Training and fuel questions for distance runners

Alright, I've got my training schedule all mapped out for my first marathon. I start in earnest in January for a May race. My question is about the rest days. I totally understand that when I start piling on the mileage, I need to give myself a break -but I'm also used to doing something everyday. So, on those rest days should I really do NOTHING? Would something super low impact be ok, like an easy yoga or swimming? Cycling will probably be my cross training exercise of choice on cross training days.

My other question surrounding fuel - I've run half marathons and during those, consuming anything other than water or a sports drink seems like the least possible appealing thing. I know I'm going to have to get over that because I know I'll need to refuel for the longer runs. I also know everyone is different, but I'm still curious what others use and why. Gu? Sports beans? I've even heard of raisins? Any favorite favors, etc? I know I'll just have to use my training runs to test out various products but I don't even know where to start at this point.

Finally, as an aside, I noticed from the training schedule that the longest training run is "only" 20 miles. Before my first half marathon, I ran the half marathon distance twice before ever running that first race. So, to me, 20 miles seems like significantly less than marathon distance. But, I'm doing my best to trust the experts ~ I guess I'm just worried it'll up my nerves significantly on race day having never (in my mind) come close to that full marathon distance.


  • dorianaldyn
    dorianaldyn Posts: 611 Member
    Shameless bump. Anyone?
  • pittsblue99
    pittsblue99 Posts: 277 Member
    Well, this may not be any help but a lot of the people that I know from running carry jelly beans with them on long runs. I personally cannot stand the idea of trying to eat anything while I run but I too know that I will have to get over it if I want to do a "long" run. I have done 3 halfs and carried nothing but Poweraid with me. Good luck :happy:
  • Bump. I wondered about these questions too.
    1) I read that it's good to do "recovery runs" at very low HR, can you do those on rest days ?
    2) How can you eat when you run, I can barely swallow my spit ?
  • takumaku
    takumaku Posts: 352 Member
    On my rest days, I take long walks/hikes (4+ miles), bike rides, or, in the past, rowing/canoeing. For my active lifestyle, these events are R&R too me. Some people may feel different. Therefore, I feel on your rest days you can go swimmingor yoga or whatever suits you.

    I use honey, raisins (or dates) or any dried fruit. I have never tried GU.
  • tnh2007
    tnh2007 Posts: 6 Member
    Good for you! That is exciting!
    I'm with you about eating anything on the half marathon... I used to do gus but my tummy just doesn't like them. I did a 23 k trail run last summer (I know, it's not a full marathon, but it was over 3 hours so the longest I have done) I did a half of a clif bar and some m&ms. For hydration I did diluted "fluid performance"... (I can't stomach gatorade or powerade.) It seemed to work really well. After my hard training runs (or longer races) I would drink some "fluid recovery"... I can't tell you how much of a difference it made, but I felt good... the recovery drink really seems to help with my GI issues...
    Good luck!
  • kjm3579
    kjm3579 Posts: 3,975 Member
    I've just started training for a half and these were recommended for me:

    Honey Stinger makes a line of these in different flavors.
  • xprettyreckless
    xprettyreckless Posts: 297 Member
    I've never eaten anything during my long runs (although my longest was 'only' 20k), but I was told that Peanut M&M's are supposed to be really good for you!

    As for your rest day - swimming and yoga should for sure be fine, those are the lowest-impact activities ever, and I think they may actually be extremely beneficial too since you'll be stretching and all :)
  • bluefox9er
    bluefox9er Posts: 2,917 Member
    Bump. In training for my first marathon and formally start Higdon novice 2. Marathon plan. His longest " long run" is also 20 miles... I will make sure I run a marathon before I " run " a marathon....
  • dorianaldyn
    dorianaldyn Posts: 611 Member
    Bump. In training for my first marathon and formally start Higdon novice 2. Marathon plan. His longest " long run" is also 20 miles... I will make sure I run a marathon before I " run " a marathon....

    I think that's the same program I'm going to follow!