18 Mile Run and Race Day Carb Tips
Today there was a race held at the park where I run so Zoe and I saw part of the race when we went on a walk after I went on a thirty minute bike ride and then a five mile run at the park.
Friday, I ran 18 miles. It was a warm 70 degrees and it was nice to be able to wear shorts in December. That's Texas!
I only ate 6 Fig Newton cookies on my 18 miler that took about 3 1/4 hours. An hour into my run, I started eating a cookie every 20-25 minutes. Two Fig Newton cookies have about the same amount of carbohydrates and calories as one gel. When I'm in a long race, I often eat 1-2 gels an hour. Eating two cookies was like eating one gel every 45 minutes.
After my long run, I completed some arm strengthening exercises and listened to a podcast, Science of Ultra Podcast with Dr. Jeukendrup: Carbohydrates for Runners. Thirty-eight minutes into the podcast you'll hear some suggestions for carb consumption during a race of marathon length or more. Here's the low-down for race day.
- Have 200 grams of carbs 3 hours before the race.
- Eat 25 grams carbs just before the race.
- Every 15-30 minutes, take in 60-90 grams carbs per hour. If taking in more than 60 grams, the carbs should be a blend of different types for the best absorption. The GU gels that I often like to take during races contain maltodextrin and fructose.
- After the race, have 60-70 carbs within 1 hour post-race.
- For the first 3 hours after the race, have some carbs every hour until the next meal.
Here's hoping that all of your runs are well-fueled!