As I progress through my training, I'm starting to think more about what my nutrition will be for my long runs and for the actual marathon. I know the big day is still months away, but I'd like to start experimenting with my routine to see what works best for me. I don't want to try anything new on race day and risk any GI issues as I've read horror stories of people barfing or feeling sick the whole race...your body is already going through enough without throwing something new at it on race day!
I generally don't eat much before a workout, as I tend to get cramps really easily, even from drinking water. Normally my pre-run routine is a banana smeared with a whole lotta Nutella...yes, you read that right! Nutella, Heaven in a Jar. I'd read on a running site that some people basically down a spoonful before a run as it has a good balance of carbs and fats to carry you through a run. If running a marathon means I can down Nutella by the spoonful, I'm all over that action! I'm going to experiment with something that might stick with me a bit longer though - maybe a half bagel and Nutella...42K is a long way to go on just a nanner.
As for nutrition during the race, for the half marathon I ran last year I took a full gel 15 minutes before the race and then another gel at the 7K and 14K points. That seemed to work well as I was able to keep my energy up and was able to run a negative split (for the non-runners - a faster second half than the first half of the run). I think I'm going to try a full gel every 6K and experiment with electrolyte tablets such as Nuun, eLoad or maybe salt pills as my distances build up on my training runs. The last thing I need is to have my race end because of leg cramps!
Now water...that's a big question mark for me. Do I carry water or do I rely on aid stations? I currently have a water belt which I'm not thrilled with...as I'm running, I can feel it bouncing up and down and it's really constricting around my waist so might result in chafing on race day. I've tried a handheld water bottle but I find it throws off my gait. I'd heard of a new belt called the Nathan Muse that I'm thinking of getting as it's designed for women's bodies so sits lower and doesn't bounce around:
I haven't heard any reviews yet but it has pockets to hold gels, etc. The other belt I've heard good things about is this one, called the Spibelt:
Apparently this little beast carries a ton of stuff and doesn't bounce around either. Obviously it won't carry a water bottle, so it might be more something that I'd use on race day and just rely on the aid stations. Decisions, decisions....water, no water? Suggestions or comments on fueling are welcome...