Dr. Jack’s “Big Talk” – Marathon Week and Race Day
reported by Ro Kyte
The purpose of this talk is to get you through the Marathon. The marathon is in you; you are 100% done with the training [physical part], what is left is 90% psychology and 10% luck. [lucky weather, December can be hot] The Honolulu Marathon date was picked not for the coolest weather but for lowest visitor season. Lucky weather means no rain for wet shoes.
This talk takes you through next Sunday (race day) until noon; the talk the Sunday after that will cover the rest – what to do in the off-season, until the clinic starts up again the second Sunday in March.
Enjoy the week, the expo, the tents; make it a celebration of life. Enjoy the 20,000 or more visitors. Attend the clinic party, Friday 5:30pm to 8pm at Dr. Jack’s house.
Depletion – by exercise (last run on Wednesday); in the past, the thinking was depletion by protein-only diet, but current thinking is to eat normally until Thursday. The depletion, Atkins-type diet makes one feel bad, exercise depletes the same amount. Carbo-depleted muscles are tricked into taking up 25% more glycogen than normal storage. After 40-minutes of running the body switches to fat metabolism which in inefficient; works best with about 10% carbohydrate. The muscles have only about 6-miles worth of carbo/glycogen stored at the start. Eating pretzels and drinking the provided -ade drink will replace what we use.
Thursday – switch to eating carbohydrates (low sugars and starches)
Saturday – restrict further to avoid roughage to prevent gas; for example, white bread grape jelly sandwiches.
Sleep – performance follows a 48-hour cycle, sleep in on Saturday if you can, and don’t worry about a sleepless Saturday night and early rise Sunday AM.
Race Day Schedule:
2:00am – wake, black coffee [hot, caffeine]; light meal if you must
4:00am – stop fluid, fast (3-4 hour) runners may bring a fluid to the race start (six ounces of flat, diet cola; caffeine, no sugar); longer runners can wait for the first aid station to drink.
[Beginners – meet Norm at lobby of Ala Moana hotel by 4:00am or, like Rosemary, go directly to at Ewa-most toilet in Ala Moana Park. We’ll walk to the start from ther at around 4:45am].
Clothing: Wear nothing new, expect that even familiar clothes may chafe because race-day tension may change our running style. Make sure you race number is visible on the front for photographers; make a statement with your clothing. Shoes should have around 200 miles on them (not brand new). Use Vaseline [or baby oil] on your feet and anywhere that clothing may chafe. The well-dressed runner is the one that slips off the bus seat.
Race Start – at the gun, take a few sips of the flat, diet soda; dispose of remainder safely. Caffeine speeds up switch to fat metabolism. Stand by the sideline, don’t cross line yet, relax, enjoy the fireworks, settle down. [Beginners – we will walk from Ala Moana park to the sidelines, and then when ready as a group, step through the spectators and cross the start line.]
Pace: Plan to run the first half slower than the second half. Studies show that runners who do a negative split finish 4% faster than those who do not. [The second half begins at mile 20]. Mistakes made in the first ten-miles show up in the last six miles. Write down your pace plan, and if at any mile you are ahead of pace, then walk to get back on track. [Beginners – we’ll pace the first 16-miles at a 15-minute mile, and probably hold that pace the entire day. At Hawaii-Kai, anyone who wishes is free to speed up].
Water Stops: Don’t stop at the first table [Beginners – go to the later tables, get water walk and drink and we’ll all look for each other, when we reassemble, start running again.] Stop water at mile 22. [So, we need to drink 6-7 hours worth of water *before* mile 20; with 10 or 12 water stops, that amounts to 3 or 4 cups of water at each stop]. We say 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes, enough to avoid water weight loss. A loss of 5 to 6% of your body weight puts you at risk of heat stroke.
Food: As with water, all food should be eaten early, since as we tire, the stomach shuts down. But, we don’t need to eat a lot of food; since we are running on 90% fat metabolism. Eat a few pretzels at each water stop; the salt in the pretzels will protect against hyponatremia (low sodium) for those of us on the course more than four hours.
How to Finish: At mile 15, check how you are feeling head-to-toe; if green, hold your pace. If amber, stick to your plan. At mile 18, if green, pick of the pace a bit. If still green at mile 22, then start your sprint. If at any time, things are not green, focus on making the next aid station, and then the one after that … and then the finish. The Galloway method is to walk 4 minutes, and run 1 minute.
Finish: Look good, slow down, enjoy the moment. [Look up at the cameras at a slightly early “false finish”, with banner across the road].
Take fluids – two to three cups of cola to avoid post-race collapse.
Sunday after the Marathon – last clinic meeting for the year. Come to park wearing your finisher T-shirt for the graduation photo!