5 tips every runner should know before a marathon

By Haley Hernandez - Health Reporter

HOUSTON - The Chevron Houston Marathon expects about 57,000 runners at the George R. Brown Convention Center Friday and Saturday.

The marathon expo is happening from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday and from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday.

Catherine Kruppa, registered dietitian at Advice for Eating, is well-versed in marathon training. She’s been running marathons since 1999. 

She gave KPRC her rules for last-minute marathon preparation:


“Actually two nights before is when you want to make sure you get a really good night's sleep,” she said.  
To help rest, she recommends the brand Bedgear. The company makes cooling pillows, mattresses, mattress pads, etc. She said you’ll find them at the Expo.
“One of the things this company does is they make the material similar to Dri-FIT material,” Kruppa said.


Kruppa recommends everyone drink half their body weight in ounces of water whether they’re training or not: every day, all day, not all at once.

“So, if you're a 150-pound person, divide that in half, 75 ounces of hydrating fluid,” she explained.

Carry water with you throughout the day to drink, if  you're forgetful about refilling water bottles, carry two. 

“Water is important in every cell of your body and everything is going to function better: your energy level, your digestion, your skin, your hair, your nails,” Kruppa said.

Hydrating fluids includes water, juice, soup and just about any non-caffeinated, non-carbonated liquid.

Carb loading is false

Many runners may start feasting on pasta and bread about a day before a race, but Kruppa said the carbs you eat in a typical day will be enough to fuel you through any race.

“Whatever you eat, you're going to carry with you through the race,” she said. “If you go and get a big bowl of pasta at a restaurant and chow down and have breadsticks and everything, how's that going to feel to carry it through 26 miles?”

Leave the guilt behind

You probably ate a lot during the holidays, most Americans do. The holidays land in the middle of critical marathon training but, Kruppa said, it’s time to move on.

Kruppa said to eat a healthy meal (protein with a side of potatoes or pasta) and you can still have a powerful performance, no matter how much you gorged over the holiday.

Refuel on the run

“There's not a gel I wouldn't recommend,” Kruppa said.

She said any form of fuel boost during the race is critical: jelly beans, shot blocks, Gatorade or gels. Choose the taste you can tolerate to you make sure you use it!

“Their purpose is to get in your system and digest really, really quickly,” Kruppa said. “Start taking that in somewhere between 45 to 60 minutes. That's when breakfast has worn off, so your energy from breakfast has worn off and you need to start fueling yourself with some sort of carbohydrate. So some people just use the Gatorade that's on the course, which will be every mile-and-a-half, some people use a combination of gels and Gatorade.”

Make sure to pack enough in your waist band to use throughout your time running.

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