Philly Marathon Training: How to Tell If You’re Eating Enough Carbs

I’m going to state the obvious here, but running a marathon and half marathon are very different than running a 5K or 10K. I’m not talking about the difference in distance — I’m talking about the difference in nutrition needs. For the most part, nutrition isn’t a limiting factor to performance for the 5K and 10K, but once you get over two-hour mark in racing, nutrition plays a vital role in how well you perform.

As a runner, if you want to perform at your best, you need to start thinking about the food you eat as sources of nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins. Each of these nutrients plays a crucial role that either supports or inhibits energy production, recovery and health.

I’ll be focusing mainly on carbohydrates because they are by far the most important nutrient for marathoners. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy: They aid in fat metabolism (a.k.a. using fat as a fuel source), and they prevent protein from being used as energy. A diet low in carbohydrates will certainly prohibit performance.

Carbs figure into the two essential parts of marathon nutrition: daily nutrition and long-run nutrition. Let’s break them down below.

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Philadelphia Marathon Training: How to Deal with Race Training Setbacks

When you’re training for a race, setbacks are bound to happen. Obstacles like injury, sickness, travel, work or family responsibilities will disrupt your training. While this can be extremely frustrating, more often than not, these setbacks are completely unavoidable. Some setbacks may last a day or two, while others may derail your training for weeks. I usually tell my clients that if you can complete at least 90 percent of the training in a 16-week plan, that’s good.

It would be nice if we all could drop our other responsibilities to focus solely on training for the Philadelphia Marathon, but odds are that’s not possible. So with just under seven weeks until race day, if you find yourself behind on training, here are some tips to help get you back on track — or, at the least, help to deal with a setback.

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Philadelphia Marathon Training: What to Do Now to Nail Race-Day Fueling

Odds are, if someone were to ask you how your marathon training was going, the conversation would most likely revolve around weekly mileage, tempo runs, long runs and perhaps cross-training strength routines. While these aspects of training for a marathon are no doubt most important, there’s another part of marathon training that often gets underemphasized, something renowned sports nutrition scientist Asker Jeukendrup refers to as training the gut. At its most basic level, training the gut means training your stomach to withstand the energy demands needed to complete a marathon free of GI issues and without running out of fuel.

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Philadelphia Marathon Training: The One Skill You Absolutely Need to Run a Successful Race

Nearly every long-distance running record, from the 1500-meter record to the marathon record, has been set by running negative splits, which is running the second half of the race faster than the first. But you can’t do this without knowing how to pace yourself. Pacing is the single most important skill in running and is absolutely crucial for a successful marathon. It also happens to be one of the more difficult skills to master.

In today’s world of GPS watches, treadmills and headphones, it’s easy for our internal sense of pacing to become clouded. These external distractions become background noise, affecting our senses and our ability to truly assess our pace. But here’s the good news: Pacing is a skill and, like most, it can be learned with practice and patience. Below, how to perfect your pacing skills. Read more »

Philadelphia Marathon Training: 3 Important Things Your Marathon Training Plan Won’t Tell You

Newsflash! The Philadelphia Marathon is a measly 10 weeks away, people! And for those of you who are following a training plan, the words and numbers outlined week by week will likely rule your life, and in some cases, can lead to more questions than answers. If those words and numbers could, well, tell you more than they do about getting your body and mind ready for a marathon, here are the three things they would tell you about marathon training.

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The Philadelphia Marathon’s Half Marathon Course Looks Completely Different This Year

Photograph courtesy of the Philadelphia Marathon

As you might’ve noticed if you were thinking about running the Philadelphia Marathon’s half marathon course on November 18th, for a while, where there would usually be a course map, the website has said something along the lines of “coming soon!”

If you’re anything like us, you were intrigued and anxiously checked back often. Well, my friends, the folks over at the Philadelphia Marathon quietly debuted the course map, and good news for everyone who complained about last year’s course changes: It’s looks very different this year, with more city and less of Fairmount Park in the mix. Victory!

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10 Hilarious Spectator Signs From the Philadelphia Marathon

signs lead

This past weekend, some 30,000 runners took over the streets to tackle either 13.1 or 26.2 miles on foot. Philadelphia Marathoners and Half Marathoners, you can’t see us, but we are giving you virutal high-fives while handing you congratulatory beers right now.

Another group that deserves a round of applause is the spectators — on Saturday, they had pretty nice weather, but Sunday was a whole different story. Case in point: This porta potty that toppled over due to the wind. Has any image ever been more scarring? Still, wind and all, spectators came out to support, screaming their hearts out and, of course, toting hilarious signs. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorites that were posted to Instagram below. (And forgive us, but we will never, ever get tired of a “Smile, you paid for this” sign.)

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You Can Get a Vitamin-Loaded IV Treatment at the Philly Marathon Finish

Fun fact: The first time I had to have blood drawn, I bit the nurse who tried to stick me with a needle. And before you think, “Oh, well, you were probably a toddler. Totally normal,” just know: I was 12 years old. So me and my needle-fearing self will let you be the judge of the IV treatment trend. This Sunday, RestoreIV, the East Falls medical practice that specializes in IV vitamin and nutrient therapy, will be at the Philadelphia Marathon finish line administering IV vitamin treatments designed to help runners rehydrate and avoid dreaded muscle cramps.

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Why This Guy Is Running the 39.3-Mile Philadelphia Marathon Rocky Challenge in Head-to-Toe Fireman’s Gear 

Steve Bender at last year's Philadelphia Marathon | Photo courtesy Steve Bender

Steve Bender at last year’s Philadelphia Marathon | Photo courtesy Steve Bender

Remember Steve Bender? He’s the volunteer firefighter who ran last year’s Philadelphia Marathon in 50 pounds of fireman’s gear. Yes: he ran 26.2 miles in head-to-ankle (no boots — that’s taking things too far, he says) fireman’s gear. And this weekend, he’s doing it all over again … AND he’s running the Philadelphia Half Marathon decked out in his firefighter get-up the day before, too. (The race has dubbed running both events the “Rocky Challenge.”) We have a sneaking suspicion he may be a tiny bit crazy — or just really, really motivated.

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