Good Inputs Part 3: Long Distance Running Fuel

“I’ve never walked mid-race in my life,” I thought as I hit mile twenty-four of the 2017 Long Beach Marathon. My brain said, “Run!” My legs said, “No!” In the spirit of the movie, “Top Gun,” my brain was writing checks that my body couldn’t cash. 

I’d bonked!

My goal was to best the PR (personal record) I’d set seven months earlier at the LA Marathon — 3:39. 

I ended up at 4:01. Ouch.

What went wrong?

Was it my gambit — running with the 3:35 pacing group?

Was it the blustery beach headwind from miles ten to twelve (which made me feel like I was running with the 2:35 pacers)?

Or was it the dates!

I’d read about the power of dates as a marathon snack. Compact and for transport. Providers of essential glucose and potassium. I discovered, though, that running a marathon with just four dates was a flawed idea.

The “date marathon” not only became a running joke, but it also scared me off marathons for awhile.

Then I discovered a nutrition solution — superstarch — that gave me the courage to attempt a COVID “lone-marathon” successfully.

Superstarch releases glucose slowly to help athletes avoid the post-sugary-sport-drink hypoglycemic crash (one version of bonking).

Superstarch later helped me achieve a total miles PR — 31.

I’m now looking forward to making a run at my marathon PR.

I may even try an ultra-marathon.

I’ll make sure to leave the dates at home.

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