Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Nutrition

Last week before Indy I caught up with the guys at Runologie to talk about my nutrition strategy for the day before, the morning before, during, and after (if you missed these videos click here). So how did all of that pan out and what exactly did I end up doing? This is how it all shook out:

Night Before:

I typically like to find a good one of a kind place that has good reviews for gluten-free guests but I was a little too slow in booking a reservation. None of the local restaurants had much room so teammate Anna Weber and I just went with Noodles and Company which ended up perfect. I got the Tuscan Fresca with gluten free fusilli and added chicken and broccoli and ate the whole thing. Perfect amount of food. I had a square of dark chocolate when I got back to the room and drank my 10oz bottle of water mixed with a scoop of Scivation Xtend Blueberry BCAA’s and a scoop of Beta Alanine.  We went to dinner at 6:30 so we ate by around 7 and I was back to the room by 8.

Morning Before:

I woke up at 5:00AM and had half of a plain gluten-free Sweet Note Bagel with 1 tbsp of peanut butter. At about 6:30 I got myself about 12oz of coffee with 2 coffeemate creamers. I sipped on this as I walked over to the Elite Athlete Building. At 7:15AM I took my beet elite and beta alanine mix with 4 oz of water and had my UCAN which consisted of a little over a scoop and a half of the plain UCAN Superstarch mixed with a scoop of my Scivation Xtend BCAA’s.

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon


We had the option of placing bottles at just past the 8 mile mark, just past 14 miles, and the 20 mile mark. I took a packet of the pomegranate blueberry UCAN superstarch and mixed it with a half scoop of Scivation Xtend BCAA’s. I split this packet into 2 bottles to be placed at the 8 and 14 mile markers. I put a about 2 ounces more in the bottle that was to be at the 8 mile marker because I figured it would be the most important bottle. Being almost 50 minutes in and needing to resupplement with UCAN 30 min before my body needed it made this point in the race very important from a refueling standpoint. UCAN takes about 30 min to begin working in the system which is how it differs from gels which spike your blood sugar and give you immediate energy. UCAN is a slow burning carbohydrate so it takes longer to begin workings but gives you energy for longer without a crash. Unfortunately for me I had trouble getting my UCAN out of my bottle and wasted a lot of energy trying. I ended up tossing it without finishing it. I went too fast for the miles between 8 and 14 and was yearning for my bottle at 20. My bottle at 20 contained 8 oz of UCAN hydration with almost 2 tablets of Nuun Plus which I had mixed to have between 200-300mg sodium, some potassium, and 7-10g carbs because this was the optimal ratio for hydration.  I had packed some chews and run gum for late in the race in case I needed extra energy. With the bottle issue in the beginning and the fast miles in the middle I was needing a boost after mile 20. I popped some run gum but in the process dropped all but one of the chews I had packed. I held out on putting this chew in my mouth until about mile 22. I pretty much just had it in my mouth rather than just straight up eating it. I don’t know if I was hitting the wall from lack of proper fueling or if my body has just reached its limit but that last 10k was a grind. I grabbed a gu I had never used before out of desperation and sucked down little bits of it through the end of the race, grabbing water at water stops along the way. I was lucky not to have any stomach issues with this and I would advise not trying something new on race day. I was careful about how much water I drank because filling up with too much water would create a sloshing affect unless there was an electrolyte present to allow the body to properly rehydrate. In the end, my nutrition plan needs some tweaking including finding better bottles! I know the things I want to fix and as always this will be a constant work in progress.

Finishing the Indy Monumental Marathon, obviously ready to be done!

Finishing the Indy Monumental Marathon, obviously ready to be done!

Post Race:

When I finished I walked through the finish shoot and grabbed a chocolate milk on the way out. I had forgotten to bring an extra bottle to mix my UCAN with protein for after so that is something I will change in the future. Refueling with UCAN with protein is great for recovery because the superstarch helps to jumpstart the recovery process and increases the window for optimal muscle protein synthesis. You have a 30 minute window post exercise where your muscles are starving for protein to rebuild broken down muscle tissue, and carbs for energy. Getting this fuel in within this window allows the body to very efficiently use the food for energy and recovery. When you wait too long the body goes into a state of “starvation.” Basically, the body doesn’t know when it will eat again so when you finally do it converts a portion of that food to stored fat in case it needs it for later and then uses whatever is left to help you recover. You may still be getting a recovery benefit but far less of it. When taken immediately after competition of a hard workout, UCAN’s superstarch with protein creates a much wider recovery window. Anything you were to eat within the next 2 hours would be more efficiently used for either energy or recovery! Essentially I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get my UCAN with protein in an appropriate time frame so I conceded to drinking the chocolate milk. This is a fair substitution because whey protein is one of the best for recovery because it has a high leucine content and the chocolate milk also contains a fair amount of carbs.

After I got home and before going to bed Saturday night I drank a 10oz bottle of water mixed with a scoop of Scivation Xtend BCAA’s and 1 scoop of beta alanine and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning expecting the soreness from the day before to be amplified. The advice I got from just about everyone I talked was to go down the stairs backwards because I was going to beyond sore the next day. But when I rolled out of bed the next morning to get out to the City of Oaks Cheering party, I didn’t feel too bad. I grabbed one of my homemade pumpkin protein waffles from the fridge with a 16oz bottle of water with 1 scoop of BCAA’s and beta alanine and headed out the door. When I got to the race I even squatted to pose for a picture with the rest of my wonderful Oiselle Team.

Oiselle Team City of Oaks

Oiselle Team City of Oaks

Coming off a period of over-training meant more than just taking a break. To regain control of my fall season I needed to give my body time to heal, focus on my nutrition, and listen to my body better. Blog posts coming soon:

Scivation Xtend BCAA’s: How and why they work

InsideTracker: Pre-Trials vs. Pre-Indy