UPMC hosted a Google+ Hangout on marathon nutrition. Our list of panelists included Leslie Bonci, R.D., director of sports nutrition, UPMC Sports Medicine, Mandy Budzowski, health coach supervisor, UPMC Health Plan Jon Kissel, Development Manager, Dick\u2019s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Nick Fischer, R.D., founder, Fischer Nutrition Marlesa Adams, blogger, Mar on the Run Jenna Hatfield, blogger, Stop, Drop & Blog\nLeslie: Hi, everybody. Welcome to our Google Hangout today. And we are going to be talking performance eating for the Pittsburgh Marathon. My name is Leslie Bonci. I am the Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I have done seven marathons, talk about eating for fueling all the time and I\u2019m the co-author of \u201cRun Your Butt Off.\u201d\nMandy: Hi, good afternoon. My name is Mandy Budzowski from UPMC Health Plan and I oversee our on-site health coaching team, as well as one of the lead experts for our UPMC \u201cMyHealth Matters\u201d blog. I\u2019ve done Ironman and several marathons and adventure races and triathlons all over the country. Great to be here and welcome.\nLeslie: It\u2019s great to have you here, Mandy. And let\u2019s introduce the rest of our panel. Jenna, how about if you start?\nJenna: Hi, I\u2019m Jenna Hatfield. I am editor by day, a blogger by night and a runner whenever it fits. I ran two half-marathons last year after a back injury in 2010 sidelined me. And the Pittsburgh Marathon next week will be my first full marathon. It\u2019s my hometown and I\u2019m so excited to run at home.\nJon: I\u2019m Jon Kissel, Development Manager at the Dick\u2019s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Head coach of the Steel City Roadrunners. And I\u2019ve run about 35 marathons and ultras.\nLeslie: Great to have you with us. Mar?\nMar: Hi. I\u2019m Marlesa Adams. I go by \u201cMar.\u201d So, I\u2019m a blogger. I blog at \u201cMar on the Run.\u201d I\u2019m also from the city of Pittsburgh. And next weekend\u2019s Pittsburgh Half will be third half marathon, 15th half marathon overall and third time running Pittsburgh. So, very happy to be here.\nLeslie: Fantastic. And Nick?\nNick: I\u2019m Nick Fisher. I own Fisher Nutrition, LLC and I\u2019m also the Pittsburgh City Marathon in-house dietitian and I dietitian the Steel City Roadrunners. I raced bikes for Freddie Fu and have done many marathon distance and half-marathon distance trail runs.\nLeslie: Well, welcome to have everybody here today. And I\u2019m going to throw out a question to get everybody started. Because we all run, we all know what it\u2019s like to try and do this hand to mouth while you\u2019re doing the other thing simultaneously. And I\u2019m going to ask everybody to just give me what you think has been the toughest thing to do nutritionally?\nAnd I\u2019ll start. When I first started doing marathons, one of the things is our muscles get trained, but our GI tract, not always so happy. And I became the expert on where every gas station bathroom was in the city of Pittsburgh was during all that training. Mandy, how about you?\nMandy: I would say that the most challenging for myself in the past has been finding what works well with my GI tract and from there, finding ways to keep it interesting and continuing to always mix that option up so that I\u2019m not fueling with the same things each time.\nLeslie: And it\u2019s a trial and error, right?\nMandy: It is. It\u2019s very much trial and error.\nLeslie: Absolutely. Jenna, how about you?\nJenna: The hardest for me was both with my previous spring half marathon and then the winter training for this spring marathon. The whole winter season, flu bugs, everything that came through where I just didn\u2019t want to and\/or couldn\u2019t eat. And I was under-fueled on a number of longer runs and just trying to fight all that.\nSo, I think I\u2019m where I need to be. I\u2019m not 100 percent sure yet with the pre-race fueling.\nLeslie: And you know what, Jenna? One of the things that with training, that a lot of people listening today might hear, is that you push, push, push your body. And sometimes, the end of that is your immune system becomes a little fatigued.\nAnd so, this really is the key time in the next couple of weeks of doing what you need to do of really making sure that we are optimally prepared, a lot of that hand to mouth exercise.\nJon, I know you just finished a marathon. Not necessarily this one, but what has been issues for you, nutritionally, running?\nJon: The timing of my meals and the few days leading up to the race and then on race morning. Making sure I\u2019m eating my dinner early enough the day before. I don\u2019t want a heavy, late meal the night before a race. Making sure I\u2019m eating my breakfast early enough.\nI\u2019m hydrating early enough so that I\u2019m not 20 minutes from the start, needing to use the port-a-johns. Something I think I finally figured out based on what works for my body.\nLeslie: And that\u2019s it? Trial and error. And we always talk about, it\u2019s carbo-load, not carbo explode. There\u2019s a huge difference between the two. Mar, how about you?\nMar: I would say just timing, again. Timing of my meals and figuring out what works. The thing about running is there\u2019s a lot of failure involved. You put one foot in front of the other, but there\u2019s so much that goes with it. And you just don\u2019t know until you try it and you have to see what works for your own body.\nLeslie: Absolutely. And that\u2019s the beauty of starting to train in January for a May marathon is you get a lot of time to figure out what\u2019s good, what\u2019s not. And sometimes, it\u2019s reinventing the wheel, start again. Nick?\nNick: I would say my biggest hurdle has been the difference between bike fuel and running fuel. What can I eat when I run versus when I ride. The difference is in heat for each, how different foods sit differently with me. So, trial and error and learning what works for me, but maybe not for my teammates.\nLeslie: There we go. And what worked for you is going to be different than what works for everybody else today and two of us sitting here. And I think Mandy would probably think different. Swim, bike, run. You hope to carry a whole buffet along with you.\nMandy: You do.\nLeslie: All right. So, I know there were some things that people were asking about, specifically and questions that come up regularly and having done Pittsburgh a lot. I am a native Pittsburgher, bleed black and gold, I do.\nBut one of the things about Pittsburgh is that we\u2019re incredibly friendly in the city. But we offer a lot of things along the course. So, I\u2019m just going to put out my general warning guidelines in when you see pierogies at mile 22, it\u2019s probably not a good idea if you are running. Beer, I don\u2019t think so. Wait until you\u2019re done.\nAnd really try and stick to the aid station of where things are being offered. Even though that banana might look awfully tempting. If you didn\u2019t package, this is not the time to be experimenting with anything new. Mandy, what do you think about that?\nMandy: I agree. I mean, there\u2019s a lot of options out there on the course, but you really have to be careful on race days, not some time to try something new. You have to do what you practice so that you can finish strong.\n\n Leslie: A lot of people mentioned timing as being the issue here. When we look at what timing is for running a marathon, it really is three days ahead of time. That\u2019s when you start to do it. We\u2019re not even talking about a night before, so you sit down to a trough of pasta.\nIf you start three days out, what happens is your body is able to hold more glycogen in the liver and in the muscle and you also hold more liquid. So, you are optimally fueled and hydrated.\nSo, let\u2019s talk about that specifically. What does that mean in terms of how much? It is a tennis ball-sized amount more at each meal. Not a five-pound box of cereal. Not a 5-quart bowl of pasta, not a gallon of juice. It\u2019s a little bit more as part of every meal, of the foods you\u2019re used to eating.\nBecause if you do that, then you\u2019re not going to be too comfortable the night before. You sleep well, but you also have the peace of mind of knowing that now, your body is optimally fueled.\nMandy: Agreed. And carbo-loading is not meant to make you faster. It\u2019s meant to fuel you so that you can do what you\u2019ve done in training and perform optimally.\nLeslie: And with that being said, so many people now will say \u201cCarbs are bad. And we shouldn\u2019t.\u201d And some of you might have had heard that before, believed it. And I will tell you, one of the beauties about running, in all the years on this earth that people have been running, the fuel source for running hasn\u2019t changed, it\u2019s carbohydrates. That\u2019s important.\nSo, this is not the time to try the pork chop diet. This is not the time to be doing coconut oil. This is the to be doing the carbohydrates that you eat in order to fuel your body. If you want to make changes to your weight, you do that. After my fourth, not now.\nMandy: And Leslie, let me ask you something. Is it true that you actually gain a little bit of weight? Because you\u2019re retaining more water when you\u2019re carb-loading?\nLeslie: And this is one of the things that people will say, the old way. The question is the old way is you run your butt off, you exhaust every possible cell. And then, you restrict your carbohydrates. So, your body is literally on empty.\nSo, then what happened. People inhaled those carbohydrates and you feel like a blimp. Because you\u2019re holding more water and people kind of waddle to the start line, sloshing, it\u2019s like a duck.\nMandy: It\u2019s uncomfortable.\nLeslie: Uncomfortable. But if people say \u201cI\u2019m assessing about my weight,\u201d and I\u2019ve had clients who have said that. \u201cI\u2019ve got to be a race weight.\u201d If you have carbo-loaded the right way, you\u2019re going to be probably a little heavier. You will use it over the course of the run. It\u2019s better that way than starting too light. If you start too light, then you\u2019re playing catch up. Bad idea.\nAnybody experience any of that kind of thing with fatigue when you\u2019ve been out there on a course?\nJon: Well, all I was going to say was don\u2019t bother weighing yourself on race week. Nothing good comes out of that because you should put on a couple pounds if you\u2019re fueling right. I\u2019d rather get to the start line a little heavier and finish fast, but also having lost that water weight during the race.\nLeslie: Absolutely. Anybody? Any issues with fatigue during your training runs or any races you\u2019ve done previously?\nMar: Not often, but I certainly have felt some fatigue. And it\u2019s usually because I haven\u2019t fueled properly beforehand. Either not drinking enough water, not having water with me as I run. Thinking \u201cOh, yeah. I can run those nine miles\u201d without anything attached.\nAnd so, I think it\u2019s important to bring things with you and to know what you need and also to know where there are gas stations or convenience stores along the way, so, if you don\u2019t have something you can stop by and just pick something up. That has happened to me before.\nLeslie: Jenna, how about you?\nJenna: On my 16-mile run, I had to call my husband and say \u201cI need you to meet me in 15 minutes with more water.\u201d It was hotter and more sunny than had been forecast for that day. And I was fueled fine. But the sun and everything, it just didn\u2019t work out perfectly.\nSo, he met me and gave me more water and off I went for the rest of it. So, I live in a rural area, so there\u2019s no convenience store. There\u2019s just a call to the husband and he comes.\nLeslie: Thank goodness he answers. Hey, Nick, how about you? Now, you\u2019re a dietitian, so you know all the answers to this. Surely, this has never been an issue for you?\nNick: I\u2018m not even going to try to lie and say it hasn\u2019t been. It certainly has. There\u2019s a lot of experience in age and learning. I know one of the biggest errors I see on the group rides I lead and the group runs I lead, my area. These are people worrying about race weight. Trying to think of their runs as away to quickly lose water weight or the weekend party weight they put on.\nAnd then, coming in with too little fuel or food and not bring any extra. And then, 10, 12 miles in, blowing up, hitting the wall and they don\u2019t have anything else with them to compensate. I always like to tell people \u201cCome prepared for the anticipation of needing it, even if you don\u2019t think you will, have a little extra.\u201d Because you never know when you might need it.\nLeslie: Absolutely. And I know we have a question from Christine wanting some advice on what to eat and when to prevent that post-run digestive issue. And Christine, here are my three favorite words, \u201cLess is more.\u201d\nOften times, people will say \u201cI\u2019ve got to be prepared. I need my goos and my gels and my chomps and my sport drink and my everything.\u201d And that\u2019s usually a recipe for disaster because it\u2019s too much.\nAnd the more that you put in, the more likely you\u2019re going to be getting rid of it and become directionally challenged and not a good way. So, it\u2019s really a good idea to keep it to a minimum.\nWe usually talk about, for most people who are going to be doing the race, it\u2019s going to be about 30 grams of carbohydrate per hour after the first hour. Now, what does that look like?\nIf you had about 2 cups of sports drink, that\u2019s going to be 30. If you use something like a goo, that\u2019s about 30. If you use a couple of the chews, that\u2019s about 30. So, it\u2019s either\/or.\nIf you are picking the goos or the chews or the chomps, not going to drink a sports drink. If you have that sports drink, then don\u2019t do that. You have the goos with water. That\u2019s really the best thing to do.\nBut we start that after the first hour. Hour number one, water alone is fine. You definitely have to keep the hydration. But too much carbohydrate means too much running and not necessarily on the course. We don\u2019t mind that.\nMandy: And luckily on the course, they do offer, around mile 10, if you forget it or you lose it, you always have the option that if you\u2019ve tried that brand or that you know that it\u2019s safe, you can always pick it up there.\nLeslie: And even there, some of you might be going to the expo the day before and there\u2019s all these cool things. Wait until after the marathon to try them. Do not use those on race day. No new foods, no new goos, no new nothing until you\u2019re done. Because you don\u2019t want to have any chance of upset.\nAnd to Jenna\u2019s point, it\u2019s Pittsburgh. It\u2019s 70 degrees on Monday, it\u2019s ready to snow today. Who knows what the weather is going to be like on May the 4th. And so, you\u2019ve got to be prepared. And the best way of being prepared is the variables you control.\nWhat is that? What you\u2019ve trained with. And it\u2019s going to be warmer, then you\u2019re going to drink a little bit more the day before and make sure you are on top of it on race day.\nMandy: Absolutely. I agree.\nLeslie: All right. And somebody had also asked about carb depletion. Again, we don\u2019t want to do that. What really is the best thing to do is whatever you\u2019re doing currently. So, now, today is April the 23rd. Until May the 4th, you don\u2019t really want to change it.\nUnless you\u2019re doing paleo or some variation on a low carb, then shame on you, stop it. And you\u2019ve got to start eating some carbohydrates as part of every single meal, that\u2019s important. But in the three days prior, that\u2019s when you just add a little bit more in.\nSo, we\u2019re really not depletion. We are optimizing. That\u2019s the focus. Because you will hold more liquid at the same time.\nAnd then, it\u2019s up to you. What I am not saying, what Leslie did not just say is have a bag of a jelly beans. No, you don\u2019t have to do that. It\u2019s a little bit more tennis ball-sized as part of every meal.\nMandy: And would you say eating good nutrition? Something that\u2019s valuable for your body. So, avoiding some of those highly-processed foods and\u2026\nLeslie: But the reality is that when we\u2019re looking at running and what\u2019s available as an energy source, some of those things that are easier to digest and better during that time.\nBut the other side of that is if somebody said \u201cOkay, let me just load upon bran cereal.\u201d I don\u2019t think so. It\u2019s just not good for the digestive tract. It\u2019s that balance of both is what we want.\nMandy: Perfect.\nLeslie: Does anybody else want to weigh in on those types of things on what you\u2019ve done or maybe what you think you\u2019re going to do? How about that? What\u2019s everybody going to do for their meal the night before? Mandy, how about you?\nMandy: I will have a typical pre-race meal. It\u2019s typically a smaller dinner and then, I wake up around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. race day. I have a breakfast so that I can eat a snack before I leave the house.\nAnd then, I use my fuel on the course and I\u2019m typically pretty good. Now, it\u2019s taken a while for me to figure that out. So, I know that\u2019s what works well for me. But I skip the pasta dinners and the really big\u2026my family always says \u201cLet\u2019s go out to Olive Garden and chow down on pasta.\u201d But I\u2019ve learned that that just doesn\u2019t work well for me.\nLeslie: And that\u2019s exactly right. And suddenly, you\u2019re not in control of how it\u2019s made. And then, you\u2019re trying to sleep there, it\u2019s like pasta shooting out of your nostrils at that point in time. It\u2019s just not comfortable. Jenna, how about you? What are you going to do? The night before, morning of?\nJenna: I learned if I\u2019m eating pasta, I can\u2019t have any tomato sauce or I have the worst heartburn ever the next morning as I\u2019m trying to run. So, I will have pasta, but probably just with a little bit of cheese and butter. Real butter, because I love real butter and it\u2019s so awesome.\nAnd then, I also wake up early and I just have a normal kind of breakfast. I am, because I have been practicing with it, probably going to have a peanut butter sandwich in my fuel belt to munch on somewhere in the awful miles because I found that that works for me.\nLeslie: And that\u2019s great and you\u2019ve trained with it. And one of the things about peanut butter\u2013I love it, it\u2019s my favorite food. But it definitely makes you drink more because otherwise \u201cOh, look. My jaw is shut and I cannot even waive \u2018hi\u2019 to the crowd because the peanut butter is sticking to the roof of my mouth.\u201d Mar, how about you?\nMar: Usually, I try to eat dinner fairly early the night before. So, I always eat by 5:00. I typically will have a small bowl of pasta. I\u2019m not a big sauce person anyway, but I might have just a little bit of sauce or I\u2019ll have it with butter and cheese, same as Jenna.\nBut whatever it is, it\u2019s always very light. I don\u2019t go to the Olive Garden or Pizza Hut or anything like that. And then, sometimes, I will have a beer because beer is carbs.\nBut usually, I\u2019m almost always done eating by about 5:00 in the evening. And then race morning, I\u2019m not a huge eater in the morning but I will have that cup of coffee. And I will have either half a bagel or maybe a piece of bread with some peanut butter on it. And that usually gets me going for the race.\nLeslie: You know what? I love what you just said. You trained with it, it worked for you. And even the alcohol thing\u2026if it\u2019s one. One is okay, it just kind of settles you down and helps you to relax. And as long as you were optimally hydrated, then that is not going to be a problem.\nI know that there are going to be some people crossing that finish line and saying right when they\u2019re done is saying \u201cBeer, champagne, martinis, all of the above.\u201d And you really do have to replace the fluids first first before you drink. Even though it is a carb, it\u2019s a minimal one. It actually depletes carbohydrate. It prevents the body from restoring carbohydrates as quickly as possible. So, we don\u2019t really count it in the same category as other carbohydrates.\nAnd Nick, what about you?\nNick: The night before, I have a normal dinner I normally would have. Sandwich with some soup, fluids and sodium, that way, I make sure I\u2019m getting them in. But nothing super heavy. Wake up early. Have another normal breakfast I\u2019d normally have. Nothing ever too high in fiber and protein and fat. Keeping them easy to digest.\nThen before the either bike race or run, another something small and consistently fuel and to hydrate throughout. Sticking with things that I know work for myself. I have my list of five things before and five things for after a workout that I always stick to.\nAnd even with the people I work with, every time we develop our five and five menu that they always have on hand. That just seems to work the best to just eliminate the guessing game.\nLeslie: I love that. And the more we can control, the better. And a lot of you have said that pasta is something that you enjoy. However, there are people out there who just really don\u2019t like pasta. And they\u2019re looking for some other alternative.\nAnd so, it could be rice. Some people do a risotto, some people do quinoa. Some people want to do bread. Some people will do a potato, not a fried one, but a baked potato can be a very comforting food.\nSo, it\u2019s what you like and how much. We\u2019re probably talking about like a fist-sized amount. So, I thought a potato looked like a canoe. That\u2019s a relatively small one that would work well.\nNick: I\u2019ll eat potatoes while I ride and run. They work so well, they sit easy. You can put a little bit of salt on it if you want. It\u2019s just a really cheap, inexpensive fuel source.\nLeslie: It\u2019s a great fuel source and it\u2019s one of the only food toys, it\u2019s Mr.Potato Head. It\u2019s a carb-toon. I love it, I just love it.\nSo, let\u2019s talk a little bit about some of the beverages that are out there that people are consuming. We mentioned alcohol, somewhat, and really making sure that people get enough liquid is important. And using these next two weeks to optimize that hydration so you\u2019re prepared no matter what the weather\u2019s like.\nSo, generally, what we say is for women, it is baseline 90 ounces of fluid a day, which is roughly about four and a half water bottles, that amount. For men it is 125 ounces or basically six water bottles. And those of you who eat more fruits and vegetables, you don\u2019t need as much. But that\u2019s baseline.\nThen, ideally, it\u2019s about 20 ounces, so like this, a standard size water bottle an hour before you run. So, when Mandy said she\u2019s going to be up at 3:00 or 4:00, this is not \u201cThe gun is going off at 8:00.\u201d We\u2019re not talking about drinking at 7:55. You really have to do it ahead of time so you have a chance to void. Get looking at urine.\nBut you know what? Dark-colored a little is not a good thing. Lemonade-colored and lots, that\u2019s what we\u2019re looking for. The only way to do that is you\u2019ve got to get the fluid in. Mandy, what about you? What do you have to say about fluids?\nMandy: I agree. I have my water bottles. Everyone saw me bring it in here. And I\u2019m a big drinker of water all the time. But I also like to have fruit smoothies and so, I get a lot of water in that way. I eat fresh fruit for snacks.\nBut I agree. If I wake up in the morning and it\u2019s a little bit and it\u2019s dark and I know I\u2019m in trouble, I start immediately hydrating. Sometimes, that\u2019s happened. Even if you hydrate completely right, you can still end up\u2026 in the morning and looking and then, that\u2019s whenever you can really plan and know \u201cOkay. I really need to make sure I get this in now.\u201d\nLeslie: And the reality is that a lot of you who are watching this right now, you may not sleep well the night before because you\u2019re nervous, especially if it\u2019s the first time. So, you\u2019re tossing and turning and sometimes you\u2019re sweating and all that stuff goes on. So, you may be losing a little bit more fluid than you think that you are.\nI\u2019m not anticipating that that will happen to you, but you\u2019ve got to be prepared. And that\u2019s why really getting comfortable with hydration is critically important.\nAnybody want to chime in on that? A little bit on the liquids and what they\u2019ve done?\nMar: I agree. My biggest beverage is water, anyway. I gave up soda years ago. If I do anything outside of water, it\u2019s usually tea on a regular basis. But I tend to focus on\u2026 and I alternate between water and some sort of electrolyte drink at least three or four days before. So, probably next Wednesday, I\u2019ll start focusing on making sure I\u2019m additionally hydrated. But I\u2019m a water gal.\nNick: Yeah. I think people really need to look at, like you were saying, Leslie, what the color of their urine is. There are so many numbers telling us to drink \u201cX\u201d amount and it\u2019s such a broad number sometimes. Really paying attention to what you\u2019re doing in the morning and seeing where you stand in relationship to hydration and knowing what you need to do for yourself is key.\nYou have a water bottle with you there. Everybody should always have access to water. Make it easier on yourself to hydrate. Don\u2019t make it complicated.\nLeslie: Absolutely. Great advice. And two questions that came in, one of them was about \u201cIf you\u2019re doing the half marathon, would an energy gel be helpful\u201d? It probably depends upon how quick you\u2019re going to do it.\nNow, the winner of Boston just did it in 2:08. So, he wouldn\u2019t probably have needed to that at a half because he was running a blistering pace.\nIf you don\u2019t think you\u2019re going to be doing a four or five-minute mile, chances are, if you\u2019re going to be out there longer than an hour, it might be two hours, so in that second hour, if you do the energy gel, have it with water. It\u2019s absolutely fine to do that. You don\u2019t need anything more than that.\nAnd the other question was about protein during. Now, I think when you were on the bike for extended periods of time, it\u2019s a little different. When you\u2019re doing and you\u2019re running, the problem is is it\u2019s just jostling up and down. Protein takes longer to leave the stomach. Of really needing to do that.\nThe goal is what you put in is to empty quicker, not to stay in there for a longer period of time. I\u2019m not a big advocate of the need for protein during a run. When we\u2019re looking at longer distance, ultras and we\u2019re looking at triathlons, yes. But not for the run.\nMandy: I agree. I feel very differently on my bike than I do on my run. And just like you said, especially some foods just don\u2019t sit as well. And like you said, the sloshing. And also, I want something that\u2019s readily available so I can get the energy now.\nIf I\u2019m on my bike for six hours, it doesn\u2019t matter. I have six hours I\u2019m sitting on the bike. So, it\u2019s a little bit different for the run and the bike or even your swim.\nLeslie: And because we don\u2019t know what the weather will be like, everybody, if it\u2019s a really hot day and you\u2019re doing a lot of mouth breathing. If some of those items that are high-protein like the bars, it\u2019s like \u201cOh, it\u2019s back in my esophagus. I know it\u2019s not going anywhere.\u201d\nSo, this is the challenge and all of this of really waiting\u2026maybe you\u2019ll do that before in your early-morning breakfast or maybe you\u2019ll do it when you\u2019re done. But along the way, we want the quick empty. That\u2019s really the goal.\nSo, I would like everybody to just kind of chime in, maybe your final thoughts here on what you\u2019ve learned over the course of your fueling and what you expect to do for this race coming up and any little tip you might want to offer to our viewers.\nSo, let\u2019s start with Jon. How about you?\nJon: Well, I always try to make sure I plan ahead. I know what kind of sports drink is going to be served on the course. I like to know what kind of gels they\u2019re offering.\nPersonally, for the most part, I\u2019ve decided to stick to just gels because I think there\u2019s a lot less guesswork. You can measure exactly how many calories you\u2019re taking in, whereas you grab a Gatorade cup, it might be half-full, it might be overly diluted. You just never know.\nThat\u2019s basically\u2026the advice I\u2019d give is to plan ahead and try to find a best way to measure how much you\u2019re taking in and eliminate as much guesswork as possible.\nLeslie: Perfect. Jenna, how about you?\nJenna: I am no good, can\u2019t do it, I will die. So, I am huge on sports beans and all of the water ever. I save my sports drink for after, when I finish. It\u2019s just how my body works. So, it\u2019s me and water and away we go.\nLeslie: Awesome. And Mar, how about you?\nMar: I tend to stop at every aid station. And I start with water and I do every other station for a sports drink, depending on the weather. So, sometimes, I will adjust. If it\u2019s warmer, then I tend to drink more water. Though I do make sure I stop and do the sports drink.\nBut I also carry gummi bears with me. Those are my favorite, those are my thing. Usually around mile 5 or 6, I say \u201cOkay.\u201d But again, you adjust as you get on the course and you see how the weather is and how you\u2019re feeling. Sometimes you need more, sometimes you need less. So, that\u2019s my general plan.\nLeslie: Nick.\nNick: My biggest piece of advice to people is to practice. Even if you have an hour and 15-minute run, treating it like you are doing the half marathon. And practice getting fluids in at 30 minutes, if that\u2019s your plan. Practice a goo and practice Gatorade or power.\nPretend like you\u2019re in the real thing and get there and be in the zone. See how you react. You have to mimic it before you get there. You don\u2019t want to walk into a fight blind.\nLeslie: Mandy, how about you?\nMandy: My final advice would be to stick with the plan that you\u2019ve been practicing with. It\u2019s the one that\u2019s probably going to work best for you. I am a water and a goo kind of girl. I know that that works.\nAnd if you haven\u2019t tried yet, you still have some time. So, find something that works so that you\u2019re not trying anything new on race day and potentially having some GI issues.\nLeslie: And I think most importantly, everybody, in these next couple weeks coming up, is really fine-tuning that technique for your fueling and your hydration. If you eat well, you\u2019ll race better.\nEverybody have a wonderful race and thank you all for being part of our marathon nutrition Google chat today.\nMar: Thank you.\nNick: Not a problem.\nJon: Great being here.