Sub 3

For anyone trying to crack the 3 in any marathon anywhere in the world

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31/01/2013 at 10:03

LD - I haven't read Noakes but I thought that an hour before was too early for coffee,thought you had to drink it in the last 30 mins before otherwise the effect would be wearing off.  Am I wrong?  

Simonx9 - I don't take anything with me on long runs, do them mainly before breakfast and just have some water to drink beforehand.  Like LD says you don't need water even in the summer.  I've only done 2 marathons but I didn't have anything in my first one, just sipped some water and then had a bit of lucozade and 2 gels in my second.  Main reason for taking in some fuel was in the hope that I'd recover more quickly which I did but it may have been because I was better trained rather than down to fuel.  Am undecided about whether I will take on any fuel this time, if I do then I will practise on a couple of long runs.

OS - I've never fallen off a treadmill but I don't like running on them as I always feel I could do if I don't concentrate.  Haven't run on one for ages as I much prefer running outside.  Your work gym sounds great, is it quite common in Switzerland to have a decent work gym?

This week has gone 5, 6 on Monday; 4, 10 on Tuesday and then 15 yesterday.  Yesterday's 15 was the first one I've done on the road for ages and was a lot quicker than I've been doing them off road.  Went to the pub to watch the football last night and am unbvelievably hungover this morning, haven't felt like this for ages.   

31/01/2013 at 10:05

Agree what sort of c@nt would spend (half) a lifetime peddling that cr@p and be able to sleep at night? (Hi Dan.) If you were ever in any doubt as to profiteering being the main driver then surely 'Powerade Zero - the zero calorie sports drink' made the pennies drop.  I mean FFS what sort of world do we live in when people buy that BS and consequently buy that BS.  When was indepenedent thinking outlawed?  Mind you that's the same world where bottled water is more expensive per litre (if you buy the heavily marketed stuff instead of Asda's council range) than petrol but it's the petrol price that gets people's goat.

Anyway I did some running in January.

As you were. 

31/01/2013 at 10:09

Dids: it's pointless but if it's part of a routine that gets them running don't suppose it is doing any harm.

As opposed to drinking on a run, I do try to drink plenty of water during the day which comes from having read P&D Advanced Marathoning (only running book I've read), they suggest that if not hydrated then blood volume's lower thus less oxygen gets to your muscles so they can't work as hard. Have they over-egged this?

Edited: 31/01/2013 at 10:09
31/01/2013 at 10:35
Simonx9 - just think about the process that goes on when writing a running book. No one would shell out a tenner or more for a four page booklet (which would probably be about the right size for a standard running book). Therefore they desperately pad them out with this sort of bollocks.

It's a bit smug to say "I drink when I'm thirsty" but it's true. It's pretty infallible. There's also a load of bollicks about drinking coffee making you dehydrated. Bollocks.

CRAB's rant about bottled water - so true.

(Some of us have paid ??25 for the frequently mentioned Noakes book. Probably has 500 pages in it, and you can probably sum up the things you take away from it on a beer mat. (However, it does have its interesting parts).)
31/01/2013 at 11:05

top idea, how about drinking petrol on a long run, to save money ?

still reckon my 4 word book would sum it all up !

Padams - top pursuiting on a windy evening.

Edited: 31/01/2013 at 11:06
31/01/2013 at 11:10
TR wrote (see)

top idea, how about drinking petrol on a long run, to save money ?


Let's sack off Brendan Foster and get Hugh Porter on commentary to spice things up a bit.  "And here's man-mountain TR, the Hampshire hot-rocket, storming down the Embankment, beginning to stoke up the after-burners!...  He's on FIRE!!  Actually he really is on fire, er, oh..."

Edited: 31/01/2013 at 11:11
31/01/2013 at 11:14

I distracted some of my work colleagues laughing at some of the comments on this page, mostly because they are true.  Running is great, but has a major downside to many people that there isn't really any stuff to buy, and beyond a very low level of knowledge there isn't much to it: if pushed I could do it in one page, with lots of space for chartsengrafs, rather than four.   That said what folks choose to buy (eg pointless beverages, tops telling people how fast they once ran, etc) is harmless if it adds to their interest and gets them out the door. 

I am unconvinced by the killer drink.  What we have is an association, with n=1.  I wonder what else the unfortunate lady did that day that could be latched on to as the cause? Were there more deaths in endurance events over the time that the product in question was available?

LJ.  I am lucky/ unlucky enough to work for a very big company, and it has what is probably the best equipped and manged gym I have ever seen.  That said in general Switzerland has a huge range of sports facilities almost all of which are excellent.  I think the reason the Swiss aren't strong in many global sports is that most people do several sports rather than one, as they would in the UK. 

31/01/2013 at 11:20

Simonx9 - I tend to do my long run without gels or water, although there are exceptions. If I'm doing hard sections I might take a gel, or if I know that I've not eaten particularly well the day or two before (doesn't happen often) I might take a gel with me. I disagree with the point about not needing water even in summer. If it's hot (again, doesn't happen often), I've got a 1.5l camelbak that I'll take out with me. My understanding is that training while carb-depleted will get your body better practiced at burning fat for fuel, running while dehydrated or to the point of dehydration is pointless.

TR - Diesel, unleaded or super unleaded?

Edited: 31/01/2013 at 11:21
31/01/2013 at 11:27

Oh yeah, fuel... on my first marathon I was venturing into the unknown and as a precaution (and believing all the horror stories about "The Wall") used to head out with my Batman utility belt full of Lucozade Sport and a pouch full of jelly babies.  The last time I took any fuel on the run was during Summer, training for a September marathon, and that was mainly for hydration.  This time round I've been happy enough going up to 24 miles (including 7M @ MP) off just a morning coffee and a banana before leaving the house.

I don't fully understand the physiology of sugar uptake on the run but I do know that when I'm tired and a little dehydrated, the feeling of a cold, sugary drink hitting the back of the throat is very pleasant indeed, and definitely gives me a boost.  At the end of the day, all mental and physical phenomena are experienced "in your head" so on race day I will be calling on course-provided water and sugary drinks to help me round.

Edited: 31/01/2013 at 11:28
31/01/2013 at 12:35

TR - if I don't schedule build-up races I get lazy. At least this way I know I'll get my finger out a couple of times during the build-up.

But CRAB, surely Powerade Zero and their ilk contain important electrolytes and stuff that's as essential to running as breathing? Next you'll be telling me that built-up trainers cause injuries and that it's NFRS.........

If I use water during runs I use the Asda council brand (marketing opportunity there if ever there was one surely? ), but typically all my running is done sans eau. Maybe I should switch to expensive water that will hydrate me in a better way?

31/01/2013 at 12:55
Simonx9 wrote (see)

... having read P&D Advanced Marathoning (only running book I've read), they suggest that if not hydrated then blood volume's lower thus less oxygen gets to your muscles so they can't work as hard. 


P&D use physiological data to back up their statements and in this instance it is LD that is talking a "sort of bollocks". It's been proven that dehydration impairs performance and it's also been shown that the most likely mechanism underlying this impairment is a reduction in cardiac output and therefore, as P&D suggest, less oxygen getting to your muscles. Think you'd be well advised to read more P&D and less LD 

Like many others, I don't take any gels/drinks on any of my long runs including 20+ milers that include chunks at MP, just a strong coffee before I set off. That said, I do take 2-3 gels during a marathon to try and guard against becoming glycogen-depleted before the end of the race. 

Edited: 31/01/2013 at 12:57
31/01/2013 at 13:26

I have experimented running 12 miles hard (including a steep hill) with and without water in summer. Running with a little water (500ml) made the pace easier to hold and I recovered faster. 

I have not done this test often enough to make it scientific and it might be more psychological, but to me it made a difference. Oh and at least it did not come from a book, I tried it myself to see how it worked for me 

31/01/2013 at 14:36

Don't know about the physiology, but this is what works for me

Training runs - no liquids or gels. Easy for London when most long runs are done in the cold.

Marathon - 750ml PSP (day before), 750ml PSP (3hrs before), 1 energy bar (1.5 hr before), 1 gel at 10M and another at 20M, sip of water/orange stuff every mile. I have never found myself running out of energy or bonking. Training partner ran his 2:19 PB after eating a bag of jelly babies on the start line.

31/01/2013 at 14:43

Marmite - to add a little clarification. Obviously dehydration impairs performance. Like a man on the point of death in the desert isn't going to set any PBs for the 10K for example. The bollocks aspect is bringing dehydration into a book at all. If the book said "best have a drink every now and again if it's a hot day and your piss smells of Sugar Puffs, otherwise don't get hung up about it" that's fine.

When it gets to the point that people are sitting at work, drinking lots solely because of what they've read - then they've gone too far.


31/01/2013 at 15:36

Some odd attitudes towards water intake on here.....

31/01/2013 at 15:37

Marmite - if you look at and find their stuff on dehydration I think they'd disagree with you as they say that any reduction in plasma volume is more than adequately met by a redistribution of blood from parts of you you're not using much at the time.  They seem pretty set that if you drink to thirst you can get dehydrated with no risk or detriment to performance.  Could it even be a useful training stimulus?

My non-scientific n=1 study is that if I'm well hydrated before and drink straight after a long run then I don't feel excessively thirsty and if those sports science guys are right this is fine.  I drink lots of water in general (from a tap!) but hate having to carry stuff with me when running.

31/01/2013 at 15:41

It might sound dumb (get the caveats in early, I say!), but how much you drink is partly what you're used to.  Back in the day, I would carry water for anything over about 8-10M and was sure I needed this.  At some point, 8-10M became ok without water, and I tended to only carry water for over about 12M.  That then became 15M, etc., etc., and now I will do 20M without water (although I haven't tried this in the summer yet).  Same thing with gels/sweets (although I never used gels/sweets for under 15M).

31/01/2013 at 15:50

I'm another in the 'drink when thirsty' camp*.

Funnily enough, I was musing just yesterday on the power of the placebo. American Football players have been wearing holographic stickers that combat the negative energies of cellphone (sic) radiowaves, and drinking "negatively charged" water that adheres like a magnet to the body's cells.  Add these to the list that also contains Power Balance bracelets, Kinesio tape and Phiten necklaces. 

These products might be scoffed at by the majority.  But add red shoes, orange vests, sports massages, pouring water down the back of the neck, chi-running, sports drinks, energy gels, and eventually you hit on something that any given runner actually believes in.  And if they believe it does them good then it does them good (sometimes a very significant 'good'), even if the scientific consensus is 'unproven'.

Selling isotonic sports drinks, or providing sports massages seems pretty harmless even if the effects are questionable.  But selling $200 bracelets containing magnets or flogging negatively-charged water seems fraudulent. But where do you draw the line?  Do you need to?  Is it, as suggested above, just a case of caveat emptor?

At the core of the moral scruple is the fact that expensive magic pixie dust tends to exert a more powerful reason-to-believe than cheap magic pixie dust. If I knew my Mum would gain significant arthritic pain relief from wearing a stupid $200 bracelet that did nothing but induce a placebo effect, then I'd gladly pay the money and keep quiet about the fact that I bought it from a bunch of crooks. 

* except on a Friday night down the Rose and Crown.

31/01/2013 at 15:57

What are they storing the magnetically charged water in?  Is it transported in metal lorries?  I hope so - it's a lovely image!

31/01/2013 at 15:58

Nice list Njord, but here is one you missed:

If you drink 2-3 litres of a suitably dilute and well shaken solution of, say, your lucky underpants every mile, I cant see how you could go wrong. 

My placebo of choice is the Jelly Baby.  I have a positively Pavlovian response to them when running. 

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