This post will detail my preparation for Sunday’s 33rd Milo Marathon Elimination. I hope you guys send any comment and let me know if I got anything wrong here before its too late.
Foods and Drinks before the Race Proper
Official race time for 42km runners will start at 4:30a.m. I plan to wake up at least 3 hours before 4:30am so that means I have to be awake by 1:30a.m already. In doing so, I plan to sleep VERY early like 6:00 pm. I’m not sure if this is doable but according to some blogs I’ve been reading, drinking alcohol will help me fall asleep. I will not do this. I will try instead to take a nice shower, get rid of all the noise and turn on the airconditioner and hope this will help me fall asleep fast. By 1:30am, I shall be eating my pre-race meal which consists of 2 regular size banana and a 2 slices of whole wheat bread coated with peanut butter. I’ve been eating this every morning since Monday and will do so until Saturday to ensure my stomach will get used to it. I will not add anything new to my usual breakfast until marathon day. While I understand that waking up as early as 1:30am may be an inconvenience for first time would-be marathoners, this is very vital. First, it will allow my stomach adequate time for digestion, thus reducing the risk of developing any gastro issues during the race and probably cramps. Secondly and most important, after consuming my pre-race breakfast, my body will release insulin. From what I’ve read from several literatures, insulin inhibits growth hormone release. Because growth hormone improves performance, I plan to minimize growth hormone inhibition by insulin. And finally, elevated levels of insulin before activities results in a faster rate of carbo utilization. Since we all know that carbohydrates are critical component of energy to complete this particular race, I do not want to use them up too quickly. Its been said that it usually takes 2-3 hours after a meal for the insulin levels to return to normal, therefore I plan to eat a small carbohydrate meal (sample above) about 3 hours before the start of the race. By 2:30am, I will start drinking 2 glasses of water to offset any deficit accrued during my night’s sleep. I will drink a glass of water 30 minutes before the start of the race for this will allow water to be entering the circulation as the race begins and improves the ability of my stomach to digest fluids. At the said time, I will visit the bathroom to pee and remove bowels if ever I feel the need to (man I hope there will be a decent portabletoilet there!).
I sweat a lot. This offers both an advantage and disadvantage depending on how you look at it. It is an advantage as it will help me know if I’m dehydrated. Once I stop perspiring or my perspiration decreases, I know this will be a good time to start hydrating myself with Pocari or water. Major disadvantage? The dreaded blisters. So afraid of blisters I actually bought two shin/leg compressions at Runnr store just for the purpose of “catching” all perspiration dripping from my upper body before it gets straight to my shoes. I’m still thinking if I should go for this. I also have chafing issues near my armpit and other strategic areas of my legs. I also notice to feel burning sensation near… hhmm..near the area where my bowels come out during and after my run. How I’m going to resolve this? Just before I sleep, I will “pre-lube” those areas. I don’t want to slow down on the latter stage of the race just because my ass*#le is burning mad! After my warm-up exercise come race day, I will apply again petroleum jelly on the said areas (except the area where my bowels come out)
Days ago I sent a text message to veteran marathoner Verner and ultramarathoner Luis on what’s the best strategy to use on long run. I did my research too on the internet and came up with this conclusion. Start a consistent but slow run then run faster on the 2nd half. This means negative split is the best to do. As I don’t have a Garmin watch, I will rely on my heart rate monitor watch (which means I’ll have to wear that annoying chest strap again!) to check my pace. Here’s my pace:
1stkm to 25th km : I will run just within my “aerobic zone”, which means I will run somewhere between 70%-80% of my maximum heart rate (MHR). That would be 155-165 beats per minute. Running within my aerobic zone will ensure that my glycogen stores can last 3 or more hours. (quick review: running within anaerobic zone requires a lot more glycogen to produce energy compared to aerobic training which utilizes oxygen and fat for energy and small amounts of glycogen). Comparatively, when running anaerobically at 80% of your MHR you will use up almost all of your glycogen stores in less than two hours, a BIG difference.
25th km to 35th km : I will add just 5 beats (165-170). Take note that at this distance, I should be running in my “anaerobic zone”.
35th to 42nd km: Run 170-185 beat per minute.
The distance from 25th to 35th is most crucial as this will start utilizing all the glycogen stores in my body. Hopefully, the number of spaghetti and bananas (thanks to 711) I devoured for several days will start helping me at this stage. The dreaded “wall” will start creeping on the 30th km and above and so I will make sure I have enough carbs and fluids to help me. My plan is to finish the race within the 5 hour cut-off time.
Nutrition and fluids during the race
As this will be my first marathon race, I plan to consume five Hammer Gels as my source of carbs and combination of either Pocari Sweat, water and Gatorade. As I have this weird habit of feeling sleepy during long runs, two of the 5 hammer gels I bought have 25mg of caffeine hehehehe! This will be my schedule of hammer gel intake:
After 10th km : consume hammer gel
After 20th km: consume hammer gel
After 25th km: consume hammer gel
After 30th km: consume hammer gel with 25mg caffeine
After 35th km: consume hammer gel with 25mg of caffeine
I know Milo race organizer Rudy Biscocho will not screw up on the hydration needs of runners so I plan to drink all available fluids on all hydration station. I will also have my own hydration belt with Gatorade. I heard there will be banana stations available but I may not use it, as I don’t want to run with bloated stomach.
So that’s about it! Good luck to all 42km virgin runners (like me) and to all participants! Kaya Natin To!