Paris Marathon 2013



  • Yeah, I grabbed a couple of those little uns
  • yer majyer maj ✭✭✭
    Orbutt wrote (see)
    YM - breakfast, porridge and sports drink 2 hours before. 1 hour before, another sports drink.
    That's it.

    I have found on my last couple of LSRs that adding a banana to my porridge made a huge difference to my energy levels - might be worth a try?

    Mind you, I'm still pretty new to this fuelling lark - until my Paris training I used to train and race on tea and occasionally a banana.  Including Paris last year image

  • At Reading, they had little softpacks of water that you could squirt jets into u mouth and share with other runners. Quite good, mind you all I needed to do there was open my mouth and the rain poured in
  • Orbutt - it's possible to scientifically calculate energy requirements, but without fancy lab stuff/ tests, you can make some guestimates that aren't so bad.

    The average male body, well trained can store approx. 400g of carbs in muscles and the liver. Depending on energy burn rate, the majority of that will be burnt off with 90-120 mins of hard exercise (I think 150-180g of carbs an hour is a typical burn rate but doing all this from memory). The male body can typically absorb 60-90g of carbs an hour, IF those carbs are a mixture of fructose and sucrose (less are absorbed if only one sugar source).

    So if you have a burn rate of about 175g an hour, and you can ingest 90g an hour, that gives a working deficit of 85g/hr. Each gel provides about 25-30g of carbs. If you run for 4 hours you burn 700g, starting with 400g, so a total deficit of 300g.

    1 gel every half hour starting at 30 mins into the race and finishing 30 mins before you complete the race is 7x25=175g. This means you would finish the race with approx. 125g inside you, just enough buffer to ensure that you still get a good supply of carbs to your muscles.

    Lower than this, your body starts to preserve carbs and gives more fat instead to metabolised and that's when it starts to hurt and you run a bit slower, as your body finds it hard to sustain the same rate of energy burn. I have used 8 gels in a 50:50 solution meaning I start off carrying about 400ml of liquid in two flasks. Did that help?

  • RS banana sliced in the porridge is my standard
  • Well scientific TD. :S

    Deleted that other bit cause I realised that I might be coming over as a bit of a spoon. Yeah still happy wiv my result!

    I meant YM not RS on that sliced banana thing.
  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Whoa! Thanks so much for the feedback. Always amazes me how fast this thread moves image

    Orbutt - I found the gels make me feel sick too which is why I switched to jelly babies. I really don't want to get screw up on something as simple as eating correctly.

    TD - clever stuff! So that's about 43g per hour then. To hit 175g I'd need about 35 jelly babies. I might need a bigger pouch image

    Thing is I was fine running at 4 per hour over 20 miles but I'm guessing because that was a lower than MP I was burning alot less?

    Jimbob - do your isotonic gels not have any carbs then? They are just for hydration and electrolytes? 

    DV - I would love to try jelly beans but it's a bit late now to experiment. Maybe for my next one. I quite like your strategy of taking them as you need them. I always worry that if I don't take fuel and water in advance I can end up at a stage where it's too late to do anything about it. 

    KS - Interesting. Sounds like you had a lower carb load. How much carbs are in your SIS powder and pack of beans? I use Nuun too - seems to work well for me as I sweat like mad when it's hot. Don't ever try chewing them unless you want to blow your salivary glands!

    Can't believe I've left it so late to think these things through image

  • yer majyer maj ✭✭✭

    TD that's really helpful, even though I'm not male.  I suspect part of my almost grinding to a halt at 35k thing was me switching to fat burning which wasn't as easy at that pace.  So some more scratching my beard to do there as I'm not sure I could have stomached much more gel - one more possibly.  I didn't have anything left in the tank when I finished.

  • Malcs, the SIS Isotonics have some carbs, but now as much as the GUs.

    I spread the carb gels out so my stomach can take them. Pretty sure I did it SIS Gu Sis Gu Sis Gu Sis. Took the first after 5 miles. Spread them out nice an even, as soon as I felt even slightly like I might lose form, straight on to one.
  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    YM - I suffer the same which is why I'm so desperate to get it right this year. I can't do the gels but despite being sweet, jelly babies seem to do me fine.


  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Thanks Jimbob. Have you come down off your high yet? That was an amazing time you clocked in Paris!

  • I'm feeling ill and depressed that the party is over, but there is part of me still beaming, and grateful that the stars aligned for me

    To be fair, I had a stinker in VLM2010 so maybe the gods gave me a bonus
  • Have we a full list of threaders doing VLM next week. The running number on the acceptance certificate should be the bib number. Shall we (I) do one?
  • Radar Sal wrote (see)




  • Sweets do contain sugar carbs (duh!), but just not so densely, plus there's tonnes of other crap in them that would be horrific if you saw the raw ingredients - wax and gum and fats. Yuck. They are easier to chew but not so effective (also can be hard to breathe when chewing stuff if running hard).  Also, they tend to only have one sugar source, so body can only take in a more limited amount of sugar into the blood stream each hour, meaning you have to chew loads of them and are less likely to cover your energy deficit. For all those people saying gels make e'em feel sickly, just try them with water. They slide down nicely.

    image image

  • yer majyer maj ✭✭✭

    Maybe I should switch to the non isotonic ones, mix 'em with water and take more of them?  Might do a bit of shotblok experimenting too.

    I love how we're all sitting here 4 days on plotting how we can do it better next time image

  • OrbuttOrbutt ✭✭✭
    Tricky - I had to read it a few times but I understand what you are saying ( I think I'll print it out too). It also underlines how poorly I fed on Sunday.

    Lesson learned.
  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭
    TD - If I wasn't worried before, then I am now! I don't really want to change my strategy at this late stage without experimenting. Maybe I could do a few gels and top up with jelly babies.

    I'm not doing VLM sadly. I was lucky enough to get a ballot place the last two years. I will probably never get in again image
  • OrbuttOrbutt ✭✭✭
    YM - I tried the shotbloks but you need to chew them, which can be difficult, and they do get stuck in your teeth. I like the flavour though.
  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭

    TD's calculations fit in exactly with the consultation I had with a well reputed sports nutritionist about a year ago - and fits in well with what the gel people say too.  So that works out to a gel about every 40 minutes for me - but because water is also needed, I take the gels just before the water station - so every 5-6 miles which is about every 50 mins for me if running well.   The idea is to prevent a defecit, not treat it once you have it.

    I geerally save a double dose caffeine gel until about mile 18 - when I need it most.

    Orbutt - I believe proper fueling during the race would take 10-15 minutes off your time with no additional training. I really believe that. 

  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭

    For those interested (me), the Boston Marathon will be streamed here this Monday from 9am:

  • Yer_maj, I did shotbloks in a 20 mile race and found them great. I might use them in my next marathon in October. I nearly keeled over at 17 miles on Sunday - the raisins at the next water station saved me!!
  • Maus - hope things are okay and that it's just one of those days and nothing more serious.


    Radar Sal wrote (see)

    I tried to get two guys to hug at work today.  They wouldn't. image

    Wish I'd been a fly on the wall...can you try again tomorrow, secretly film it and post here?

    PC - Sorry, I don't know of any running technique books. Anyone got any suggestions?

  • Woah, I'm not even joking when I say it's jumped 10 pages since I had WiFi last...

    RS, JB - I guess you might be working during the week? How's a sat/sun am run for you? I'm down with something gentle and not too long, after all one IS on holidays...

    TD - we're from Melbourne and happily welcome guests! Come on over and I'll show you around my fav running tracks

    Orbutt - can you get some triple strength horseradish, garlic and vit c? With their power combined you'll knock any pending cold on its head quick smart! I've been quaffing two a day since Paris, and so far only a sore throat

    MM - we had an apartment just down the hill from RS's hotel, was amazing, let us know if you want details to add to the list or if it's not the kinda thing for this list... Hope tomorrow's better

    RR, DLR - what happens on course stays on course

    Nikki - amazing time! You must be stoked!

    Jimbob - I'll never look at Vaseline the same way again...

    Kaz - we went to the catacombs last time, amazing! Did you convince the girls? Maybe could sell it along the lines of twilight if they're into that?

    Who was it talking about the videos? How can I check mine out without paying??

    I haven't found gels do it for me yet, so pack a bag if dates, jelly beans and cranberries. I did get freakin sick of eating tho, and at one point said to a guy I was sharing with that I didn't want any more, just wanted to get home! I dont know it it did the trick tho, might train with some other gels this year and see where I get. Anyone got any good suggestions? And where to buy online? I always find its a struggle to find variety of gels in aus.

    It's school hols in the UK now, right? So many little so-and-so's down by the eye today. Don't they know touristing is for adults and not kids on school groups?!
  • Jus, how does Saturday 11am sound? Where you staying, what area?
  • News from previous years Paris threaders....    Gemster and Finchy are getting married...  image   Is this the first thread wedding, or second..?  Congrats to them both.  Woop woop.   For those that don't know them, Gemster and Finchy met on this thread about three years ago.   

    Red Panda is expecting her second baby in September - only 10 months after the first one....!   eekk..  some hard work ahead for her then....   congrats to her too..

    Malcs...  I don't want to mislead you about jelly beans..  they are not my sole fuelling for a run (although I did once do a 30 mile run solely on jelly beans just to see what would happen.  I was fine).  I was just saying I like to nibble jelly beans during my run when I feel like it.  Much like comfort food.  I use Perpetuem now as my main fuelling.  Liquid strategy works best for me as I have found that I dislike chewing.


  • Jus t - sorry but saturday's "has anything fallen off?" run is not something I do with other people (if something has fallen off you don't want to be there!!!). would love to catch-up but am working this weekend.  Keep me updated if you end up in a pub anywhere though...I may need it.

    DV - are they going to get married on the course next year?



    Tricky Dicky¹ wrote (see)


    So if you have a burn rate of about 175g an hour, and you can ingest 90g an hour, that gives a working deficit of 85g/hr. Each gel provides about 25-30g of carbs. If you run for 4 hours you burn 700g, starting with 400g, so a total deficit of 300g.

    1 gel every half hour starting at 30 mins into the race and finishing 30 mins before you complete the race is 7x25=175g. This means you would finish the race with approx. 125g inside you, just enough buffer to ensure that you still get a good supply of carbs to your muscles.


    TD, thank you, this is all really interesting. I need to lose weight to keep this running thing up, but I'm realising that I can't use the running to run a calorie deficit and burn fat and still run well. I have to get my body used to it race nutrition. On this bit of the sums, my head hurts. If you have an overall deficit of 300g and refuel with 175g of gels doesn't that still mean a deficit of 125g and not a surplus? 

  • Pottermoss - yes, but you're starting point after good training and carb loading is 400g of stored glycogen (carbs).  The trick to finishing a marathon fast is to make sure you don't drop below about 25% of glycogen remaining. So it's OK to burn off 75%, but because you are always burning those carbs at a higher rate than you can ingest them, you have to be careful to start taking them on board early because once you are in a state of depletion, you can NEVER bring it back without i affecting your mara performance.

    Shorter and longer races, different rules apply (due to differing energy burn rates etc).

    Now we are in the post-marathon calmness and relaxation (don't say blues - enjoy the rest, do something different you've neglected for a while!) - does anybody from the "we'd like to go faster" brigade - want to share any learning points for doing it better next time?


  • I am really enjoying hearing all your stories - I love this thread.

    Well, in a few hours my family and I are off to Hamburg for the weekend to celebrate my 40th birthday. I reached my 10 marathons before 40 goal and weigh 25kg less than I did when I turned 30. After Paris I am on top of the word - bring on the 40's.

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