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2020 Boston Marathon - Week 9 Training Recap

Posted by George Parker on
9 weeks down and 9 weeks to go! Halfway mark. I'm feeling fit and smooth.

I ran "George equivalent" 64 miles this week (61 miles + 90 minutes of BJJ). Three running workouts including 6x800 @ 2:51-2:55, 8 miles at 6:45-6:52/mile goal pace, and 16 mile long run ~30 seconds slower than goal pace. Again, all workouts were on target. I'm gaining a lot of confidence in sub-3hr pace as I string more and more good workouts together in close proximity.

This week, I started paying more attention to dialing in my nutrition. There are 5 things I need to get right:

1. Night before meal
2. Morning pre-race meal
3. Hydration during marathon
4. Nutrition during marathon
5. Salt.

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1. Night before meal - Typically, I eat pasta. Turns out I have bouts of acid reflux though, so have been avoiding spicy and tomato based products. (Unfortunately, that's a big hit to my pizza eating days!) As a result, I need an alternative for the night before. Right now, I'm leaning towards a rice bowl --- brown rice, vegetables, and some protein. If anyone has other ideas, I'm keenly receptive at the moment!

2. Morning pre-race meal - I have iterated this over the years. At one point, I read that drinking Ensure is recommended before Ironman races. So, for years, I drank 2-3 Ensures before running races. In hindsight, that was a bad idea for me. Ensure has the calories, sugar, and is easily digestible --- but that is a bunch of liquid to have sloshing around your stomach before a long race. Now, I am a fan of bagels and sports drinks. Before CIM, I had a bagel with peanut butter about 3 hours before race start and sipped a sports drink throughout the morning. Same routine before Boston Marathon 2019 (except I ate 5 hours before the 10am start, so had a Cliff Bar snack an hour before race.) Point is I feel good about this routine. However, I am considering switching from peanut butter to jelly going forward --- more sugar. Lastly, I have learned that eating about 3 hours before race start works for my bowels movements. We're all runners here, so this is the stuff we talk about! This timing allows for me to empty my bowels at some point before race start at a start line porta-potty. That being said, all that extra sports drink hydration is still an issue --- especially at Boston. The lines to the porta-potty heading up to the start line are awful. It's easier for men because they installed urinals last year --- but the line is still long and even longer for women. This year, I want to hit the start line hydration, but not overly hydrated. Oh, for those that pee on yards in Hopkington or on buses parked on the Verranzzo bridge ---that's nasty, just stop.

Points 3, 4, and 5 I don't have finalized yet. I have an idea and good learning from past experiences.

This week, I'm going to focus #3 -- Hydration during the marathon. I have done two sweat tests as part of the this training cycle and have some good data to build a plan around. I'll focus on a hydration plan this week and see how that works out.

Hope all your training is going well!

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