Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nutrition Strategy

Training for a race not only involves short runs, long runs, tempo runs, hill training, progression runs, or intervals. Yes they help improve your endurance and speed in preparation for a race. But part of one’s training should also include a nutrition strategy not only pre and post race, but also DURING the race, especially for long distances. Either employing gels (which I’m a regular fan of), granola bars, chocolate wafer bars, or bananas, such nutrition strategies should be taken well into consideration.

Just ask Canadian elite Simon Bairu, who learned the hard way in his debut during the recent NYC Marathon. It’s an unfortunate tale of how NOT to race a debut full marathon.

“My head got light, and it was almost like a drunken stumble. I was conscious, but I wasn’t in (the race),” Bairu was saying over the phone on Tuesday. “The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and my legs were just shaking uncontrollably. They were just twitching.”

His race was over, about three miles from the line, but his ordeal was not. Spectators immediately sprang to his aid. Someone called 9-1-1. Someone else ran to get a blanket. Meanwhile, Bairu said his spinning head felt as though “it was going to explode.”

I couldn't believe how Bairu, an elite runner who has beaten Ryan Hall in an earlier half-mary race this year, missed taking the energy gel halfway (he only had one at the start of the race).

How about you? What’s your nutrition strategy?


  1. i use 1 hammer gel for 21K, 3 hammer gels for 42K :)

  2. I didn't use any fuel except for water during my first half as I thought I was running pretty fast. No wait, I did have on GU gel 9 miles into it. lol. too late? For the marathon, my God. Time to go back to the chalk board on that one.