Our goal time for the Leadville Marathon was anything under 6 hours.
The info below is our full Leadville marathon fueling plan, with the option of getting food/fuel at the aid stations. This could happen if we run out of fuel or our fuel stops sounding appetizing.
Goal Fueling Plan (with options)
We were trying to consume 200+ calories per hour during the race. Our fuel will consist of a combination of water mixed with carbs, electrolytes, and amino acids, and solids (listed below).
We brought three different fueling options (plus what the aid stations have). It’s very common for fuel that tasted good on mile 1 to taste horrible on mile 10+.
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Skratch hydration drink mix
2 scoops an hour (12 total scoops)
Perfect Amino powder/pills
.66 scoops an hour (4 scoops/20 pills)
Goal is 6 scoops/30 pills for the day
Skratch energy chews
1 pack an hour
Skratch energy bars
1 per hour
Fuel for Fire
1-2 per hour
105 calories 15 carbs
Actually Fueling During Race
All Skratch hydration drink mix and Perfect Aminos consumed by sipping before thirst over the 6 hour race.
1.5 hours pre-race
- 10 Perfect Aminos pills (or 2 scoops of powder)
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 medium banana
- 1 pack Fuel for Fire at start line.
- Your body will release insulin to push carbs into your muscle and fat cells about 90 minutes after eating, so fueling at this time was to avoid a drop in blood sugar and the feelings that come with that.
- I didn’t feel like eating this but it made me feel great during the first few hills.
- 1 pack Skratch energy chews stuffed into mouth during pee break, and consumed while on the move.
- The elevation was starting to impact me on the up hills, but the downs felt fast and snappy.
2-3 hours (Up to Mosquito Pass)
- 1 pack Fuel for Fire while hiking up Mosquito Pass. Not ideal, but needed to fuel.
- This climb was one of the hardest of any climb in any race I’ve done!
- If I were going to do this race again I would prepare with uphill, high elevation rucking. Lots of it! Fast hiking uphill and bombing downhill is what gets you a fast time on this course.
- 1 pack Skratch energy chews stuffed in cheeks to slowing consume while moving.
- My body stopped wanting sugary fuel, but I forced it down and was rewarded with new energy.
- Just liquid Skratch hydration drink mix.
- It was about this time that I switched from Fruit Punch to Strawberry Lemonade Skratch, and boy oh boy was that a great plan. I was so tired of drinking the Fruit Punch Skratch, but the Strawberry Lemonade tasted great!
- At this point I also knew that I had enough fuel to push to the finish with all the energy I needed. This is an experience thing.
- 1 Skratch energy bar immediately after finishing the marathon.
- Our last mile was the fastest of the whole race.
Leadville Marathon Fueling Plan Results (and what I’d change)
My energy levels were pretty good during whole race. If I were going to do this race again I would consume an extra pack of Skratch energy chews or a pack of Fuel for Fire while walking the start of the low grade incline on the way up to Mosquito Pass, OR during the down hill before the incline toward Mosquito Pass.
The climb up the pass was brutal and eating prior would have been the way to go.
Due to our training at The Get Better Project and a successful fueling strategy (before, and during the race), we were able to break our sub 6 hour goal by finishing in 5 hours and 52 minutes. All while feeling good during and after the marathon.
We recovered from the marathon very quickly, and even hiked up the 14,300 foot Mount Elbert two days after the marathon. I attribute the fast recovery to all of The Get Better Project training, on-point nutrition (before, during, and after the race), and optimized sleep (always).
Side note… if this race lasted any longer than 6 hours I would have needed to switch to solid fuel sources. For all of my ultra endurance races I’ve carried almond butter and honey sandwiches, and turkey, cheese, mayo/mustard sandwiches. This helps to slow down digestion and helps your gut bacteria that gets killed by all the sugar.
Post Leadville Marathon
We will take a full week off of training to let our bodies recovery and hit it hard again starting a week from the race, focusing on high intensity weight training (The Get Better Project programming) and mountain biking for a while to give our bodies a rest from running.
Also, my calories will go back down to 2800-3000 (from 3200-3400 during training). With macros going from 45% carbs, 25% protein, 20% fat (while training for the race) to 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat post race).
Lastly, we will be doing the an InsideTracker Ultimate test (use code GETBETTER for 25% off) to make sure our blood work is solid, and a Prolon 5 day Fasting Mimicking Diet to rejuvenate our bodies a few weeks after the marathon.
If you have any questions about our fueling, race, or whatever, use the comments below and we’ll get right back to you.
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