Race day goals and fueling

Three days until race day! I’m feeling a bit nervous… mostly because I haven’t raced since May, took a break in August for my shin, and now the forecast shows a high of 90 degrees and humidity, with a low in the 70’s.  I thought October was supposed to bring cooler weather?

With all the menu planning, career changes and pancake-eating, I haven’t had a lot of time to talk about my training (except on Instagram!).  I’ve been running 3-4 days per week again, and started throwing a few tempo and interval runs back in, but not nearly as many as I had hoped to have by this point.  I am having a hard time gauging my running fitness these days.  The never-ending humidity may have something to do with that!

My last four weekend runs have been 12.5, 8+spin, 14.25, and 10.5+spin.  The marathon plan that I’m tentatively following has me doing 15-16 this weekend, so I’ll run two easy miles before and a few after.  My long run paces have been in the 8:20 to 8:50 minute range.

The McMillan Calculator predicts sub-1:14 based on my 5k, but I tend to have more speed than endurance.  In other words, my shorter races are faster than my long runs predict and my long runs are slower than my short runs predict.  The last time I ran a ten mile race was September of 2010 with an 8 minute mile pace, so a pr should be very doable.

A GOAL–  sub-1:14

B GOAL– new pr (sub-1:19)

In terms of fueling, I’ve been wanting to experiment more with glycogen-depletion long runs, as Amanda has been.  I don’t fuel on runs up to 15 miles, and typically don’t use fuel in races under 90 minutes.  But for runs longer than one hour, I still reach for a small snack before heading out.  I’ll probably have a tortilla with pb and sliced banana Sunday morning.

Post-run, I stick pretty closely to the recommended 4:1 carb to protein ratio.  Tribe Sports invited me to write a guest post on this topic, so you can read more about post-workout fueling here.

I’ve enjoyed connecting with the people at Tribe Sports and learning more about their site. It’s a great way to connect with other fitness-minded people.  You can actually set up your own profile and accept challenges (like completing 25 push-ups a day for 7 days), report back, post photos and encourage one another.  I set up a profile, although I admit I have very little extra time to spend interacting there.  But I like the premise, and have found it to be an engaging, supportive community.

Sometimes I think about how silly it is to worry about paces and racing strategy … my biggest fan really couldn’t care less.

Check out Jill’s for more Fitness Friday posts!

Is anyone else racing this weekend?

What’s your typical pre or post-race fuel?

74 thoughts on “Race day goals and fueling

  1. So exciting! good luck this weekend. It’s good to have the running and goals for yourself,. I’m struggling with what you wrote above about how it’s silly to worry about race strategy, etc. – I have zero motivation to race right now!
    N.D. recently posted..Review of the Fitbit UltraMy Profile

  2. I love reading pre-race posts and hearing about pace strategies as that is what is always going through my head leading up to my races. Good luck this weekend! I am so excited to hear how it goes.
    Robin recently posted..Tufts 10k 2012 Race ReportMy Profile

  3. Very excited for you to get in a good race! I know how it feels to have that break from racing–the not knowing where you are part can play tricks with your head. But you’re prepared, you’ve worked on your fueling, you’re good to go! Sub-1:14 is within your reach!

    Good luck!!!
    misszippy recently posted..No Posts Were Found!My Profile

  4. Good luck this weekend!! I am running a half tomorrow. Just curious on why you won’t use fuel during the race if you are trying to PR? I do all of my runs, up to 24 miles with the glycogen depletion training (love it), but use fuel for races above 10k because i am running them so much faster than a glycogen depleted run. just curious why you don’t use fuel for the race either? I never really looked extensively at the details of glycogen depletion training, just kind of did it off the cuff and what felt right, and it’s definitely worked. I feel like when I increase my pace though, it’s very hard to sustain without fuel.
    Have a great race!!!
    Katie @ msfitrunner recently posted..Tune ups, ART and ExposMy Profile

  5. We were talking about glycogen supplementation in endurance in my exercise metabolism class yesterday. Glycogen depleted training is fine – it can help increase fat metabolism and glycogen stores, but you should supplement during a race, especially if you’re going for a PR. And especially if you feel that you aren’t very fast at longer distances. Intensity suffers at the expense of low blood glucose availability. I’ve seen the studies! Your training has surely provided metabolic adaptations, but races aren’t training. For less than 90 minutes, you probably don’t need much supplementation, but I HIGHLY recommend you do it.

    Good luck!
    Michele recently posted..Marines carry boy across the finish lineMy Profile

    • Thank you for sharing, Michele! I do supplement on races longer than 10 miles, but didn’t think I’d need it for this distance. You’re right though- it can’t hurt to have fuel along to help sustain a faster effort. Like you said, I assumed under 90 minutes isn’t necessary (I guess I should clarify that in my post!) but now I’m reconsidering… 🙂
      Laura recently posted..Race day goals and fuelingMy Profile

      • You’re in the grey area, glycogen stores become low enough anywhere between 60 & 90 minutes that your intensity (speed) will suffer. Because you’ll probably be running faster than in training trying to reach your PR, your muscle glycogen stores will be depleted quicker and your body will have to rely on blood glucose to maintain intensity. You don’t get extra points for not taking any nutrition! Maybe if I find time, I’ll write a blog post about it.
        Michele recently posted..Marines carry boy across the finish lineMy Profile

  6. I’m so glad you have a race at last, Laura! You’ve been so patient and are so real with your training and goals. I know you can hit that A-goal (and as always I’m so impressed by how fast you are). I can’t wait to read all about it.

    Interesting on your fueling strategy…..I do glycogen-depleted long runs, too, but I fuel in any race 10 miles or longer. Not a lot, but a shot blok or two, if only for the mental boost…

    Good luck!
    Terzah recently posted..The End is In SightMy Profile

  7. Good luck, Laura!! Your life sounds very full and interesting right now, though I know that that can seem more like chaos if you’re living it. I wish you peace and energy in finding your way forward.

    I am no racer, but I’ve started trying to incorporate brief stints of running (as in, a tenth of a mile at a time) into my walks home from dropping the kids off, and it’s going well. I’m stronger than when I last tried running, and so far no trouble with knees or ankles. Your blog is very inspiring reading after I get home 🙂

    Have a great time at the race this weekend!


    • Yes, full and interesting are too good words for it! I’m enjoying the juggle right now. Thank goodness for J’s help and flexible schedule.
      I love that you’re adding in some running! And thanks for the encouragement!
      Laura recently posted..Race day goals and fuelingMy Profile

  8. Good luck with your race! Sorry its still so hot there. Ugh. I fuel for half marathons and up. Usually 1/2 a mini bagel w/PBa and a banana. I like the tortilla idea! After i go with a protein Smoothie.
    Marcia recently posted..October Stuff I LoveMy Profile

  9. You’ve got this! It’s kind of funny how the brain plays tricks on you prior to a race. Don’t doubt yourself. I’m always trying to play around w/ fuel. I still haven’t found my perfect solution yet.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to hear the results!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Running Pop QuizMy Profile

  10. I’ve never done a 10-mile race, that sounds like a great distance. I’m doing a 10K tomorrow, but I ran my first half marathon two weeks ago, so although I’m hoping for a PR I’ll be fine if that doesn’t happen. Pre-race I usually go for cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter and banana. The 10K race I’m running tomorrow gives out beer at the finish line…and as much as I love free stuff, I don’t think I can stomach a beer at 8:30am! Post-race fuel will probably be more along the lines of pancakes.
    Gabby @ Marathons and Macarons recently posted..Ready to Rock n’ RollMy Profile

  11. Best wishes on your 10 miler! It’s hard to know what you can do when you have been recovering from injury. But it sounds like your tempo runs have gone well. That’s most important for the 10 miler 🙂

    Your pre race Breakfast sounds perfect! And maybe a gel for the run- though 90 minutes seems to be about my breaking point too.

    Best wishes! Tear it up!
    Raina recently posted..10k Time Trials, Redwood Trails and Thoughts InbetweenMy Profile

  12. I really hope the weather cools off for you! We’re getting some COLD weather here in NoVA, I just heard 20s for tomorrow morning! Anyway, best of luck. Sounds like your long runs have been strong so I’d say go for that A Goal! Looking forward to hearing how it went.
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..My Life as I Know it is OVERMy Profile

  13. Good luck on Sunday! I plan to run my first ever 10 mile race but it’s simply for training purposes as I have 17 miles on my schedule for the day.
    I am interested in your gylcogen-depletion long runs, I myself have been experimenting with those and I am currently at not using fuel on anything less than 10 miles but I would like to work up to more.
    Good luck again and I can’t wait to hear about it!
    Lauren @ The Unlikely Runners recently posted..The One With My Letter To RunningMy Profile

  14. GO LAURA! Whenever you are thinking that it is too hot tomorrow think of me in NH. The high tomorrow is 46 and today there were snow squalls. Think snow! You will rock the 10 miler!

    I usually have to have some sort of fuel at around 45-50 minutes in or I begin to get behind on fueling and end up bonking. It wouldn’t hurt to bring a little something along for the run!

    Good luck and have fun!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted..Running Field Test-Time TrialMy Profile

  15. I can’t wait to hear about it! I’m sure you’ll do amazing. 70 degrees sounds quite nice, actually…it’s been so coooool here and that hurts my lungs! Hope it’s not too warm for you.
    Jan recently posted..Bad ListenerMy Profile

  16. I’m having a hard time gauging my running fitness too. I think I need to learn more about proper training. I haven’t ran a race since March and I’m losing my motivation. I’m hoping this Color Me Rad 5k next week will help revitalize my love for running. The past two weeks I found myself struggling to get a run in. I’ve lost motivation. It’s almost like a chore. I’m thinking I just need to set more short term goals and enter more races. Money is always an issue though.

    I’m also still technically new to the running lingo. Got any good advise on learning proper training?
    Maria @ Lil Mys Ninja recently posted..Motivation Mondays: Lacking Motivation?My Profile

    • I’m happy to help you sort out your training- generally, you want a mix of easy runs with some faster or longer runs. Depends on your distance goals, and # days you run a week also depends on cross training and other goals. Feel free to email me what your current training looks like and I’m happy to share my observations or suggestions. Thanks for the best wishes!
      Laura recently posted..Race day goals and fuelingMy Profile

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  18. I think for the speed thing, my short runs don’t accurately predict my longer ones either. I am better at endurance than speed. You are much more calculated when it comes to your post workout food. I usually eat oatmeal before a run if I run in the morning. If I run in the evening, I don’t eat anything. Afterward, I eat whatever, but it’s usually fruit and veggie based, which I know isn’t as great, since it doesn’t have the protein component.
    Travel Spot recently posted..Nike Womens Marathon: Pros & ConsMy Profile

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