Tag Archives: fuelling runs

Book Review: The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition

I picked up a copy of this book a while ago and finally got around to read it. As I read it I was looking for tips for changes that I could make to my training that could potentially help me avoid hitting the wall in the last 10 km of a marathon. Having read it I know have a list of a few things to try out.

Obviously from the title the focus of the book is on nutrition and fuelling for marathons and half-marathons. Matt Fitzgerald offers some new ideas both in terms of overall nutrition but also race day fuelling. The goal is to help readers avoid hitting the wall late into a race.

The first tip offerred by Fitzgerald is to get lean. By that he means getting down to your ideal race weight. He offers some tips on how to determine what your ideal race weight is. The big takeaway for me here was not so much the idea of getting lean because it stands to reason that being lighter will help you go faster. For me what caught my attention was his suggestion that it is normal to gain weight, within reason, after a big race. The idea is that if you keep that gain within reason it won’t be difficult to get back down to your ideal race weight when you start another training cycle. 

The next aspect I thought was important was within regards to overall nutrition. Fitzgerald does not a our avoiding any foods. What he does do is ranking food in the following order: vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish/lean meat, whole grains, dairy, refined grains fat meat, sweets, fried food. What you want to do here is eat more of the first 6 groups while limiting the last 4.

A new idea I plan to try during my next cycle is that of doing a marathon simulator, 26.2 km at marathon pace, 3 or 4 weeks before my next marathon. I’ve added mileage at race pace during my longs runs in the past but never as much as this idea recommends. The idea here is to get in a long run at race pace that is enough mileage for a long run but not too much mileage that it will take you a few days to recover from. 

The final idea that caught my interest in the book was the idea of increasing your intake of fat, healthy fats, before you start your carb load. The recommendation is to Increase your fat intake during last 2 weeks of training (10 days then 3 day carb load). The goal is to get 65% of your intake from fat (avocados, cheese, Greek yogurt, nuts, whole milk, salmon, Caesar salad). I plan to try this on a shorter scale before a half-marathon this fall to see how I react to it. 

If you are looking for a new approach to your training and nutrition I recommend reading this book. It also has some training plans at the end to help guide you through your training. 

Product Review: PocketFuel

I became familiar with PocketFuel when  samples of  their nut butters arrived in my monthly Stridebox. I liked them, so when Pocket Fuel offered me a discount code recently I placed an order for some of their other products.

I ordered the vanilla, java and mocha energy shots to fuel my runs  – and the chocolate espresso, chocolate haze butter and vanilla haze nut butter blends.

You will notice that the energy shots are all coffee based. And if you,ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I am not a coffee drinker.

I used one of the nut butter blends that I receive in my Stridebox the  morning of a half marathon a couple years ago. I ended up having a pretty good race, so I was interested in trying them again.

I tried out three nut butter blends.  I had them about 30-60 minutes before my planned run. In terms of flavours, the vanilla haze and chocolate haze both tasted like Nutella – although less sweet. The almond butter-based chocolate espresso blend was drier and had a hint of coffee in the taste.

I liked all three flavours and found them to be a good source of energy for my runs that averaged anywhere from 9-15 km. In terms of flavour I preferred the two hazelnut based ones because they were a little sweeter. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to use the chocolate espresso one again.

In terms of the energy shots, I used them both before and during runs. I tried them about 15 minutes for my runs and when going for a long run I brought an extra one to use at the halfway point. Being coffee based,  the caffeine provides a pretty quick boost of energy mid-run.

In terms of flavours, the vanilla energy shot was probably my favourite one because it tasted the least like coffee. The mocha energy shot had a bit of a chocolate taste to it and the java energy shot tasted the most like coffee.

Although the vanilla one was my favourite I would use the other two flavours for runs again. One thing I will say for all three flavours is that I did not find any of them to be bitter. I particularly liked the fact that these gels are much lower in sugar content than other products on the market.

Note that I was not paid or sponsored for this post. The views posted here are my own.