is that color. My favorite socks are that color. Bright vitamin piss-yellow is not flattering on my complexion, and it never will be. My skin is the color of a baby pig.

“This is my power color,” I said aloud as I placed a series of neon yellow items into my suitcase. The marathon was in four days, and I had gone irretrievably insane.

Source: How to Look Beautiful While Running a Marathon

Been there.  I’m curious to look, but never seen a picture I’d ever want.  And seeing the pictures made me wear a hat.

How to Prepare for Your First Race, Whether It’s a 5K or a Marathon

Running is hard. Sticking to a training plan is hard. But knowing that you have a race in a month is a great motivator to keep you going when you’d rather be watching TV. If you’ve never run a race before, putting one on your calendar might seem scary: Will I feel out of place? What should I wear?

Source: How to Prepare for Your First Race, Whether It’s a 5K or a Marathon

Most big races will have signs with a pace so you know where to stand.  That goes for cycling too.  Sadly, there will be twits who seed themselves in a pace group that is too high for some odd reason.  Depending on your speed, you’ll know them because you will pass them because they burnt themselves out.  I see it a lot in the swim in triathlons, because they’re the ones breast stroking.  It makes sense in cyclocross racing – being at the front means you’re through a choke point that can make a world of difference in the overall race.

Pace groups can be awesome for motivation. They can be very supportive, encouraging, and helpfully distracting. Obviously the attitude differs depending on the pace and on the personality of the pace group leader.  In cycling, things like sportifs and Grand Fondo’s, pace groups can be very small and change quickly as people either fall off the back or someone is joining the group from being dropped from a faster group.  But there’s a lot of benefit to being in the draft of a cycling group, just take a shorter pull if you need to.

I’ve also used pace groups just to help keep track of where I am without needing a watch. I like to position myself between two groups: as long as I stay ahead of the slower one, I’m happy. This is mentally easier (for me) than trying to keep up with a specific group.

How to Become a Runner in 14 Easy Steps

One frozen January evening in 2010, I shoved a pair of pajama shorts, a decade-old sports bra, worn-down sneakers, and an 8-year-old tee shirt from a dorm dance into a backpack and trudged through the Chicago winter to the nearest gym. I mounted a treadmill, suddenly aware that I’d never been on a treadmill before. I ran to the point of total physical exhaustion: two miles.

Source: How to Become a Runner in 14 Easy Steps

Much as I often post about things scatological, I don’t think watching videos of people pooping while doing a marathon is productive.