Nick Morgan - Lead Sport Scientist at Lucozade Sport - answers your nutrition puzzlers
It's time for the penultimate lunchtime Q+A in our Virgin London Marathon build-up, and once again, Lucozade Sport's Lead Sport Scientist Nick Morgan will be joining us between 1pm and 2pm to answer any queries you might have about sports nutrition.
Maybe you're wondering how much you should be eating while you taper, or maybe you've still got questions about your race-day fuel and hydration strategy - whatever your queries, make the most of this opportunity to chat directly to Nick.
We're starting this thread now so you have a chance to post your queries beforehand - that way, Nick will be able to get stuck in straight away at 1pm rather than having to deal with too many questions all at once.
Time to get posting!
I'm doing Brighton in just over 2 weeks as a London ballot reject and this will be my first full marathon.I can't stomach the sports drink that is provided on the day so I’m planning on just using gels with water and have been practicing this in training. Will I be OK with this strategy or do I need to take anything else into account?
I'm running the VLM for the first time and have a race-day fuelling question.
My plan is to run with a Lucozade Sport at all times, sipping at every mile marker. I estimate that I'll drink 330ml every 5 miles or so (50 to 55 mins) and plan to pick up another 330ml at each Lucozade station.
On top of this I'll take 1x SIS gel at each Lucozade station too. This is the best way of me remembering when to take them !
I've done my long runs using this strategy and my stomach copes well. But....
Q1. Is that enough carbs intake
Q2. Would you recommend drinking water in addition to the above. If so how much (assuming we're not having a heatwave by then) ?
I have a question on weight loss. Is it OK to attempt to shed a few pounds over these last few weeks, particularly given a bit of extra weight is likely to go on during carb loading? I have been surprised that my weight has been stable at around 12st (I'm 6ft) despite about 5 months of running 45mpw. I basically eat as much as I please (volume wise - I do try to eat mostly the right stuff) in the knowlege that I'm burning it off. Would it be OK to reduce calorie intake by say 500-700 per day with a view to losing, say 4-5 pounds over the next 3 weeks provided I ensure I am properly fuelled for my key runs (particularly the last couple of longer ones)?
Or could this prove counter productive this close to the big day?
Last year I was about 4lbs lighter than I am now when I did FLM and given I am aiming for a PB I don't really want to be carrying unecessary extra baggage!
I'm also doing Brighton and wonder what you're advice is on carbo-loading in the days before? I tried to practice a couple of days in advance on a recent half with pasta, jacket potato at lunch, and some granola bars for snacks but fat intake ended up being quite high and I ate far too many calories in total. Any good tips for sensible high carb foods?
Hi All - I am ready and raring to go...
I trust everyone is fit and healthy!
As always, I'll try my best to get through all the questions in the shortest possible time. Please forgive any glaring spelling mistakes !
Not being able to stomach sports drinks is not uncommon, so do not worry - there are plenty of strategies in which you can follow. They key elements are to drink regularly, little and often - so use the water stations available and also run with the bottles (assuming they are bottles at Brighton). With the gels, then only using gels is fine assuming you are ok with stomaching 4-6 of them!? Normally we recommend 30-60 gram of carbohydrate per hour so this will equate to at least 1 (possible 2) gels for every hour you run. Given that you won't be using an electroltye drink, to help replace the slat in your sweat you may want to check the gels you use contain sodium
I have a question for you. Mrs Fin and I have been having a discussion about calorie intake generally. Now since neither of us are remotly qualified in this area I thought that I'd ask you. I use a website at the moment to record all that I am eating and it, in theory, calculates how much I need to eat to lose a few excess pounds before race day and yet keep me fully fueled. Presently it is telling me that I need to eat 2115 Cals plus about a1000 for the track session that I did today. I'm currently 76kg and 5'11 and the website says that I should eat to the following target:
Target Grams CalsCarbohydrate 498.5 1869.5Protein 179.2 716.6Fat 58.9 529.7
Our question comes down to does it matter where the carbohydrates come from? I know that you get a slower more sustained release from "brown" carbs like brown bread/rice etc but is there that much of a difference. Would say say a huge chug of Lucozade Energy (fizzy orange one) count as meaningful carb? I also eat a lot of white bread and bagels - which are calorific but perhaps the wrong type... And finally, does it really have a huge effect on when you have the calories - working as I do at the end of a commute means that I sometimes don't get back from training till late and so end up having dinner quite late in the evening.
Sorry if this is a bit longwinded...
Ø A common mistake with carbo loading is that runners try to eat too much in one go, classically in the evening before – and often think that it’s a struggle. In reality try to add a little extra carbohydrate to your meals throughout the day and adding a few extra carbohydrate based snacks (as above).
GOOD LUCK - SEE YOU THERE!
AGAINST THE GUIDELINES OF 30-60G OF CARBOHYDRATE THEN EACH 330ML BOTTLE PROVIDES 21G OF CARBOHYDATE. AN SIS GEL IS ROUGHLY 25G (I DON'T HAVE ONE IN FRONT OF ME!), SO IF YOU MANAGE THIS EVERY HOUR YOU WILL BE IN AN EXCELLENT PLACE.
I WOULD BUT ONLY ON THE EXPERIENCE THAT IT HELPS TO PREVENT THE MONOTONY OF THE SMAE DRINKS AND GELS. YOU WILL ALSO FIND GELS ARE BETTER WASHED DOWN WITH WATER ALSO. DRINK THE WATER ACCORDING TO HOW YOU FEEL.
Hi Nick,Thanks for the response before.
Another question regards carb loading.A colleague said to avoid carbs for the first 2 days of the week before the marathon and just eat protein so that the body then craves carbs when you start to carb load. Is this a sensible approach?
What is the best nutritional advice after the race?
have a question on weight loss. Is it OK to attempt to shed a few pounds over these last few weeks, particularly given a bit of extra weight is likely to go on during carb loading? I have been surprised that my weight has been stable at around 12st (I'm 6ft) despite about 5 months of running 45mpw. I basically eat as much as I please (volume wise - I do try to eat mostly the right stuff) in the knowlege that I'm burning it off. Would it be OK to reduce calorie intake by say 500-700 per day with a view to losing, say 4-5 pounds over the next 3 weeks provided I ensure I am properly fuelled for my key runs (particularly the last couple of longer ones)?
The simple answer to this is yes... but only on the assumption that you manage to stay properly fuelled in the lead up to the race. Don't be tempted to overdo it and become tired, lethragic and fatigued - this is something you run the risk of so close the marathon if you are not used to it. So simple yes you can, whether it is advisable - i'm probably on the fence. Also remember, losing weight doesn't necessarily translate to running faster immediately - that is to do with the engine so whilst lighter runners tend to be faster, its not something that is written in stone.
The key elements to carbohydrate loading are above. IN terms of key tips:
I'm running the London Marathon for the first time and have heard lots about carb and water loading before the race, to ensure I'm suitably fuelled and hydrated on the day. How many days out before the big day do I have to start carb and water loading and switch from my normal diet, as Im concerned if I start too soon I'll be sick and tired of carbs by the time I get to Friday and Staurday.
Many thanks for the advice.
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