I completed the Carlsbad Marathon today with my husband, clients & friends.  I have coached clients for this annual race for more than ten years as it is a fun time of year to get away from Seattle’s winter weather.  I usually do the half marathon, but I really wanted to do a full marathon since I haven’t done one since 2010.  Running a 50k trail run or doing an Ironman triathlon is different than racing a “stand-alone” marathon.

My 3:12 “PR” is from Boston in 2008 and my other more recent marathons have been under 3:18… today was a test to see where I was in my training and an ideal time to test out a new fueling plan using UCAN drink mix (super slow starch).  After starting the race, the 3:20 pacer was running well under 7:30 m/m.  When the 3:20 pace leader was right behind the 3:15 pace leader and then I wasn’t feeling ready to “hurt” when I had 26.2 miles to run, I stuck with my usual plan of running my own race.  It has been a few years since I could pull off a 3:12-3:18 marathon.

The pace groups are ideal to run with, but if you trust their race plan and you know you can hold an average 7:38 pace.  My conclusion is that I haven’t been running enough faster “pace” work, tempo or speed.  I am an efficient fat burning engine and lots of base miles after two Ironman’s and a 50k in the past six months.

I held back my pace for the first half after I realized I would not able to hold the 3:20 pace group’s pace then picked up my pace the second half then again at the last turn around at mile 18.  I ended up with a 3:24… not my goal so I wasn’t excited until we drove back to the hotel and a friend told me I was first in my age group!  A big shocker but made the day more satisfying.  Plus my husband and I both qualified for Boston Marathon which we have skipped the past three years.  I am ready to head back to Boston in 2014 as I love that course!

PMA… hold a Positive Mental Attitude when running.  When you are not having your “ideal” day and setting a new PR, don’t get negative or depressed.  We are not going to set a PR at every race…unfortunately.

My experimenting with a new fuel plan worked well.  It included no “carbo loading” the day before or eating bread and pasta.  The UCAN worked pre-race as well as during the race, plus my hammer pills.  I love not eating gels and drinking the other sugary “sport drinks”.   We used UCAN protein drink for post-race recovery… I gave away the finish line “fuel bag” of processed foods and sugar!

My lessons learned for my next marathon…

1.            Do more “pace” work.

2.            Race more 8k-10k-15k races.

3.            Work on lowering my half marathon PR.

4.            Run my own race with the “Pace leaders” in sight (in between 3:15 and 3:20 groups)

5.            Breakfast of UCAN plain, macadamia nuts and “bullet proof coffee” worked great.

I hope to coach more athletes in the future and help them become metabolic efficient athletes.  It is challenging to watch runners eating gels at mile three of a marathon… I want to coach athletes how to train, fuel and perform their best!  www.fitnessforwardstudio.com . Click on the coaching page for details.  Also listen to our new podcast.  Host Jon Smith and co-host Debbie Potts discuss metabolic efficiency for athletes.  Look for Fuel.Fat.Fast.  Metabolic Efficiency for athletes.

Debbie Potts, Fitness Forward Studio


Integrating Nutrition & Exercise for Performance

Personal Training-Metabolic Training-Nutrition-Coaching

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