Monday, September 15, 2014
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Philly Marathon: Tips from a top competitor

Capt. Kelly Calway plans to run next Sunday's Philadelphia Marathon and will share a few race preparation tips with SportsDoc in the coming days. Today, Kelly focuses on race day, including nutritional and 'fueling' tips before, during and after the race, as well as proper hydration and race attire.

Philly Marathon: Tips from a top competitor

Caffeine can really help keep you going and a lot of the gels have it, just make sure you´ve PRACTICED with whatever you use on race day. I like to use caffeinated gels throughout the race, but usually save the 2x caffeine GUs for the latter part of the race.
Caffeine can really help keep you going and a lot of the gels have it, just make sure you've PRACTICED with whatever you use on race day. I like to use caffeinated gels throughout the race, but usually save the 2x caffeine GUs for the latter part of the race.

This is just part of our coverage of this year's Philadelphia Marathon. You can read all of the articles at www.philly.com/marathon2012. And don't forget to join us there on race day to follow the action.

By Capt. Kelly B. Calway

Editor’s Note: Kelly Calway is a United States Army Captain and part of the Army’s World Class Athlete program (WCAP). Capt. Calway was among the top 25 finishers in the 2012 United States Olympic Marathon Team Trials. She plans to run next Sunday’s Philadelphia Marathon and will share a few race preparation tips with SportsDoc in the coming days. Today, Kelly focuses on race day, including nutritional and ‘fueling’ tips before, during and after the race, as well as proper hydration and race attire.

Fuel:

  • Energy Gels: One every 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). Runners should practice — preferably during long runs—with different types of gels, GUs etc. to figure out what works best for you. Find the least offensive flavor energy (none of them taste fabulous) for you and vary the flavors along the way.  
  • Caffeine can really help keep you going and a lot of the gels have it, just make sure you've PRACTICED with whatever you use on race day. I like to use caffeinated gels throughout the race, but usually save the 2x caffeine GUs for the latter part of the race.
  • Pre-Race meal: Eat something that you are very familiar with no later than two hours before the start of the race. Definitely do a test of your pre-race meal to ensure it won't upset your stomach. It's important at this meal consist of 120g of carbohydrates.
  • Carb-loading: Starts 72 hours out. Replace water with sports drinks during the day. Eat your fill of pasta, rice, white breads, cereals, etc. The goal of carbohydrate loading is to saturate your muscles and max out those glycogen stores. There's no need to go overboard, though — you need to add 8 grams of carbs per pound, intake to achieve this. For example, a bagel has 60 grams of carbohydrates, Gatorade is 15 grams per cup, and chocolate milk is 25 per cup.
  • Post-Race: Get a meal in as soon as possible, even if you don't feel like eating. You need to replenish your glycogen stores.

Hydration:

  • Sports drink (or water) every 5 kilometers. This is especially important early in the race, drink before you need to, so you are hydrated later on.
  • 6-8 fluid ounces every 5 kilometers. You may have to grab two cups, pinch the top, and run with them for a bit to get this much fluid.

Kit:

  • Select items that are very familiar for race day. A marathon is not the time to try out a new pair of shoes or shorts. Anything that you think could scratch or chafe will do so. Cut out those nagging tags and rub on some lubricant to prevent it from becoming an issue.
  • Racing Flats: You may not be able to get away with the extremely minimal racing flat worn for half marathon and below. Generally, I opt for a shoe with a bit more cushion and it has paid off for me in the long run. The key here is to train in your racing flats enough to break them in and conduct at least one long run or workout in those flats before the day of your marathon.
About this blog
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician for Drexel, Philadelphia Univ., Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Martin J. Kelley, PT, DPT, OCS Advanced Clinician at Penn Therapy and Fitness, Good Shepherd Penn Partners
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
Kelly O'Shea Senior Health Producer, Philly.com
Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor, Philly.com
David Rubenstein, M.D. Team Orthopedist for 76ers; Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
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