I stayed behind after the Trent Park RC training run tonight to chat to the marathon support group. One of the experienced club runners was demonstrating a bunch of gels, powders and electrolyte tablets. There was plenty of good advice about getting your nutrition right. I find that eating and drinking right on a marathon makes more difference to feeling good in the final miles than anything else. While I'm a big fan of electrolyte tablets, especially in the heat, the gels are overpriced for what is essentially a mix of sugars, salts and water. I prefer a mix of salted peanuts and sultanas.
There were about a dozen runners in the group, I'd guess most of them were aiming for their first marathon in the spring (which definitely isn't here yet as sleet was falling at the end of tonight's run). The experienced runners in this group certainly knew what they were talking about. One recommended ensuring you eat enough healthy fats and also enough protein after a long run to help repair those damaged muscles. I can't recall ever hearing a runner extolling the virtues of eating fat before! And the guy running the group was wearing Vivo Barefoot shoes (I love these and wear them most days, although not yet for running). It's good to see these shoes getting more visibility these days.
We finished with a demonstration with a couple of foam rollers. Well one was foam, the other brutally hard. There was plenty of audience participation here and I think I'll get one. My legs have coped well with upping the mileage through January but I still don't have the flexibility I'd like in my legs.
Hopefully I'll get out for a longer training run with some of this group soon. Tonight's run was about 7 miles, with a 4 mile fast section in the middle. I was pleased with the time, taking 14 minutes downhill for 2 miles outbound and 15 minutes back uphill. I'm really enjoying getting these fast (for me!) runs in, especially getting to race other runners up hills. It would have been nice to find a route with fewer busy road crossings though.