This weekend I’m flying out to Portland for the 2011 Portland Marathon, my third. It’s been a bit tricky keeping up with my training on top of moving to a new town and starting up a postdoc with a whole new study system, but I think I’ll be ready. While I pack, why not check out my post on the occasion of last year’s Seattle Marathon, in which I discuss what I’ve learned over a couple years of long runs and leg cramps. It all still applies.
I can make it through even a half-marathon on a good breakfast and carefully-judged pre-race hydration, but to go much longer I need more food (and water) mid-run. The long-term exercise involved in a long race is fueled by a combination of fat reserves and glycogen stored in the liver and muscle tissue. Glycogen is the more efficient fuel, so as exercise intensity increases, muscles draw on it more heavily.
For far more detail on evidence-based endurance training approaches, I suggest Dave Munger’s great science-based running. See you in 26.2 miles! ◼