Race Report - Meon Valley Marathon - Grant Vernon

I was introduced to Tailwind nutrition by Anthony at XMiles when I visited them during their mobile nutrition store launch day in July 2016.

Tasting samples were on offer and Anthony spoke enthusiastically about this product so I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did as I have to say it suits me perfectly (sustained energy and no gut bombs). I’d previously ruined a string of races by blindly following the ‘3 gel per hour’ instructions. Despite several years of trying different gels, drinks and solids I had never completely nailed down my nutrition strategy. A complete change of diet late in 2015 and after a year teaching my body to become a fat burning machine I had found that I could complete marathon distance races on nothing but water, providing I kept the intensity down. However now that I wanted to step the pace up a tad I began to discover MY body needed to be drip fed some carbs for sustained energy. Hello Tailwind.

Grant Vernon Meon Valley Marathon
PRE-RACE:

The Meon Valley marathon is a hilly trail marathon with approx. 800m elevation gain on a mix of trail and road taking in parts of the beautiful South Downs Way.

My race day breakfast, a few hours before the start, was my usual high fat concoction (Coconut yogurt, nuts, seeds, MCT oil, cacao powder, nut butter, raspberries and blueberries). I also started sipping a 500ml bottle of Tailwind a few hours before the start with the aim to have finished it about an hour before go time.

 

THE RACE:

For this race I decided I was going to carry all of my own nutrition and not rely on the aid stations for anything more than water. I started the race with a 500ml handheld bottle (Ultimate Direction) filled with berry flavour Tailwind. This bottle lasted me to the halfway drinks station, the only one I was intending to stop at. As I ran into the drinks station I had already whipped the top off my handheld and emptied a sachet of Tailwind Caffeinated Green Tea Buzz into my bottle which meant all I needed to do was dump my rubbish with the drinks station crew and get a top up of water. In and out in thirty seconds at most. This fresh bottle then lasted me to the finish.

My pacing plan was to run comfortably hard for the first half and then speed up as the race progressed. The caffeinated Tailwind worked fantastically and I felt strong through to the finish.

 

MY NUTRITION TIPS:

Day to day nutrition is as important as your training for peak performance, recovery and general wellbeing. Personally, I find Low Carb High Fat (#LCHF) works well for me.

I’ve found that done right I can fuel my body with very little carbohydrate which means I am no longer relying on them for race day. I generally skip breakfast and do a lunch time run before my first meal around 13:00. This will be a large salad with oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado and oil.

Dinner will normally be a meat and heap of veg. Generally I shun carbohydrate laden nutritionally void foods (ie processed food).  Prof Tim Noakes book Real Meal Revolution was the book I read that introduced me to the idea that I didn’t need to eat as much carbohydrate that existing nutritional guidelines recommend.

There is a wealth of information available to us so be inquisitive, be open to new ideas, don’t take everything at face value and find out what works for you.


About the Author
GRANT VERNON
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