Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Napa Marathon nutrition plan, or, "how I used up a 3 month allotment of plastic bottles"

It's been bugging me for weeks: my original plan was to just go "ultra-style" and carry an amphipod belt with a 10 oz water bottle and a 5 oz Gu holder. I would refill the water whenever it emptied, and in the process do my best to take in 40-50 oz of fluid over the course of the race. But recently I've been waffling on that, not excited at all at the thought of having a belt hanging from my hips. So I've come up with a plan, and I'm really psyched about it. It took me a couple shopping trips to find what I needed, and a special Napa marathon service to help me out. As it turns out, they take bottles out on the course for you, so I plan to prepare a bunch of bottles that I will have them place at the various water stops. That way I have my water waiting for me, can carry it and drink it for a bit, and when I'm done deposit it neatly in a nearby trash can (I hope - it's not easy being green!).

First a little bit about the bottles: my criteria were, should be between 8-12 ounces; needs a drinking nozzle. As it turns out no bottles fit this criteria, so I had to go with a hybrid model: I bought a 6-pack of these (notice the nozzle) :

and an 8-pack of these sweet little 10 oz football shaped bottles:

Next I swapped the caps.

After that I rigged up a duct tape based handle:

Which I'll use like so:

And finally, I attached an orange marker, so I can see it clearly at the water bottle station, and a gel:

I haven't completely decided what to put in them, but most likely the first 4 will be accelerade and the last two will be Coke. I plan to leave them at miles: 4, 19, 14, 18, 21 and 24.

For nutrition I will carry probably 4 gels (hammer and/or accel gels) with the plan of eating half a gel every 15 minutes. I'll also be carrying salt tablets for extra electrolytes, probably one every 30 or so minutes. And finally I'll have a couple advil. Should I need anything additional I'll get ir on the course, either taped to my bottle or from the gel stations.

As a side note, as I mentioned back in December we Americans go through 25,000,000 h20 bottles every day. Since I came across that statistic I've just about stopped using disposable bottles, but if you think about it it only takes one bottle every ten days per person to maintain status quo. I am really cranking up my allotment, using 3 or more months worth of bottles for this marathon, so I have some making up to do...


  1. There's room for a flag on there...

    It sounds like you'd be better off running ultras with Chris. When you do a 50K / 50M run, you just carry a bottle with you the whole time and refill it at the aid tables (which are ~5M apart). They have much better food than marathons and they're much cheaper to enter. They'd already have the gels, snacks, and Ibuprofen waiting for you.

    Get one of these:

    and you're good to go. Tiny pouch for a gel. When you're tired of carrying it, slip it over your wrist empty with the bottle on the outside of your arm.

    BTW, I'll be down in your city from 3/4 - 3/7 to visit a few people. If the weather doesn't totally suck I'm planning to catch a ride with Chris on the 6th (Saturday). You should too if you're not busy.

  2. ah, you're missing the point. I don't want to carry anything for a long period of time, I want to run faaast and stay light.
    3/6 sounds great.

  3. that bottle would add probably close to two pounds when full.

  4. Nice bottle. Looking forward to riding with you guys. Am thinking a coast ride with a side trip at the Half Moon Bay Bakery/Sandwich shop is in order for 3/6

  5. I love that sandwich shop. Definitely! Can't wait to get down there and ride / see you guys.