88th Podcast

This episode of the Podcast It's a long road is divided into two parts. In the first part, I will give you some small and simple tips, especially for someone who is either running his first Marathon, or does not have much experience, and in the second part, where I will quote an older quote from episode number 32 entitled "Authentic Marathon of of Athens. Survival guide with guest Kostas Houvardas", where he analyzes the route of Athens in his own unique way. 



Hello my friends,

Today's episode which airs a few days before Authentic Marathon of Athens, I would split it into two parts. The first part consists of some small and simple tips from me for someone who is running either their first Marathon, or their experience is not so great and in the second part where I will quote an older quote from episode number 32, with Costas Houvardas, where he analyzes the route of Athens in his own unique way. An analysis for which many of you have confided in me that it has helped you a lot, and for that reason I am quoting it again 2 days before the Athens match. In fact, the title of that episode was "Authentic Marathon of Athens. Survival guide with guest Kostas Houvardas" and those of you who want can of course listen to it as it is. It is number 32 from October 13, 2022. There, of course, we generally talk about the entire preparation of the Marathon and we take things from the beginning since we divide the entire preparation of Authentic Marathon in training and how earlier and how we start the preparation for the match and for the formation of the last days, the nutritional preparation and especially the last week, but also on the day of the match and finally the psychological and where we should focus and what to let's be careful. Finally, we talk separately about her route and this is the part that I will quote you in my today's episode.

So the time has come, what we did we did and everything will now be seen on the grass to use football terminology. All the effort, all the preparation, all the sweat and all the hard work and sacrifices we made in the previous period will pay off in the race. Where, as I said in the previous episodes, I will be happy to see as many of you as possible at the starting line on Sunday morning, or the day before on Saturday at the race exhibition, where I will go very early to receive the my number

I will be at the exhibition throughout the day, and more specifically at its booth Sportbook and his Athletics Magazine at 117C, so stop by, let's meet, say hello and take a picture. In addition to me, there will be many other runners you know, coaches and names who have also been through this Podcast, so don't forget to stop by and get to know each other and get some running books for your free time... ..

And since I mentioned the word book, let me inform you of two things. First its people Sportbook and Athletic Magazine, they did me the honor of asking me to add an article of mine with my running history so far, to their new "Running in 2024" calendar, a useful agenda and aimed at runners with lots of interesting articles in it . It's good to have a look and anyone who wants can get it at the exhibition on Saturday, where I'll be too, or through her website sportbook.gr.

Of course, I have announced to you since the previous episode and I am very happy about it, that wherever it is, the my own book, something that I have been preparing for about 2 years now and logically sometime in the new year I will be ready to make the relevant announcements. Stay tuned here on the Podcast, but also through Social Media.

Also, one last thing about him Athens Marathon and the race itself, while I planned to do it with a goal and a good time, finally the program changed and I will run the race with even more joy and anticipation, since I accepted the invitation of our friend Gwendy, of the Italian Marathon Runner with vision loss and with her incredible unique story that she told us if you remember in the Podcast episode we did together, number 80 from September 14th. I will have the honor of being one of her two companions in this race. So together with her friend Stathis, I will also join their company and I will have the opportunity at a leisurely pace to talk with the ultramarathoner Stathis whom I already know, but also with Gwendy and anyone else we meet along the way. My joy will be even greater for those of you I see during the race that I will be with her Gwendy and Stathis. This is an unprecedented experience for me too and I can't wait to experience it!

Also as a closing this year I have put one more race, the half marathon in Xanthi, in the 9th Democritus Half Marathon of Xanthi on November 26th. With this race and without special competitive requirements, I will close this year as well, with my eyes now on the draw for Spartathlon 2024, where I first qualified in May through the Olympic Road with a time of 25 hours and 39 minutes .

Don't forget that too Spotify or the other platforms that you listen to me that in addition to following me, press the bell to get a notification as soon as the episode is on air.

So let's get down to business with today's episode, where I'll give you some tips and advice on how to run a Marathon race and in turn the Kostas Houvardas in a repeat from a previous episode, I've isolated what he says in detail about the race route and I'm sure that today's mix will help you quite a bit in achieving your goals.

I have said in previous Podcasts and I will say it once again, that all and all races require respect, let alone long distance races, where there is a serious burden on the heart and of all the organization's systems in general. I say this because in the past I used to cast spells and play it "comfortably" even at shorter distances, but because I got hurt, I learned and this is how I deal with all my matches now, since a simple pleasant day and a beautiful feeling can very easily turn into a nightmare . There is no routine for any race and especially long distances.

So if we leave out the part of the training preparation because to stand on the starting line means that you have done all the required training all the time before, then we will talk about all the rest which of course should concern us until the start of the race.

The first and foremost issue for me that should concern you has to do with the energy replenishment plan during the race, but also the carbohydrate loading before it.

But something important is to avoid them diets at the last minute because you may not have reached your desired weight goal, for example. What's done is done so move on with it carbohydrate and know that you will put on about a kilo in the last three days.

As for the so-called "hydration" before some target race, here are 2 carbohydrate models. In the first "Nordic-Classic carbohydrate protocol" we have intense interval exercise one week before the race, but also a diet low in carbohydrates (15-20%) with the aim of reducing muscle glycogen. Three days later another exhausting exercise for complete depletion of muscle glycogen and in the last three days before the race a diet rich in carbohydrates in a percentage greater than 70% of the daily intake. This particular protocol is quite difficult for athletes to follow, which is why you prefer the second carbohydrate model. In this one week before the race, the volume of training drops quite a bit, but the intensity is kept constant. Nutritionally, the first three days are normal with carbohydrates being at 50% of the daily calorie intake, while in the last 3 days this rises to 70 with 80%. Both of the aforementioned carb models are correct, however it is a personal choice of the athlete which technique to follow.

As an example, I will mention a carbohydrate model that I have of course given in the past and I personally followed it in some of my races. So three days before the race I had the following diet:

Breakfast: 6 slices of toast with turkey, lettuce and tomato
Tithe: 10 rice wafers and 2 bananas or 10 rice wafers with jam and 1 banana.
Lunch: 150 grams of chicken, 500 grams of rice or spaghetti and a salad
Afternoon: 30 grams of protein and 7 slices of bread with honey or jam.
Dinner: 10 rice wafers with honey or jam.

But in my last competitions I followed a different diet and under her instructions Maria Kanakis from the office Fitme Nutrime aiming for the whole day of receiving 8g of carbohydrate per kilogram of my body weight. 

So I moved as follows during the three-day loading:

All my breakfasts were yogurt with oats and honey. During each day I had to eat a banana, toast with tahini and honey, an orange juice, a rice pudding, a bun and a regular coke. Also the first day I could also eat a bun and 4 dates, the second a bagel and the third a bagel, a chocolate milk and a bagel. Lunch I will give you indicatively on the first day which was 120g. chicken and 200 grams of rice, while for dinner I will tell you that I had 300 grams on the first day. spaghetti with sauce and cheese. On the second and third day he again had larger amounts of carbohydrates, always accompanied by protein, but with the addition of a glass of regular coke.

On the day of the race, in fact, if possible 3 to 4 hours before, a good carbohydrate meal between 300 and 500 calories is what you need. For example rice or spaghetti but not wholemeal and also a small amount of protein. If we are talking about morning you can eat two to three slices of normal bread with honey or jam, 2 to 3 royal dates and an egg. Personally on race day I follow this and if there is a longer distance to the race then I might have an energy bar with me as well.

The timing of a regular pre-race meal is an important consideration. So as I said before if there is enough time then it is best to have this meal 3 hours before the race. This is because this is the time our body needs to fully process the food and avoid any stomach upset. Otherwise, and if the meal is too close to the race, then the blood sugar levels will rise too much, resulting in reduced performance. It reduces the body's ability to use fat as an energy source and will lead to our body depleting muscle glycogen, i.e. stored carbohydrate reserves, faster.

So the combination of rapid muscle glycogen depletion and reduced fat burning will reduce endurance and performance.

Eating a meal on the day of the race, which I mentioned before, will mainly load the liver glycogen stores, because these are the stores that were emptied during the night's sleep, and not the muscle glycogen stores, where they kept all their energy during the night. energy. So if you are in a dilemma to sleep more or wake up earlier and have your meal 3 hours before the race, then try the second one which is much more important. One hour less sleep didn't hurt anyone, while not having the right energy intake can have a bad impact on your race.

One of the main elements is hydration and energy intake during the race. You should have made your plan in advance and follow it faithfully and know whenever there are refueling stations. Even if you're not thirsty, even if you don't feel like getting gelato because you're full, you should stick to your plan. A general rule, although everything is subjective, is one gel every 45 minutes and salt-sticks one or two depending on the weather, every hour.

If you want to have a compass for the race I would suggest the following:

Water per hour approximately 600ml which means it is good to drink 200ml every 20 minutes
Take electrolytes or Salt Sticks at kilometers 5, 13, 20, 28 and 35.
Gelaki take one before you start, about 15 minutes. Later on 7.5, 15, 22.5 and 30. Generally 5 to 6 gels are what you will use and of course it also has to do with the pace you are going. Personally if I went at my normal pace in total I would have a total of 5 gels.

The use of all these nutritional supplements for the first time during the race is of course prohibited. Everything should have already been tested in one of our training sessions and designed for the race down to the last detail. So do our planning correctly for energy replenishment in combination with the liquids you will get on the route. I personally drink 500ml of water two hours before the start electrolytes and another one hour before the start. About 15 minutes before the start I get my first jelly.

It is also the plan of our competitive rhythm that must be followed reverently and without any deviation. It is very important based on the training we have done to know at what pace we will run it Marathon. This is because during the race it is difficult not to get carried away by the pace of the other runners, combined also with our own perception that we are and feel at the beginning of the race quite strong. These two factors can very easily take us out of the competitive rhythm we had in mind, resulting in particularly bad results regarding abandonment, intense dissatisfaction and suffering, medical help and of course non-finish. So save energy for the second half of the race and especially for the last 10 kilometers. In any case, the ideal is to have a negative pace, i.e. an improvement in speed over time, which essentially means the second half is faster than the first.

From the day before, we prepare the racing set that we will use in the race. The basics which are clothes, shoes and socks and the race number where we usually pin it should already be ready. Also to have arranged and set aside that pertain to our energy planning, such as gels and electrolytes. Also various accessories that we can use all be aside from the day before. Probably a case for our cell phone or headphones, charged cell phone and watch, bandana, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, belt for gels or even water. Also, in terms of equipment, all of these should have been worn by someone Long Run and be tested again. Especially with the shoes you will run in the Marathon, you should have worn them for at least 60-80 km in training sessions you, as well as socks that are prohibited from being used for the first time in the match.

A trick I do in my big races and especially in the Ultra is to change from time to time without deviating too much from my racing speed. Going at the same pace all the time tires the muscles so trying to increase or decrease the pace helps to vary the movement of the muscle which can be beneficial down the line.

Resting before a Marathon is just as important as training. The amount of training in the last few weeks culminating in the week of the race is greatly reduced and we have the opportunity to rest. Sleep is one of the most important elements in our preparation, especially in the last days. A good night's sleep will rest you mentally and physically, helping your body to absorb as much as possible the rich food you have consumed in the last few days.

Before the race I will personally use a special cream on the soles of my feet, as well as on the places where friction is created such as the nipples but you can also put it on other places that are more prone to irritation and blisters. Vaseline also works in these areas.

The morning of the race and after you've crossed the starting line, you don't need to start your warm-up too early, but 30 minutes before the start and about 10 minutes and a quarter is enough. Do a little jogging slowly picking up your pace and also some openings at the pace you will run the race. Also some dynamic stretches and you are ready and with warmed up muscles!

During the race, and especially in the first few kilometers, avoid the various zig-zags as much as you can, because they are tiring and you will generally see that you are writing unnecessary measures that you may be surprised at the end if you see, for example, that your watch has a kilometer more!

Break the route into chunks and focus there. Think for a start of reaching 10km and that it's just a daily workout, so you shouldn't be out of breath. The next goal is the half-marathon, where in fact if you are within the goals this will give you an extra psychological boost. Next goal is the 30 and then just think again that it's just a simple daily workout where you'll give it your all and no matter what happens once you get there you'll finish. Put in the back of your mind the finish, your loved ones who will be waiting for you, your friends and how proud you will feel! Visualize reaching your goal and finishing with your arms up in celebration. A finish that always and in every race I have already thought about since the night before when I go to sleep.

After the race what I always enjoy towards the evening of the same day is a cold beer and a burger or pizza, while right after the race my best is a bottle of cocoa milk! All the best for recovery!

A marathon race it requires the absolute readiness in terms of physical, mental and mental and the real race starts in the last ten kilometers since before it was just a training session.

If you're running a marathon for the first time, time doesn't matter at all, because no matter how slow you ran, you were much faster than those who didn't run. The goal, especially for first-time marathoners, is the finish and only that.


The following is the analysis of the route by Kostas Houvardas


In closing, I would like to remind you once again that on Saturday I will be at the exhibition of the race at the Sportbook stand for a long time and I will be very happy to see you all in person, while those who cannot be there we will meet the following day, on Sunday at the start of the race. I'll be hanging around from time to time so if you see me and of course you'll recognize me from the unique Podcast t-shirt, don't hesitate to come say hi.

Thank you so much for listening to me!

Until next time, Be well be healthy and always do what we love and what makes us feel good.


Podcast t-shirts can be found in the company Athlon at the following link:

T-shirt – Everything Is Road
Sleeveless Road T-Shirt – Everything is Road

T-shirts are All Over Print, you will each be able to have your own name on the back, while the material used will be the best for runners, with technology Dry-Fit and Cool Max.

Also using the code oladromos23 you have a discount 10% on all other Athlon products.
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