Top positive review
Worked perfectly for me
on 30 May 2016
Last year I became a full member of the “Wall Hitters’ Club”, missing out on my debut marathon target (4h) by 1’12”. So this year I was determined to get a time that started with a 3. I turned to a Matt Fitzgerald training plan from ‘Brain Training for Runners’, which I’d used several years previously to successfully achieve a goal of a sub-45 10K.
It wasn’t until 10 days before the race that I dug out another Fitzgerald book I had on the Kindle (‘Racing Weight’) to remind myself what he had to say about carbo-loading that an ad for ‘Marathon Nutrition’ popped up. Out of curiosity I downloaded the sample, read something about caffeine fasting that I’d never heard of before, and then downloaded the full book.
Obviously, I like Matt Fitzgerald’s writing. His training plans seem to work for me. All the advice in ‘Marathon Nutrition’ worked for me too. I quickly read the key chapters on taper nutrition, pre-race and in-race nutrition. I realised that last time I had massively under-fuelled! Massively under-estimated the amount of carbs I would need to consume the day before and the morning of the race and under-estimated the frequency with which I should be consuming gels during the race by about 30%!
I don’t know which bits of Matt’s advice worked for me – the fat-loading, caffeine-fasting, carb-loading, quick pre-race gel or quantity of gels during the race. But, as a package, work they did. I had a very short drastic dip in pace just after mile 20, but got my head together, confident I’d done the right prep and then continued at target pace all the way through the final six – feeling tired, but never spent. And definitely not the ‘Wall’ feeling of the previous attempt. In fact, my last mile was the fastest and I finished strong in 3h56m23s.
If you’ve ever hit the wall, or want to minimise the likelihood that you will on your first attempt, follow this advice. Great book that has given me the huge satisfaction of achieving the result I wanted. Thanks, Matt!