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Running on all cylinders at the White Rock Marathon


Posted on December 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 9 at 2:25 PM

DALLAS -- Thousands will hit the ground running Sunday morning for the Dallas White Rock Marathon. It’s a test of skill, training, and determination.

Runners have spent months building an endurance base and increasing mileage to enable them to finish the race. But even with all that preparation, there are a few simple things that can throw you for a loop on race morning.

What did you eat for breakfast?

Dr. Jake Oergel recommends eating a breakfast that ranges from 500 to 800 calories. This should be eaten at least two hours before the race to ensure that it’s fully digested and that it can provide the maximum fuel to sustain your energy for the race.

"Your meal should be high in protein and carbohydrates and low in fiber," said  Dr. Oergel, who is a long time triathlete. But he adds that it isn't necessary to go carb crazy.

“Your body already has about 90,000 calories of fat and 2,000 calories of carbs and can only handle so much,” he explained.

What is necessary? Staying hydrated!  Drink the water and Gatorade offered along the race route.

Sleeping the night before the race might be tough, so make sure you get a good night’s rest on Friday night.

Most importantly, stay on your race pace.

It’s tempting to start the race fast, but don’t be the rabbit! You should run like you train.

“Do everything race morning that you’ve done during your training program,” Dr Oergel recommends. Maintain your training pace, whether it’s 10-minute miles or 8-minute miles.

According to Hannah Abney with the White Rock Marathon, the average runner is expected to finish the full marathon between 4 to 5 hours; that’s a 9- to 11-minute mile pace! So running your first mile in 6 minutes will only make you hit the wall later in the run.

Runners taking part in the half-marathon will finish in two to three hours, on average.

Other tips:  Arrive early Sunday morning. Traffic is expected to be heavy and parking is limited. Parking lots around the American Airlines Center are expected to be full by 6:30 a.m.  race morning.

Runners can also ride the DART Green Line to Victory Park. Organizers say it’s best to arrive by 7 a.m.

There are 20,000 racers and a huge crowd of spectators is expected.