Proper nutrition can effectively power marathoners to the finish line
You train for months. Your goal is the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon finish line. All of your hard work leads up to Sunday, February 16th. GU Energy Labs, the Official Energy Gel and Chew of the Austin Marathon, is here to help you perform your best! Their products are scientifically proven to give you the energy you need. They’ll have two on-course Energy Zones near Mile 9 and Mile 20. GU will provide the following ROCTANE Energy Gels, Vanilla Orange (35 mg of caffeine), Chocolate Coconut (35 mg of caffeine), Blueberry Pomegranate (35 mg of caffeine) and Pineapple (no caffeine) on course. GU Blueberry Pomegranate Energy Chews (no caffeine) will also be available. Check out their advice on proper nutrition, listen to the “Eating is Training” episode of the Pinnacle Podcast, and prepare to perform your best!
Proper nutrition advice from the experts at GU Energy Labs
Through training, we grow stronger, get faster, and learn how to endure more. By eating the right nutrients, in the right amounts, at the right times, we build our muscles, mend our bodies, and optimize our training efforts. While athletes train hard to prepare for races like the Austin Marathon and Austin Half Marathon, they also need proper fuel to make sure they feel good and their performance doesn’t suffer on race day.
When you’re out running for miles on end, your muscles consume their glycogen stores after only an hour and a half. Your body needs fuel in the form of calories to keep going to avoid the dreaded bonk. When you run, blood is diverted away from your digestive tract to power your muscles, so you need something that is easily digestible and can be converted to energy quickly. Sports nutrition products like energy gels, chews, and drink mixes provide fast-acting energy so you can fuel quickly without stomach issues, allowing you to keep pushing hard. Along with sufficient hydration and electrolytes, the type of food you eat is crucial. In long races like the Austin Marathon, proper race fuel can be the difference maker between getting to the finish line feeling good or struggling through the last five miles.
The fuel your body needs
Fueling is not just for race day. The fuel you eat during training sessions is equally important. At GU we like to say “Eating is Training”. It’s a mantra for optimizing athlete’s everyday diet. It means tailoring your nutrition intake to meet the demands of your training cycle with planned and purposeful fueling. Eating is training, is a holistic approach to nutrition with a focus on performance and recovery.
Check out GU’s Pinnacle Podcast episode for more on the “Eating is Training” philosophy.
GU Essentials – The Foundation of a Good Plan
- Energy Gels – 100 calories, delicious → Great for training.
- ROCTANE Energy Gels – 100 calories, MORE amino acids, MORE sodium → Reach for these when it’s time to get serious.
- What’s the difference? Learn when to reach for a ROCTANE Energy Gel.
- Energy Chews — 90 calories per serving, portable & delicious → Mix it up with the GU you can chew.
Race Day Nutrition 101 — The Basics
You’ve invested energy, money, and a whole lot of time to get to the start line. Set yourself up for success with a fueling and hydration plan. There are three basic aspects to creating a proper nutrition plan, energy, hydration, and recovery. Yes, everyone is different and responds differently to what they eat and drink. Here are a few rules of thumb we recommend following to keep you performing and feeling good on race day.
Rule of Thumb #1
Consume 100-200 calories per hour while running. That’s the magic range that will work for most people. While it’s possible to train your body to absorb more than 300 calories per hour, if you haven’t practiced before race day, we recommend staying within this range. Start consuming in your first hour of running since you are bound to go into a calorie deficit in a race like the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon.
Rule of Thumb #2
Hydrate along the way by drinking between 16-30 oz of fluids every hour. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to make sure your body is performing at its potential. When you’re dehydrated, your power output goes down. Don’t waste your run and keep the fluids flowing!
Rule of Thumb #3
You need electrolytes to absorb fluids — 300-700 mg of sodium per hour. Plain water does not absorb as efficiently as water with electrolytes, so make sure you’re getting enough salt to help you hold that hydration. We supplement sodium in all GU energy products to make hydrating easier for you. Just sip some water after a gel, chew, or Stroopwafel to nail your hydration plan.
Rule of Thumb #4
Recover faster by consuming a complete protein within 30 minutes of uploading your race to Strava. By including recovery in your training routine, you can bounce back faster and get stronger making you ready for your next run.
Rule of Thumb #5
Protect your muscles and stay sharp with 3,000 mg of amino acids per hour. Branched Chain Amino acids (or BCAAs) are the building blocks of proteins, and can start repairing your muscles while running. GU helps protect your muscles from damage by including BCAA’s in all GU energy products. BCAA’s are a GU HQ favorite because they help fight muscle soreness, and we believe any time is a good time for BCAA’s; pre-run, mid-run and post-run!
Big thanks to the experts at GU Energy Labs for providing so much helpful information. You’ve done the training. Planning is complete. All the information you need is now yours. The last part is to reach your goal at the finish line! Don’t forget, GU will have two on-course Energy Zones near Mile 9 and Mile 20 to give you the boost you need.
Proceeds from Manzano Mile registrations will support local Austin nonprofit Marathon Kids
If you’ve already marked your calendar for the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, you might as well block off the whole weekend! You definitely don’t want to miss the Manzano Mile presented by Dole Packaged Foods the day before. This one-mile race, held on Saturday, February 15th, is about family, health, and running with all your heart. This event is open to athletes of all ability levels, from elites to young children. That makes it especially fitting that this year, proceeds from the Manzano Mile will benefit Marathon Kids. They’re an Austin-based nonprofit that’s on a mission to get kids moving.
The folks at Marathon Kids are excited to be race beneficiaries of the Manzano Mile. Event sponsors, Dole Packaged Foods and H-E-B, align perfectly with the nonprofit’s guiding ideals: that moving your body and eating nutritious foods are key to a long and healthy life.
Teaching kids how to live healthier lifestyles through running
This is a vitally important message for today’s youth. The federal government’s recommended minimum requirement for moderate to vigorous physical activity for children is 60 minutes a day. Due to nationwide academic pressures and budget constraints, America’s school kids aren’t meeting that daily goal. Many experts in the fields of health and longevity predict the current generation of children will be the first with a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents.
This is why Marathon Kids is so passionate about supporting Austin ISD students in leading active lives. Daily physical activity is associated with improved physical, mental, and emotional health. Marathon Kids believes that getting kids active at a young age is a game-changer. Their run clubs serve 28,000 students in 73 Austin ISD schools. The organization’s goal is to show kids that through running that they can achieve more than they ever thought possible. This puts them on the path to healthier lives, one mile at a time.
Whether you plan to run or cheer on the athletes, join us at the Manzano Mile on February 15th! We’ll support the participants and cheer for everyone. Together we’ll make it possible for the next generation of young Austinites to live long, healthy lives.
We’re here to help you have an unforgettable Austin Marathon weekend
It’s no secret. The City of Austin is amazing. There’s a reason it’s the #1 city in America. We’re proud to call The Live Music Capital of the World our home. We run here and consume one taco for every mile. We’re pretty sure it’s a city ordinance. Whether you’re an Austinite or visiting for the first time during Austin Marathon weekend, we want you to love what we love. We’ve run, walked, and biked the Austin Marathon course from every direction to bring you the best. We put in the work so all you have to do to have an unforgettable Austin Marathon weekend is decide what you want to do and where you want to go.
This list starts with Austin, Texas, and gets better. The 26.2 most common reasons why participants love to Run Austin are in this blog. Folks love Austin Marathon weekend and the good word is spreading!
Epic race day
The USATF-certified course will have tens of thousands of spectators! It also has 2 Energy Zones stocked with GU Energy Labs Gels and Chews, 22 aid stations with nuun and water, and 15 bands performing live music. This year’s commemorative medals and participant shirts are bringing the heat! The designs get better every year. The streets of Austin will be filled with custom UA shirts from all events before you get your one-of-a-kind medal. Don’t forget: marathoners receive special UA socks and will earn a special long-sleeve UA finisher shirt!
Our approved on-course spots
We’re not sure where to begin with this one so we’re jumping in headfirst. We’ve searched the Austin Marathon course high and low for the best Austin has to offer. Not just places to eat, but must-see murals, where to shop, best photo opportunities, and places that you have to visit. We want you to enjoy the full Austin experience!
- Miles 1-6 – coffee + breakfast + lunch + dinner + locations
- Miles 6-13 – restaurants + locations
- Miles 13-18 – restaurants + locations
- Miles 18-26.2 – restaurants + locations
- Shakeout Run – We begin Austin Marathon weekend with our friends at Fleet Feet Austin and it gets better from there. Join us Friday morning (Feb. 14th) for the official Austin Marathon Shakeout Run. Check out the details and RSVP today!
- Expo – There’s sooo much to do at the two-day Health & Fitness Expo. You can purchase your official Austin Marathon Under Armour gear. Scoop of the limited-edition UA HOVR ATX-themed Machinas. Don’t miss the newest running products. Take all the pictures with our sweet backdrops. Grab any last-minute race-day needs. And take advantage of the LOWEST PRICING for what will be our epic 30th anniversary on Feb. 14, 2021!
- Manzano Mile – The Manzano Mile presented by Dole Packaged Foods is on Saturday, Feb. 15th. More friends are joining the fun, like H-E-B (sponsor) and Marathon Kids (beneficiary). This is a family-friendly event that will feature athletes of all abilities, from elites to the youngest runners. It takes place on Riverside Drive, next to the Health & Fitness Expo.
- KXAN Simple Health 5K – The only 5K to run on historic South Congress Avenue. The KXAN Simple Health 5K benefits the legendary Paramount Theatre. The event is stroller-friendly and perfect for the entire family. Run out and back on South Congress, cross the finish line, then get the party started at the 3-block-long finish line festival.
Austin Marathon Hilton VIP Experience
Purchase the Hilton VIP Experience and you’ll have access to not one, but two VIP sections! You’ll take your race-day experience to the next level with separate gear check, catering from Tacodeli, Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails, sweet swag, and so much more!
Finish line festival
- Under Armour recovery zone – Work out your sore muscles after you cross the finish line. Recover as much as possible so you can celebrate with friends and family at the beer garden and dance to the live music.
- Oskar Blues beer garden – When you cross the finish line it’s time to celebrate. Meet your friends and family at the expanded beer garden and celebrate the day with an ice-cold Oskar Blues brew. They’re brewed right here in Austin!
- Live music – Did we mention that Austin is The Live Music Capital of the World? Not only are there 15 bands performing on course, there will be two bands at the finish line festival. Don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes!
- Food trucks – Get a taste of Austin without leaving the finish line festival! Some of Austin’s finest food trucks will serve their delicious food. Make sure you grab something to eat and get back to the celebration!
In case we didn’t mention it, Austin is The Live Music Capital of the World. It’s only fitting that we have an epic running playlist. You’ve probably seen us introduce songs to our #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist on Twitter. Make sure you check out the entire playlist on Spotify! Pro tip: follow and download the playlist before Feb. 16th so you can click play.
Share on social media
If you cross the finish line, earn your sweet medal, and celebrate at the 3-block-long finish line festival with friends and family and you don’t share it on social media did it really happen? Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so we can have fun with you! And if you’re not participating, follow along for exclusive race-day access.
So much to do, see, and eat while you’re in Austin! Where do you even begin? Listen, we provided the information, now you have to make the decisions. Share this with your friends and family when y’all start planning your Austin Marathon weekend. Have questions or want more recommendations? Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.