This past weekend marked the first marathon that I have ever run. This was a huge accomplishment for me because I had only dreamed of running a marathon and never thought was some I would actually do. Well on April 18th I made that far fetched dream a reality. It was a great day for a race. There were no clouds and lots of sunshine. The only issue was it started to get a little warm (mid 70s) which was a challenge because I had spent the whole winter training in frigid temperatures. I ran very consistently and honestly felt good. It got harder at the 22 mile mark and the course was a little more boring at that point, but thankfully I was able to power through for that last 4 miles. I am so blessed to have the ability to run and have this opportunity to compete. I finished in 3 hours and 46 minutes, which was great consider this was my first marathon ever.
Since I am a dietitian I wanted to share with you some about my nutrition plan. I am firm believer in having a nutrition plan for your race (anything longer than 1 hour, you need to refuel). What you put in your body is very important. I have done race day nutrition presentations for local stores and I love talking about different endurance activity nutrition products (shameless plug, if you want me to come talk about nutrition and exercise send me an email via the CONTACT ME link). There are a ton of different products out there and the main take away message here is to find what works best for you. So here is what I use and why I have chosen these products.
Energy Gel: Huma Gels
These Huma energy gels are made from chia seeds. The best part of the product is the fact that it doesn't contain malto-dextrin (which is a type of carbohydrate that can cause some people GI distress). The texture is nice as well. Unlike a gel, it is more the texture of applesauce, slightly chunky due to the chia seeds.The flavors are all fantastic. If you have had issues tolerating a gel product then I would encourage you to try Huma and I am sure that you will be hooked!
Electrolyte Replacement: Salt Stick
I like using Salt Sticks, because I normally don't drink a carbohydrate/electrolyte solution when I run. For some reason I have had issues tolerating some like a Gatorade product. I do better with plain water and then I take the Salt Sticks to help make sure I am replacing the electrolytes that I have lost from exercising. I typically take 1 every 45-60 minutes when doing endurance activity. It works well and I have found it helpful when doing endurance activity.
As mentioned above, I normally drink water. I carry water with me when I run to help make sure that I am staying hydrated. I didn't use to do this, but I have learned that I feel better if I take water with me when I am out for > 60 minutes. I use the Nathan hand held water bottle. I love it. It holds 18oz and during my marathon I used two. I carried one with me for 12 miles and then I picked up a new one (filled with cold water) and carried that through the end. I did end up using the water stations starting at about mile 20 because I was starting to run low on the water I was carrying with me.
I received no compensation for my views on any of these products. This was my personal experience. These are recommendations, but results will vary from person to person. If you have specific nutrition related questions, please feel free to reach out to me via the CONTACT ME link above.