During the Sept. 23 Akron Marathon race, if you anticipate being on the course longer than an hour you should plan on some kind of boost to replace the energy you are burning. To that end, there will be stations offering chocolate and strawberry varieties of a gel pack called ďClif Shots.Ē However, if you have never had a Clif Shot, you need to get one now and try it during a training run to make sure they donít upset your stomach. Otherwise, donít take them. Instead, bring along something that has proven to work for you (Powerade gummies, GU, homemade powerballs) and rely on your personal supply instead. Also, know it takes about 45 minutes for an energy shot to get absorbed and be useful, so if you are going to need them, consume them earlier than later.

Thatís just one of many tips in a new video the Akron Marathon has posted of Summa medical director Dr. Nilesh Shah and marathon race director Brian Polen talking about ďrace day readiness.Ē



Here are some of the helpful or interesting tips I took away from their chat. Some of this should sound familiar to you by now, but it doesn't hurt to review it!

* The Expo the day before the race will feature 50-60 vendors selling or giving away things. Feel free to take or buy, but donít USE any new food, clothing or accessories you pick up for the next day's race. Add it during training for your next run.

* Don't over-hydrate. Your urine should look like lemonade. If it looks like apple juice, youíre not drinking enough. If itís clear, youíre drinking too much.

* Donít eat a lot of protein the night before or the morning of a race. It takes too long to digest. Shah, a runner himself, said his typical night-before fare includes a little pasta and a glass of milk. His morning regimen is usually a granola and milk, or a bagel with a little peanut butter.

* Carbo loading is something that was big in the 1970s and 80s, when people would spend a week away from carbs, then spend a week loading them back in. Adding carbs the week before a race is still a good idea, but you donít need to overdo it.

* During the race, you should have something to drink every 15 minutes or so. Depending on your pace, that might mean you need to grab a cup at every fluid station, or maybe every two or three stations. If youíre on the course for more than an hour, some of those stops should be to grab Powerade to help replace electrolytes you are losing. But again, donít overdo it. If youíre grabbing two cups at every station, you could be diluting the sodium in your body. If you're going to be on the course for less than an hour, you may not need anything.

* A lot of folks run with pain, and some of it is to be expected. You'll know it's too much - and you should consider withdrawing - if 1) Every step is so painful you canít think of anything else, or 2) Youíre changing the mechanics of how you run to try to avoid the pain.

-- Paula