P&D Autumn Marathon Training Thread

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02/07/2013 at 10:18

Menn, that's sound advice and spot on in my opinion.

JB, you sound to be in a very good place. I'd forgotten seeing you at Otley (apologies), and now recall how satisfied and in control you looked. Which was the opposite of how I felt! My views on drinking/eating on training runs has changed radically over the last couple of years. I used to take a drink on runs over 90mins and a gel on 20milers. Now I carry a drink only on long runs for emergency purposes. I purposefully go out on a drink only (used to insist on having brekkie) and have nothing en route. I always used to feel bloated having breakfast 2 hours before the run and now I feel so much better. I wouldn't recommend this approach though.

I personally feel that in your case, the target mp will be soft. But as you know, there's no need to set your target mp at this stage.  When is your mara?

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 10:20
02/07/2013 at 10:22

15W, (virtual high 5)

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 10:23
02/07/2013 at 10:34

wow, busy on here!

Men: that was brilliant advice.

JohnnyB: have tried & tested gels and know what works for me in the marathon but they are just tooooo ghastly to be taken in training . Like Brian I do take a bit of emergency water on longer runs in the summer. I like to have brekkie before my weekend long runs but midweek training is done on empty (need to squeeze it in between sleep and work ).

8.5 miles d&d - forgot the strides - d'oh   That's my campaign fcked then

Carter: brilliant LT run    my first one is next week

02/07/2013 at 12:34

Brian - do you take gels during the marathon itself?

I try and remember to carry a drink on longer runs (18+) but have only ever used jelly beans or jelly babies for 'fuel' and haven't even bothered with these this time round. I'm of the school of thought that your body will just get used to whatever you usually do although I'm sure there are plenty on here who will disagree!

02/07/2013 at 12:54

For my one and only previous marathon training campaign I didnt have breakfast prior to my long runs nor did I take any fluids/gels on board during the run. One day I bonked and the consenus was that I had done this as I had not fuelled properly, despite having run further without fuel previously. From that moment on I started eating breakfast and taking fluids/gels on board during the runs (I didnt finish that training plan through injury). For this campaign, I have built up to 17 miles and am not eating breakfast or taking on fluids/gels and everything is going well. 

From comments on this and other forums it seems that those who have been running for quite a well can get away without fuelling, obviously there are exceptions to this. I was thinking I will continue with this strategy and if I bonk again I will start fuelling, if I dont then happy days. Do you think this is the right approach or should I start fuelling on my long runs now ?

02/07/2013 at 14:03

Carter- I might be the exception here but I hardly ever go out for a run without a gel in my pocket or a couple of quid incase I need to stop for a drink.

Ive never done anything longer than about 10 miles without gels and there's no way I could do a really long run without and form of fuel.

I think it's good if you can run without gels etc because it proves your body is efficient at burning fat and it's certainly cheaper if you are not buying gels all the time but I would definitely try a couple on your long runs and see how you get on. Who knows you might run even better!

It seems like a badge of honour to run as far as possible without consuming and food or drink, if they help I don't see why anyone wouldn't use them. It's perfectly legal. 


Edited: 02/07/2013 at 14:05
02/07/2013 at 14:04

Jb, John,jbike are all good for me.

Good summary men of why lsr is good. I am running my long runs at about 81% of mhr and have foecast mp based on what I think would be reasonable and now adjusting race times to meet that. Bizarre I know.

Happy to get better advice on here though. Rather difficult to easily project a mp time so might need to adjust nearer race day which is mid Oct. York race


02/07/2013 at 14:52

I haven't had a bonk for ages.

02/07/2013 at 14:59

JB - A nice half marathon always gives a good indicator, and given you are going quite long at your current MP I would suggest you may be reveiwing your training paces quite soon which can only be a good thing. I run one around 12 weeks out from race day and extrapolate my times from there with a 10k a few weeks out to confirm. HR is also another good way to calc training paces/target race paces. 

I dont fuel or drink on LSRs if on a winter campaign, but have water stashes for lsrs and isotonic gels if the weather is getting hot ie summer training. I always have something such as porridge/Banana a couple of hours berore a long run. Mcmillan have an article about lsrs and carbo depletion here. I tend to carry a gel or two on long runs just in case but find that I generally dont need them and they end up going through the washer, which doesnt damage them, you just dont know what flavour you get a it washes the foil off


02/07/2013 at 15:00

That's brilliant advice - thanks Menn.  I'm racing on Sunday so my long run will be on Wednesday and I will definitely be taking it slower, following on from your post, it makes sense.   

With regards fuel & hydration If I'm doing 10 miles plus I definitely take water with me, especially with the weather being warmer. If I dont use it then so be it, but I'd rather have the option than not. 

Fuelling wise, I have so far done long runs without breakfast and that's worked out okay this far.  Yet to get up to mileage that warrants gels, but I when I was up at 16-20 miles when training for London & Edinburgh I'd take a gel or two and I raced with them. More strategically at Edinburgh and ran 19 minutes quicker than London.  

02/07/2013 at 15:01
02/07/2013 at 15:08

Ran 15mi at lunchtime and ran it fairly aggressively (1hr45) and after yesterday's LT run I am really feeling it now.

I am currently not eating breakfast before my long runs mainly due to having to run them dead early to fit in with the family etc. I'd much rather run a long run of 18mi with some porridge in my belly.

02/07/2013 at 15:44

acp, yes I take 4 gels with me in a marathon. I will eat 3 definitely (9, 15 and 19), and may have the last about 22 if I'm really struggling. 

70mins at 66% at lunch. After feeling great yesterday, felt tired today. Possibly something to do with the s&c session in the gym this morning

02/07/2013 at 15:45
15West wrote (see)

I haven't had a bonk for ages.

mwah ha ha

02/07/2013 at 15:52

Menn- it's hard to disagree with any of that article, the point I was trying to make is that gels etc do help. Marathon training is hard enough sometimes without making it any harder than you really need to.

Im not saying carry a backpack full of gels on every run but people need to be very careful running in a depleted state. Like the article says the depleted long run is the icing on the cake so probably better for more experienced runners.

Also if you plan to race with gels, you need to train with them and at race intensity it's a lot harder to stomach carbs at a higher intensity thats why people in races have stomach issues because they've only used gels at a slow pace. 

Maybe I need to try a bit harder to run without fuel but I'm still setting pb's so I must be doing something right 

02/07/2013 at 16:05

Also on the subject of racing during a programme someone wisely told me on this forum that if you go into a race completely untapered it'll take you longer afterwards to recover from the race. 

Ive recently found this to be true, I raced a triathlon last month and did a couple of really hard sessions the week before, although the race went ok it took me a lot longer to recover than it usually does. 

Im supposed to be doing a half marathon on Sunday and ill be having easy days on Thurs and Fri and probably having Saturday off completely.

02/07/2013 at 16:05

Week 5 of 18x 55-70 for me. 9 miles with 5 LT, which for my target marathon time is 06:10-06:19. Ran the five at 6:08, which was tough. Pace for the whole run was around MP.

Dreading the 18 with 10 @ MP on Sunday!

02/07/2013 at 16:08

Chick -

Mark - The article makes good sense and I put it up to help the lsr with or without gels debate to show the thought process/benefits of not using gels. That said, I dont follow that article personally - There is no chance that I could do a 3hr run without carbs before it without having a major suffer fest, which imo is probably counterproductive, although I do resist using gels during lsrs when possible. Interesting that they break the lsr up into two types of run - with different fuelling strategies to deliver different improvements. 

02/07/2013 at 16:25

Fair enough, I just get the impression (and not just on this forum) that some people think training without food or drink makes you tougher. Like you say if you ruin a long run by hitting the wall it's counter intuitive. 

But I can see the reasons for training yourself to be more efficient at using fat. 

02/07/2013 at 16:34

I try not to use food/gels on the long ones, but may take something if it's a quick finish run.

I took a Clif Shot Bloks with me on my last 18 as I have just bought them and haven't tried them. I quite like them. Taste nice and not at all messy. Guts felt OK.  I'm thinking that two of them in my shorts pocket should do me for a marathon - maybe a cube every two miles. (6 in a packet)

Edited: 02/07/2013 at 16:36
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