2016 Sydney Marathon

Sunday 18/09/16 Race Report – Sydney Marathon 2016
#marathon19 done and dusted.
4 weeks ago I ran the Mudgee Marathon in not too shabby a time of 4:11:02. 3 weeks before that I ran the M7 Marathon in 4:28:48. (In April I ran the Canberra marathon in 4:18:18 and in February I ran the Orange marathon in 4:26:17).
Today I ran the Sydney Marathon in the official time of 3:57:36. Just 1 minute 32 seconds shy of my PB. What a difference 7 weeks and 3 marathons can make. Highly recommended. ?
It was a classic morning for a romp through the Sydney streets. Overcast with a hint of ☔️ and a promised faster and flatter course. And by all accounts it was just that.

I had it in my head that I would sit on a 5:40 pace with the hope of cracking a sub 4 time but my experiences this year didn’t really support that plan. Still I was determined to have a crack. Strangely enough, I managed to keep at and better that pace. Several times I was running way too fast and pulled back on the throttle but I let it slide on the downhills. The more I did the more I kept doing, so I continued along on my merry way. I have to attribute this new found energy to my nutrition plan. Most of you would know that for the past 18 months I had reduced my carb intake to around 60 grams per day with the aim of becoming fat adapted and therefore being able to run much further metabolising fat rather than carbs. Now I think that to a degree I have gained some fat adaptation but certainly not to the extent of running an entire marathon on fat only. And other than today’s run and Mudgee before it, I hit the wall in the late 20’s and early 30’s. As soon as I reintroduced carb loading, first at Mudgee and then today, I didn’t bonk and ran both marathons non stop right through to the bitter end. I guess you have to try things out for yourself, regardless of what Mr Google throws at you.
So things were going quite well up until 30 when I started to tire. My plan was to take up to 60 grams of carbs per hour as I was short that much after being fully carb loaded – the body can process no more than 60 grams per hour anyway. So I took 1 x SIS gel on the hour containing 22grams of carbs and tried to make up the rest with the ISO WHEY sports drink – I think it only contained electrolytes and was pretty crappy quite frankly. But regardless, I tried to take about 4 cups per hour. I was probably short on carbs per hour but can’t say whether that affected my run – I’ll need to test that out next race.
When I finally got to the pointy end of the stick, running through Darling Harbourand further, I had moments where I started to slow down but my determination to stick to a 5:40 pace and a sub 4, kept me going. My Fenix 3 Garmin kept gaining metres and I found that I was 350 meters further than the official km marks. This caused a problem for me as I had downloaded an app on my ⌚️ which predicted my finishing marathon time in real time and it had me coming in at 3:52, well inside my PB. So I figured that if I kept going at my 5:40 pace, I’d surely beat my PB. Was I wrong. By km 40 I was about a km ahead of the official km markers so I just ran at or less than 5:40 pace. By this time Gary was coming into view. At the time I wasn’t sure whether he had slowed down or I had sped up but I was feeling knackered. Still with only a couple of km’s to go, I increased my pace. Soon enough I was running alongside him and then past. I was after all, trying to beat my PB and anyway he would reach 25 marathons before me as this was his 24th and mine was my 19th. Luckily we’re not competitive. So I kept pushing along and soon enough I was crossing the finish line at the steps of the Opera House.
My hips, hip flexors, quads and hammy’s were tight but nothing like the severity I experienced in the M7 Marathon. Go figure. I was knackered but all in all a very satisfying ?? and my 2nd sub 4 marathon.
How good is that!?

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