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ph RunFest Manila Marathon 2016

December 11, 2016
5K, 10K, 21K, 42K
Running a marathon is an incredible goal for runners, but marathon training and
the race itself is not something to be taken lightly. While I think that any hea
lthy individual who is willing to commit to the training can complete a marathon
, I don't recommend that runners jump right into the marathon distance (26.2 mil
es or 42K). If you've never trained for any kind of endurance event, you should
work on building your running base mileage for at least six months before you st
art thinking about training for a marathon.


Once you've established a regular running habit and are running 3-4 days a week,
it's a good idea to get your feet wet by racing a shorter distance race, like a
5K (3.1 miles) or a 10K (6.2 miles) Many runners like to run a half marathon be
fore taking on the full marathon. Getting some race experience is good preparati
on for your marathon and will get you excited to start your training.
Find a Marathon
Once you have at least six months of running (a year is even better) and a few s
horter races under your belt, you can start thinking about which marathon you wa
nt to train for. There are lots of marathons to choose from. You'll have to deci
de whether you want to run a big or small marathon, and if you want to travel to
another city (perhaps even an international destination) or stay close to home.
Browse through the listings and reviews of marathons at to ge
t some ideas of where you might want to run.

If you're looking for a U.S. marathon, check out these lists:

Beginner-Friendly U.S. Marathons
Spring U.S. Marathons
Fall U.S. Marathons
Winter U.S. Marathons
Fast U.S. Marathons
Bucket List Marathons
How to Get Started with Marathon Training
Before you get started with marathon training, here are some ways you should get
Medical check-up: Even if you've already been running, check with your doctor an
d let him or her know your plans to train for and run a marathon.


Running shoes, clothes, and gear: While you don't need to buy lots of expensive
gear, the right running shoes is an important investment. Getting running shoes
that are suitable for your running style, foot type, and level of experience wil
l help you run comfortably and injury-free. Finding the right sports bra is also
very important for women to stay comfortable while running. Wearing running clo
thes made of technical fabrics (not cotton) that wick away your sweat will help
keep you dry and comfortable. You'll also need a good water bottle or hydration
belt to hydrate during runs.
Weather: You're going to be training through different seasons and types of weat
her. Take some time to research what's involved with running in the hot, cold, o
r rainy conditions.
Tips for Running in Hot Weather
Tips for Running in the Cold
Tips for Running in the Rain
Marathon Training Schedules
Once you've established a running base of about 15 miles a week, you can get sta
rted with a Beginner Marathon Training Schedule.

The schedule is geared towards beginner runners whose goal is to simply finish t
he marathon. If you prefer to use a run/walk strategy for training and completin
g your marathon,
use this Run/Walk Marathon Training Schedule.
Not a beginner? If you find those marathon training plans to be too easy for you
r level, check out more marathon training schedules.
Nutrition and Hydration for Marathon Training and Running
If you already eat a healthy diet, you don't have to make too many changes when
you start training for a marathon. The recommendations for distance runners are
that different than nutritional guidelines for non-runners. Many marathoners-intraining wonder if it's necessary to take supplements or vitamins during trainin
but it's actually better to get your nutrients from whole foods rather than supp
You can talk to your doctor to find out if you have any deficiencies that would
require supplementation.
Pre-run eating: It's important to make sure that you're properly fueled for your
runs to get the most out of them. Try to eat a snack or light meal of about 250
-300 calories about
1 1/2 to 2 hours before you start running. Eating immediately before running may
lead to cramping, and running on an empty stomach may cause you to run out of e

Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Som
e examples of good pre-workout fuel include: a bagel with peanut butter; a banan
a and an energy bar;
or a bowl of cold cereal with a cup of milk. Avoid rich, very fatty, or high-fib
er foods, as they may cause gastrointestinal distress. See also: Best and Worst
Pre-run Foods
Post-run eating: After running, especially a long run, you want to replenish ene
rgy as quickly as possible.
Studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen (store
d glucose) stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. If you eat soon af
ter your runs,
you can reduce muscle stiffness and soreness.
You'll want to consume primarily carbs, but don't ignore protein. A good rule of
thumb for post-run food is a ratio of 1 gram of protein to 3 grams of carbs.
Nutrition bars, such as Power bars or Luna bars, are convenient options. Other e
xamples would be a bagel with peanut butter or a smoothie made with fruit and yo
Long run nutrition: Long runs have their own special nutrition and hydration req
uirements, so make sure you're prepared heading into your long runs. For example
you'll need to make sure you drink sports drinks to replace sodium lost through
sweat during runs longer than 90 minutes.
You'll also have to consume calories during your long runs and marathon since yo
u'll be burning through your glycogen storage. A basic rule of thumb is that
you should be taking in about 100 calories after about an hour of running and th
en another 100 calories every 40-45 minutes after that. You may need more depend
ing on
your size and speed, so make sure you plan to carry extra food or gels. If you'r
e feeling hungry or low on energy, you can definitely eat "off-schedule".
More: Nutrition and Hydration for Long Distance Running
Next page: Marathon Training Challenges -->
Marathon Training Challenges
Training for a marathon requires not only physical and mental strength, but incr
edible dedication, especially when dealing with the following challenges:
Long Runs: Your most important training run each week is your long run, which yo
u'll most likely run on either Saturdays or Sundays. You'll gradually increase t
he distance
of your long run each week, usually by no more than one or two miles per week, t
o make sure you're physically and mentally ready for the distance and avoid the
risk of injuries.
For most runners, their longest run will be 20 miles. Running longer can be a to
ugh mental and physical challenge, but here are some tips on running farther to
help you
increase your distance.
The main purposes of your long run are to build your endurance, practice spendin

g lots of time on your feet, teach your body to burn fat as fuel and to build ph
ysical and
mental strength in preparation for the marathon. Follow these long run tips to h
elp make them easier and more comfortable and to get the most out of your long r
Injuries & Illnesses: Most running injuries can be prevented by wearing the prop
er shoes, stretching post-run, and not doing too much too soon. However, despite
best injury prevention efforts, you may have to deal with some of the common run
ning injuries. The good news is that many running injuries respond well to selftreatment.
Staying Motivated: Marathon training is a long process, and sometimes your motiv
ation to get out there and run may be lacking.
Follow these running motivation tips and read some of these motivational quotes
about running marathons to help keep you going.
Mental Preparation: One thing you'll probably hear from veteran marathon runners
is that so much of the race is mental. Yes, the mental aspects of running 26.2
miles can be
just as difficult as the physical challenge.
Use these mental preparation tips to help get you through the 26.2 miles. If you
're dealing with some pre-race anxiety, try some of these strategies for dealing
with pre-race jitters.
Next page: Marathon Tapering, Race Strategies, and Recovery -->
Marathon Tapering
The tapering period is a critical part of your marathon training. During the las
t couple of weeks of your training, it's important that you taper, or cut back y
our mileage,
to give your body and mind a chance to rest, recover and prepare for your marath
on. Follow these general tapering guidelines for the two-week period before your
Marathon Day Preparations
The days leading up to marathon day can be anxiety-ridden.
If your marathon is out of town, it's important to start packing early, so you m
ake sure you don't forget anything. Follow this marathon packing list for a guid
e to everything
you need. Packing early and starting to get everything ready will help ease some
of your anxiety.
Many marathon runners have trouble sleeping the night before their race. Try not
to stress about it -- as long as you get decent sleep in the week leading up to
your marathon,
and especially two nights before the race, you'll be well-rested for the race. I
f you have pre-race insomnia, lay in bed and force yourself to at least rest you
r body.
You don't need to run the day before your marathon, although some runners like t
o do a slow, easy 20-minute run, just to stay loose. You should to rest and stay
off your feet
as much as possible. The day before a marathon is also not the time to experimen

t with any new foods. Stick to your tried-and-true pre-long run favorites, so yo
u won't have any
surprises on marathon day.
More: What to Do the Day Before Your Marathon
9 Last-Minute Marathon Tips
The morning of the marathon can be especially nerve-wracking. Make sure to give
yourself plenty of time to get to the start, so you have time to use the bathroo
m, check your bag,
and line up properly.
More: What to Do the Morning of Your Marathon
Make sure that you get your friends and family on board to give you good support
at the marathon.
Give them a copy of the race course map and tell them your estimated pace, so th
ey'll know when to expect to see you. Share these marathon spectator tips and id
eas for
nspiring marathon signs with them.
Marathon Racing Strategies
Running a marathon is a tremendous mental challenge because it requires you to p
ush through mental barriers and to make smart, strategic decisions through the r
One of the biggest mistakes first-time marathoners make is that they start out t
he race too fast. You'll definitely feel good during those first few miles, so i
t's tempting
to push the pace. But you'll pay for it in the later miles. Here are tips on how
to avoid starting out too fast and other tips to avoid hitting the wall, as wel
l as other
racing mistakes to avoid.
More: How to Predict Your Marathon Time
What's a Good Marathon Time?
Marathon Recovery
Your marathon recovery starts the second you cross that finish line. How you tak
e care of yourself in the hours following the race can determine how quickly you
'll recover.
For example, it's important that you hydrate and eat something soon after you cr
oss the finish line. You also want to walk around for at least 10 minutes to bri
ng your
heart rate down safely and avoid the risk of blood pooling in your legs. Try to
resist the urge to immediately plop down on the ground -- your legs will stiffen
up right away
if you do. Follow these additional recovery tips to help with your marathon reco

42K Do:
in training.

a marathon is not easy, this requires time and dedication

2. Not worry about the time. Enjoy your race, and believe you can finish this.
3. This is the most expensive race you ll ever pay, so enjoy the experience!
4. You must have at least finished a 32k run in your training runs.
5. Wake up 3 hours before the race.
6. Eat breakfast 2 hours before the race. Take in one energy gel 15 mins before
gun start.
7. Train with your nutrition system. Your body must get used to the energy gels
you plan to bring. Tip: go with same brand, use different flavors. On race day,
schedule the times you take in your nutrition.
8. Rest 1 week before the race. This is the best part.
9. Make sure you have at least 7
9 hours of sleep during your rest week. Crucia
l is the last 2 nights before race day.
10. Apply Bodyglide or petroleum jelly in areas where chaffing occurs.
11. Maintain your pace. If you must walk, then walk! There s no shame in walking
in a marathon.
12. Smile in front of the camera and raise your hand when you cross the finish
line! Tip: practice your finish line pose.
13. Wear comfortable racing gear, sunglasses, visors etc.,
42K Don ts:
1. Procrastinate training. Follow your training plan.
2. Drink alcohol during your rest week.
3. Overeat breakfast on race day.
4. Eat spicy food 2 days before the race.
5. Eat oily foods the night before race.
6. Think you can wear the extra shoes and the extra singlet
7. Try anything new on race day (shoes, socks, singlet, shorts, etc..) make sur
e you have road tested what you are wearing.
8. Overhydrate. You don t want to be bloated for the next 30 kms! Take in your hy
dration systematically. Balance your energy gel, sports drink, water intake.
9. Race the first 32k. Race the last 10k! This is where the runners and the mar
athoners are separated.
Additional post Marathon tips:
1. After crossing the finish line, it is a MUST that you take in at least 500 ca
lories of food. Your body will start to recover, and it needs the calories to st
art repairing.
Best recovery drink: CHOCOLATE MILK! Do this also after your long training runs,
even after your 15-21k races. There is a 30 minute window to do this, otherwise
if you don t
you won t recover faster. A good recovery is a good training/race.
2. Try to do a short recovery run a day or two after the race. This is to flush
out the lactic acid that has accumulated.
3. The best benefit of finishing a marathon? Is eating so much and not gain a s
ingle weight! But be careful of what you eat.
4. You can start training again after 2 weeks of recovery period. If you still
find it hard to run, don t just stop being active. I highly recommend doing low im
pact training.
Swimming, biking, boxing, kayaking, etc one that does not involve pressure on the
5. If you feel sluggish, and unmotivated. Do tip #4. Take a break from running
and pick your next race. Take it slow. You can start enjoying the short races 5k,
10k, 15k and
21k races. Try to beat your PR s.
6. Lastly, this is not a sport, it s a lifestyle.
These words came from the experiences of Mickymac an old friend, a Marathoner an

d a Tri-athlete. Want to share your thoughts and experiences as well? Email us a


Nike Air Pegasus

Nike is known for top-quality footwear, and the Air Pegasus may assist your mara
thon running. According to the website Running Shoes Wizard, the Air Pegasus exc
els in providing
support and cushioning, two major concerns for long runs. Running Shoes Wizard n
otes that the Air Pegasus is also lightweight, weighing just 12 oz. A little bit
of weight
can make a big difference when running more than 26 miles.
New Balance 1225
The New Balance 1225 was named a top running shoe by the website Marathon Traini
ng Schedule due to its combination of advantageous features. According to the si
the New Balance 1225 is considered one of the best running shoes available, and
offers a lightweight design with plenty of cushioning. Marathon Training Schedul
e also
explains that it is a durable model that can withstand tough trail running. In a
ddition, the New Balance 1225 offers the brand's Phantom Liner, which is designe
d to reduce
abrasion and maximize comfort on long runs.
New Balance 833
The New Balance 833 is one of the top marathon running shoes, according to the w
ebsite The Fitness Motivator. This shoe weighs just 10 oz, so it won't slow you
but the site notes that it still has enough cushion for long races. According to
The Fitness Motivator, the New Balance 833 may help you shave minutes off your
time due to its light weight, but doesn't sacrifice too much cushioning. The sit
e calls this shoe an "ideal choice for the small to medium frame runner."
The ASICS GEL-Kayano is recommended for stability by Running Shoes Wizard. This
shoe is a relatively lightweight model that provides enough comfort for marathon
The ASICS GEL-Kayano features memory foam to increase comfort and is durable eno
ugh for long runs. According to Asics, the shoe is also designed to resist moist
whether from sweat or rain.
Saucony Ride 6
Category: Neutral
Weight: 9.9oz
Saucony has so many popular models in its repertoire that the Ride series often
goes unnoticed to beginner runners shopping around for a new marathon shoe.

However, make no mistake about it--the sixth iteration of the shoe is a solid op
tion both for your training and raceday. An upgraded PowerGrid midsole gives the
Ride 6 more durability and cushioning than ever before. The sub-10 ounce shoe w
ill keep you light on your feet, while the ComfortLite sockliner provides an add
ed layer of comfort for those extra miles.
adidas Adizero 2.0
Category: Neutral
Weight: 7.4oz
At 7.4 ounces, the adidas Adizero 2.0 is certainly one of the lighter shoes on t
his list, but it terms of support and cushioning, it can hold its own with the r
est of the pack. You're bound to work up a sweat during your first marathon, so
the Adizero 2.0's air mesh upper and Coolever lining will certainly come in hand
y to keep the moisture under control. An extended Torsion System in the forefoot
and midfoot adds a support underneath, and the addition of Adiprene under the h
eel provides protection from constant impact (something you'll experience a lot
of during your 26.2-mile journey).
Asics Gel-Nimbus 15
Category: Neutral
Weight: 11.5oz
Cushioning is something Asics does better than most other running brands. The pe
rfect example of that is the GEL-Nimbus 15. The shoe features a two-piece midsol
e that is both comfortable and supportive, along with a new multi-directional me
sh upper that features a more ergonomic fit--something beginner marathoners will
truly appreciate on their quest to earn that finisher's medal.
Mizuno Wave Rider 17
Category: Neutral
Weight: 9.2oz
While Mizuno's flagship Wave Rider line has experienced profound success over th
e past couple of decades, the 17th installment of the shoe has received a mixed
bag of reviews thus far. Still, the Wave Rider 17 is a solid choice for beginner
runners looking to gradually increase the mileage as they work their way up to
marathon-ready status. The new U4ic midsole is lighter yet more responsive, help
ing reduce foot fatigue and increasing stride efficiency. The shoe's carbon rubb
er outsole is built for the long haul.
Nike LunarGlide+ 5
Category: Neutral
Weight: 9.9oz
When you've logged a couple of marathons under your belt, maybe then you can gra
duate to the Nike Zoom Streak preferred by some of the best marathoners in the w
orld. Until then, try the LunarGlide+ 5 on for size. For starters, the shoe is i
ntegrated with Flywire threads for lightweight support. It also comes loaded wit
h a springy Lunarlon midsole and Dynamic Support technology for support and stab

ility in all the right places. Also, the shoe is Nike+ ready, meaning you can tr
ack the performance of your very first marathon (results may vary).
New Balance 860v4
Category: Neutral
Weight: 10.9oz
The New Balance 860v4 is one of those shoes that can do it all. It's loaded with
a bevy of features that beginner marathoners will find appealing, including a l
ightweight frame, comfortable no-sew upper and a responsive REVlite midsole that
will help inspire them to run harder and faster with each passing mile.
Brooks Ghost 6
Category: Neutral
Weight: 10.7oz
Worried about how you're going to get through those 26.2 miles with enough suppo
rt and cushioning to take you the distance? Lace up in a pair of the Brooks Ghos
t 6 and leave your worries behind. The shoe has a ridiculously smooth heel-to-to
e transition thanks to a full-length segmented midsole that offers maximum groun
d contact. For you beginners, this means a more effortless stride and forward mo
mentum that should keep help keep those legs churning.
Saucony Hurricane 16
Category: Guidance
Weight: 11.2oz
If the Ride 6 doesn't have enough cushioning and stability for your preference,
consider another Saucony model: the Hurricane 16. A popular shoe for beginner-to
-itermediate distance runners, the Hurricane 16, with its PowerGrid sole and Sup
port Frame technology, is loaded with features to get you to that finish line. A
form-fitting SaucFit upper puts the shoe over the top.
Asics Gel-Kayano 20
Category: Neutral
Weight: 11.3oz
Just because you're a beginner doesn't mean you have to look like one. Running 2
0 years strong, the Asics Gel-Kayano has been treating runners of all levels rig
ht for, what seems like forever. A new FluidFit upper and FluidRide midsole comb
o act as a one-two punch cushioning and overall comfort go. You also get unprece
dented support and stability thanks to the Dynamic Duomax system. Let not forget
the GEL cushioning units both the forefoot and heel--they'll have you feeling l
ike you're running on clouds.

adidas Supernova Glide 6 Boost

Category: Neutral
Weight: 10.6oz
Boost technology may see a little high tech for beginner marathoners, but think
about it this way: you're going to need an advanced pair of shoes when you move
up the ranks anyway, so why not start off at the top? adidas' Supernova Glide se
ries has been a mainstay on the marathon scene for a decent amount of time. With
the addition of a Boost midsole, the shoe is well-rounded enough to be used as
both an everyday shoe and a racing shoe, particularly for beginners. The shoe's
seamless textile and mesh upper is next-to-none in terms of comfort.
Why is it Important to Take in Energy Gels During a Race?
It wasn t long ago that runners relied solely on water, sports drinks, and maybe s
ome flat cola as their primary carbohydrate supplement during marathons and half
Dick Beardsley told us about how he would grab a cup from a spectator in a marat
hon, look to see if it looked clean, and if so, drink it and this is someone who alm
ost won the Boston Marathon and was the feature of Duel in the Sun, one of the g
reatest Boston marathon finishes of all time.
You probably know by now that we like to think of ourselves as Boston marathon c
entral, so we loved that story.
Luckily, our understanding of sports nutrition (specifically how glycogen is use
d during the marathon) has improved to the point that we now have an unlimited n
umber of products to choose from, each designed to speed glycogen to our working
The problem these days is not in finding a glycogen delivery product, but rather
in finding the best energy gel for you and then developing a strategic nutritio
n strategy to make sure you take in enough energy on race day.
Your body needs a lot of energy to run a marathon
Your body uses two primary sources of fuel to feed the muscles when you re running
fat and carbohydrates.
Fat is a largely abundant resource, but is broken down into usable energy slowly
, making it an ineffective fuel source when running anything faster than about 6
0-70% of your VO2max (roughly equivalent to your aerobic threshold or marathon p
Therefore, your body relies on carbohydrates as its primary fuel source when rac
Here s the deal:
The faster you run, the greater the percentage of fuel will come from carbohydra
The problem with carbohydrates is that we can only store a limited amount in our
even when you complete the perfect nutrition marathon taper.
Typically, we can store about 90 minutes of muscle glycogen when running at half

marathon pace and about 2 hours when running at marathon pace.

So, if you re not an elite, you ll be running out of muscle glycogen long before you
cross the finish line.
What do energy gels do?
They are designed to replenish carbohydrate stores that are depleted when runnin
Sounds like energy gels are a savior, right?
Unfortunately, energy gels don t provide a simple one-to-one replacement (somethin
g you won t read on the label of your favorite gel) because the glycogen we ingest
from gels doesn t always make its way to the working muscles.
Because carbohydrates are stored in both the muscles and the liver and your perf
ormance on race day relies on using the glycogen stored in the muscle.
For glycogen to make its way to the muscles, it must first be digested, make it s
way through the intestinal wall, and then absorbed by the muscles.
This process takes time and isn t very efficient.
However, gels will often wake you up in a very noticeable way because our brain on
ly runs on the glucose stored in the liver.
As the muscles start to absorb more blood glucose, the brain gets less glucose a
nd starts to get hazy (you ve probably noticed this feeling on your long runs or i
f you ran without eating enough).
Often, a gel will wake you up and help the mind feel energized, but it doesn t nec
essarily prevent the bonk in your leg muscles.
What s the bottom line?
Energy gels help replenish the glycogen and calories you re burning when racing ha
However, they aren t very efficient or a simple one-to-one replacement, so timing
and frequency are critical factors to avoiding the bonk.
Should you take an energy gel for running a half marathon or 10k?
We recently looked deep into the research about races half marathon and under, a
nd we had some interesting findings that showed even just swigging a sports drin
k (without swallowing) is enough to give you a boost in a shorter race.
Here s what we found:
A 5k is definitely too short to need carbs, either before or during your race.
When it comes to a 10k, it will depend on how quick you are.
If you are able to run the 10k under 40 minutes, you do not need to take on any
carbs, but if you run between 45-60 minutes, you should take a swig of a sports
drink if you feel like you need to.

The benefits of taking on fuel do not make too much of a difference until you ar
e running for 60-75 minutes though, so if you are running under that, there is n
ot really a big need for it, unless you want to take something to wake you up!
When Should You Take Energy Gels for Running?
If only there was a simple answer to this, but:
Just like almost every facet of running, the timing of when you should take your
gels is individual.
Each runner absorbs and processes carbohydrates at a different rate
some can fee
l the effect within three minutes while others might take up to 15 minutes.
This variation in absorption rate has to do with how efficient your stomach is a
t digesting carbohydrate and the type of carbohydrate you re consuming (which we c
over in this article).
This is important:
When running hard, your body often diverts blood away from the digestive track t
o help give your legs more blood (and therefore oxygen).
Sometimes, your body shuts the stomach down completely while other times it just
slows down.
This is why it isn t uncommon to see runners throw up fluids or gels right after i
ngesting them late into the race.
Therefore, you want to begin taking gels relatively early into the race.
By taking the gels early, your body shouldn t be under great duress and you have a
better chance of processing the sugars faster and without stomach issues.
When should I start taking gels?
Somewhere between 45-60 minutes, depending on how well you generally react to ge
ls in training. I wrote a full guide on exactly how to practice your pre-race nu
trition that may be helpful if it is your first time following a marathon traini
ng schedule.
Should I take a gel before the race?
Some runners like to take a gel right before the gun goes off.
While there is no problem with this from a physiological standpoint, I find it b
etter to consume a more substantial breakfast, with less simple sugars.
This helps you avoid eating nothing but simple sugar for 3-4 hours.
What s the bottom line?
My suggestion for breakfast would be a bagel with peanut butter, an energy bar,
or oatmeal. Read this article for a full breakdown of pre marathon nutrition gui
How Often Should You Take Energy Gels for Running?
As we ve already discussed, the speed at which you re able to digest and process ene
rgy gels plays an important roll in how often you want to take them.

Because the digestion process will be slowed or halted the further you get into
the race, you need to be careful not to overload your stomach.
Therefore, I suggest waiting about 45-60 minutes between gels before taking anot
her one.
Most runners should be closer to the 60 minute mark, especially if they have sen
sitive stomachs.
The second reason to wait 45-60 minutes between taking gels is that you don t want
to speed too much simple sugar into your blood stream at once.
Remember, the simple sugars from the energy gels will first be absorbed into you
r blood stream as glucose.
The sugar will stay in the blood stream until absorbed by the working muscles or
other organs. If you continue to pump sugar into the blood stream, you ll suffer
the same fate as your children if left alone on Halloween
sick from too much sug
The other aspect to keep in mind is that your digestive track is trainable like
most every other part of your body.
So if you eat gels in training, particularly if you do it at set intervals that
correlate to when you will take them during the race, your body will learn to ke
ep the digestive track running and you will digest the gel more readily.
This is why it s critical you practice your exact fueling strategy as often as pos
sible in training.
What Else Do You Need to Know About Energy Gels?
Now that we ve covered some of the basics of how energy gels work and how to prope
rly strategize a marathon nutrition plan or half marathon nutrition plan, we ll co
ver some practical tips that can help you execute on race day.
How to take energy gels if your stomach is upset
Like we ve discussed, it s possible that your stomach might shutdown during the latt
er half of the race.
If this happens to you and you ve been unable to take energy gels late in the race
, try eating only a small portion of the gel, but in closer intervals.
For example, eat 1/4 of the packet every 20 minutes.
You ll still consume the energy you need, but you ll give your stomach a better chan
ce to properly digest without getting sick.
ALWAYS take with water
Always take energy gels with water, never alone and NEVER with Gatorade.
Without water, energy gels will take longer to digest and enter the blood stream
. If you take an energy gel with a sports drink, you run the risk of ingesting t
oo much simple sugar at once.
Taken together, a gel and sports drink could be delivering close to 60 grams of
pure sugar yack.

Test out flavors and brands to see which energy gel is best for you
Not all energy gels are the same. Some are more viscous, some taste better, and
each flavor can be delicious or wretched to another runner.
The important thing is that you have to experiment and find something that works
At the 2008 Olympic Trials, Desi Linden (Davila) had trouble keeping down her fl
uids and gels.
Everything she took in came back up. So, after fading to the finish, Desi implem
ented gels in practice, but even that process wasn t smooth.
During long workouts, Linden would force herself to drink and eat gels, but her
system still rejected it.
In her own words: It was actually kind of disgusting . However, knowing she could n
ever make the podium if she didn t figure out the issue, Desi continued to force h
er body to adapt.
Eventually she found the right combination of gels and fluids to train her stoma
ch to handle the sugars and she went on to run 2:22 in Boston.
Next time you think I just can t do it , imagine what an Olympian would say to that.
How To Make a Marathon Nutrition Plan That Works For You
As I ve mentioned in this article, there are a lot of factors that come into play
when it comes to when and how often you should be consuming energy gels.
How many carbohydrates are you burning and how many do you need to replace?
How efficient is your stomach at digesting carbohydrates?
What type of sugar does your energy gel contain?
Will this need to change later in a race?
What type of gel is going to work best for you?
How do you factor in the sugar you take with your sports drink?
These are the type of individualized questions that make following a generalized
nutrition plan difficult. You need to develop a strategy that caters to your ph
ysiological needs.
That s why we re conducting a special Marathon Nutrition Webinar.
During the webinar, we re going to discuss how to calculate your physiological dat
a (how many carbohydrates you ve stored, what percentage of carbohydrates you ll bur
n, how much fluid you ll sweat, and more) along with a step-by-step plan in the fi
nal few days before the race to help you create a nutrition plan that works.