Friday, July 18, 2008

Week 7: a week of firsts

I completed week 7 of my marathon training.

On Monday, I ran my fastest 3 miler ever, finishing it under 24 minutes.

I ran 12 miles today and it was the first time that I've run for over 2 hours. Although I ran further for my half marathons, I completed both of them in under 2 hours.

It was also the first time that I've used a gel to refuel mid-run.

Gels are gooey concoctions with a mixture of carbohydrates and electrolytes (primarily sodium and potassium). They are designed to be quickly absorbed by your body to provide fast refueling during intense exercise. They help avoid the condition known as "hitting the wall" or "bonking". This is when an athlete suddenly loses energy and becomes fatigued due to a depletion of glycogen stores. For runners, this typically occurs after 15 to 20 miles of running.

While I was in no danger of hitting the wall during my 12 mile run, I'll definitely need something for the marathon. There are a number of gels on the market and from what I've read, everybody is different when it comes to liking the taste and texture, being able to stomach the gel, etc. I've got the next few weeks to experiment with a few gels to find one that works for me. I took a PowerGel at the 8 mile mark. It was chocolate flavoured and yummy. It also contained caffeine for an extra boost. I didn't really feel that it made a difference but maybe the difference was that I didn't tire as much as I might have. I felt pretty good for the whole 12 miles and I don't seem to have any post-run soreness.

I ran a total of 24 miles this week and that's the most I've ever done in a single week.

So, it was a week of firsts but there are many more to come. By the time September swings around, these records will all seem insignificant.


  1. Hi! I stumbled across your blog and just wanted to wish you good luck on your first marathon. I also followes Hal's novice1 training plan when I was training for my first marathon.

  2. Hi Sonia. Thanks for the support.

    Are you Dr. Sonia on Running Mania?

  3. haha can't hide anything on the web it seems.... yes it's me! Who are you?!

  4. I'm a lurker; have been for quite a while. I guess it may be time to join in.

  5. Definitely!! Come on you know you wanna =)

    I think it's hilarious, you knew me... I'm feeling like I am some sort of popularity on the internet now lol

  6. Congratulations on a great week!

    My gel of choice is anything in the Hammer Nutrition range; the raspberry and espresso flavours are the best!

    Keep up the good work,


  7. Thanks Steve.

    I just found out that they will have Honey Stinger on course so I'm going to try and track some down.