Road to Venicemarathon 42K
The 15-week training program 'Road to 37^ Wizz Air Venicemarathon 42K' starts on 10 July, conceived by the organizers of the Venice Marathon in collaboration with the former middle-distance blue Andrea Giocondi and dedicated to all those who have run at least one 10K and aspire to cross the finish line of one of the most fascinating 42K in the world.
Proaction Tips - Tip 6 | HOW TO EAT WELL BEFORE A RACE
Preparing for a marathon should include strategies for maximizing muscle glycogen stores. During this type of physical effort, glycogen can become a limiting factor that compromises performance and increases the risk of injury.
It's important to fully replenish your glycogen stores the day before your event, especially if you do light training that minimizes the use of these carbohydrate stores. Therefore, the day before the marathon, it’s advisable to slightly increase your carbohydrate intake compared to normal days. However, it’s important to be careful not to consider this as an occasion to consume unhealthy foods, as this could compromise digestion and negatively affect sleep at night.
It’s advisable not to have dinner too late to allow the body to properly digest the meal and get restful sleep. Furthermore, the dinner before the event should avoid foods that require a long digestion, such as fried foods, elaborate pizzas, excessively seasoned or preserved foods. Certain foods, such as peppers, cabbage and garlic, may cause problems for some people. Finally, a low-fiber diet can help reduce the risk of intestinal discomfort during the race.
Breakfast before the event is used to replenish glycogen stores after overnight fasting. Overnight, liver glycogen can be reduced by up to 80%. The choice of food is therefore fundamental. The recommended intake of carbohydrates in the pre-competition meal ranges from 1 to 4 g/kg, depending on the duration of the event and the individual tolerance to carbohydrates, as well as the time available.
If you have 4 to 6 hours, you can focus on getting the upper 3 to 4 g/kg of carbohydrates. If you only have 1 to 2 hours, you should aim for the lower limit of 1-2 g/kg. The meal consumed at least 3 hours before the competition should include an adequate amount of carbohydrates, avoiding an excessive presence of fibres, a lean protein source and a minimum amount of fat.
When you're short on time or want to further supplement your glycogen stores, your best bet is fast-absorbing carbohydrates that don't cause digestive problems, such as gels or energy bars. For example, it might be helpful to consume an energy gel while warming up or a fruit bar half an hour before the race.
In the same way as supplementation, which should be tested during training and never used for the first time in competition, the choice of foods should also be based on known foods that have already been repeatedly tested, both for breakfast before the event and for previous day.
Proaction Tips - Tip 5 | How to Select the Optimal Supplements for a Marathon
Supplementing during a marathon, a physically and mentally demanding event, is crucial to provide athletes with the necessary support to complete the race without encountering an energy crisis.
To ensure adequate preparation, it is essential to consume supplements regularly during the training period and test their effects during workouts. This helps in identifying any gastrointestinal discomfort and understanding the ideal quantities and timing of intake to avoid disturbances on race day.
Around the thirtieth kilometer, athletes may face the dreaded "marathon wall crisis," characterized by depleted glycogen stores and impaired movement and cognitive function.
To prevent this situation, consistent consumption of carbohydrates at regular intervals is vital. Carbohydrate supplements are available in three main forms: gels, energy bars, or powders like carbosprint ultrarace, fruit bars, or maltodex. To avoid gastrointestinal issues, it's recommended not to exceed 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Testing carbohydrate intake during workouts is essential, as individual tolerances may vary. Regular consumption during training helps the body adapt to and handle larger quantities.
Before the competition, taking branched-chain amino acids in the 2:1:1 formulation can delay the sensation of central fatigue and provide energy when energy levels are low. These amino acids are also present in energy gels like Carbosprint BCAA, which can be used during the race to delay fatigue.
Caffeine is a well-researched supplement with strong evidence supporting its effectiveness. It acts as a stimulant, reducing the perception of physical effort and enabling athletes to maintain higher exercise intensity for longer. Caffeine can be consumed before exercise, such as through the Pre Start Shot, or during the activity, combined with a gel like carbosprint extreme, to counteract moments of particular fatigue.
For the final kilometers of the marathon, the Carbosprint Volata gel, containing rapidly absorbed sugars, is an ideal choice to maintain performance.
Around the halfway point of the race, if hunger arises, energy bars like Fruit Bar or Jam Bar can be consumed. These bars provide not only carbohydrates but also a sense of satiety.
For those taking longer than 2.5-3 hours to complete the marathon, it is advisable to take supplements containing mineral salts such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium along with water during the race. Products like Mineral Plus, which include both salts and carbohydrates, can be used. It's important to consider the amount of carbohydrates obtained from this supplementation per hour to avoid intestinal discomfort.
In conclusion, several supplement options are available to counteract fatigue and maintain optimal energy levels during a marathon. Always remember to test supplements during training and avoid using them for the first time on race day.
Proaction Tips - Tip 4 | How to improve immune system health during trainings
The health of the immune system is crucial for preventing diseases that can disrupt training sessions and compromise participation in competitions. During the preparation phase for a marathon, the risk of infections may increase due to factors such as low energy availability from incorrect nutrition, intensified training load, poor sleep quality, and high levels of stress.
To maintain an efficient immune system during marathon preparation, it is essential to consume a varied diet that provides the right amount of energy. Since marathon preparation requires higher caloric consumption, it is important to ensure an adequate intake of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Proteins, including antibodies, immunoglobulins, and cytokines, which are key components of the immune system, should be consumed in sufficient amounts.
If the diet fails to provide adequate protein intake, excellent alternatives include supplementing with products such as Protein Whey ProAction or Isowhey ProAction.
Carbohydrates serve as fuel for immune cells. After intense workouts, when glycogen stores are depleted, stress hormones increase and suppress immune cells. Therefore, a low carbohydrate intake can compromise the immune system. Maintaining an adequate intake of carbohydrates and replenishing them during training is an excellent strategy for preventing immune system deficiencies.
Lackof vitamins and minerals is closely associated with immune system alterations. If the intake of seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and dried fruits is insufficient, the best way to address these gaps is by using a new generation multivitamin such as Multivit Forte, which provides all the necessary micronutrients.
Vitamin D is important not only for bone health but also for maintaining the immune system. Individuals with low sunlight exposure are more likely to be deficient in this vitamin, so it is essential to supplement the diet with products such as Life Vita D Fizz.
Vitamin C can enhance the functions of the immune system againstmicroorganisms. Moderate supplementation of this vitamin, for example with Life Vita C 1000 Fizz, can reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections during periods of intense physical stress, such as those associated with intensive training.
Afterintense workouts, glutamine levels can drop by 20%, putting the immune system at risk. Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, but during intense physical activity, it can become partially essential as endogenous synthesis may not be sufficient to meet the body's demands. In this case, supplementing the diet with glutamine, such as Gold Glutamine Proaction, after exercise can reduce the risk of developing infections.
Maintaining a healthy immune system is essential for optimal marathon preparation, preventing the need to miss training sessions due to illness. By following a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, ensuring adequate protein and carbohydrate intake, and supplementing with products like Multivit Forte, Life Vita D Fizz, Life Vita C 1000 Fizz, and Gold Glutamine, you can help maintain the health of your immune system during this crucial phase.
Proaction Tips - Tip 3 | IMPORTANCEOF CARBOHYDRATES FOR PERFORMANCE
Since the early 1900s, researchers have observed a connection between low blood sugar levels and fatigue, as well as an inability to concentrate, at the end of a marathon. In the 1960s, it was discovered that glycogen stores before a competition were closely linked to success in endurance activities, and that a high carbohydrate diet could increase these stores.
Carbohydrates serve as the primary source of energy for the cells in our body and are utilized by the muscles during both aerobic and anaerobic activities. They are stored in the form of glycogen in the muscles (approximately 400g) and the liver (around 100g). Depending on the exercise intensity, these glycogen stores can provide energy for up to 90-120 minutes.
Muscle glycogen provides immediate energy for physical exercise, while liver glycogen maintains stable blood glucose levels. To ensure optimal performance, carbohydrate intake must compensate for the energy expended during training and fully restore glycogen stores.
The availability of carbohydrates has a direct effect on performance, especially when exercise lasts over 90 minutes or during high-intensity intermittent exercises where carbohydrates can be consumed in different forms such as bars, gels, or powdered mixes to dissolve in a water bottle (such as Carbosprint Ultrarace, Fruit Bars, or Maltodex). Technical products are very useful because, when the carbohydrate requirements are high and it is difficult to meet them through food alone, they can provide easily digestible sugars without creating a sense of satiety, both before and after training or at any other time.
Depletion of glycogen stores during activity leads to fatigue, reduction in intensity, impaired abilities and concentration, and ultimately a heightened perception of effort. Therefore, when glycogen availability is depleted, the ability to sustain high intensity is greatly limited, and the likelihood of experiencing an injury increases.
If you engage in daily training, it is crucial to maintain a high carbohydrate intake to avoid depleting your glycogen stores with each workout. The daily carbohydrate requirement is primarily calculated based on body weight and the volume of workouts, allowing for adjustments on different training and rest days. On days with less intense training or rest days, it may be preferable to increase fat intake while reducing carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate intake g/kg of body weight
Low intensity or baseline activity
Moderate exercise (e.g., 1 hour/day)
Endurance training (e.g., 1-3 hours/day at medium to high intensity)
Extreme effort (e.g., >4-5 hours/day at medium to high intensity)
Proaction Tips - Tip 2 | HOW TO IMPROVE RECOVERY FOR BETTER TRAINING
When preparing for an event like a marathon, where training takes place almost every day, recovery becomes crucial for preparing for the next effort and improving performance each time.
First and foremost, it is important to replenish the fluids and miner als lost during training. Sweating varies depending on genetics and environmental conditions, as mentioned earlier. To determine how much to drink after activity, it is advisable to weigh yourself before starting, preferably after pee stop, and weigh yourself again after activity, always after pee stop and wiping the sweat off your skin. By subtracting the weight of fluid consumed during exercise, you can calculate the amount of fluid that needs to be replaced. Since sweating can continue even after activ ity, it is recommended to add an additional 25 50% to the weight that needs to be replenished, and consume small amounts at a time.
Moreover, to restore lost mineral salts, it is advisable to divide your intake between approximately 2/3 water and 1/3 of a sports drink such as Mineral Plus, which contains around 650 mg of sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Another key aspect is replenishing glycogen stores, which are the carbohydrate stores in the body. It is important to consume approximately 1 1.2 g of ca rbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per hour for four hours after training. However, if 24 hours pass before the next workout, you need to meet the daily quota of carbohydrates of 5 8 g per kilogram of body weight. In this case, it doesn't matter wheth er you consume high or low glycemic index carbohydrates after activity. If training suppresses your feeling of hunger, you can use carbohydrates in the form of bars such as Fruit Bar or Jam Bar , gels such as Ca rbosprint Ultra race , or powders such as M altodex or I ’m P ro I ntra Workout Additionally, supplementing with creatine monohydrate for several days, along with an adequate amount of carbohydrates, has a positive impact on muscle glycogen synthesis.
In addition to carbohydrates and minerals, protein intake after trai ning is also important to promote faster growth and repair of muscle tissue. It is recommended to consume approximately 30 g of Whey Protein. Insufficient protein intake can lead to protein catabolism, which negatively affects recovery.
Over time, this con dition can result in muscle mass loss, injuries, illness, and impaired exercise tolerance.
Lastly, sleep should not be underestimated for optimal recovery. Getting at least eight hours of sleep, in addition to maintaining recommended nutritional intake, r educes the chances of experiencing injuries.
Ashwagandha supplementation can be a strategy to improve the quality of sleep and can be taken before bed.
Proaction Tips - Tip 1 | THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION FOR IMPROVING PERFORMANCE
Sporting activities can lead to dehydration, which can negatively impact athletes' performance, especially in hot and humid environments or during intense training sessions lasting over two hours.
During training or competitions, the body loses water through sweating, which is necessary to regulate body temperature.
Dehydration can increase the perception of effort and raise core body temperature, thereby impairing performance even with a mere 2% water loss. An easy way to gauge your hydration status throughout the day is to check the color of your urine—it should be clear and well diluted.
Before engaging in a training session or competition, it is advisable to consume 5 to 10 ml of fluids per kilogram of body weight, 2 to 4 hours beforehand. This allows sufficient time for excess fluids to be eliminated. Consuming foods that contain salt can also aid in retaining water.
The rate of sweating can vary from 0.3 L/h to 2.4 L/h, depending on the intensity and duration of physical activity, as well as environmental conditions. Monitoring your weight before and after exercise, as well as the volume of fluids consumed during exercise, can help estimate fluid losses and customize your hydration strategy. As a general guideline, drinking 0.4L/h to 0.8 L/h of water in small sips is suitable for compensating for these losses.
One issue that should not be overlooked is overhydration, which can occur when excessive amounts of water are consumed due to the fear of dehydration during exercise, severely impacting performance.
Excessive water intake combined with profuse sweating can dilute the blood, leading to hyponatremia—a condition where sodium concentrations drop to levels that can harm your health. Symptoms of hyponatremia include headaches,nausea, bloating, disorientation, confusion, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness.
To prevent this condition, it is important to not only drink water but also consume beverages that contain sodium, magnesium, and potassium, such as ProAction Mineral Plus or Sali Minerali Effervescenti. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendations, consuming approximately 300-600 mg/hour of sodium, which is found in these ProAction products, is advisable.
Therefore, starting your training or competition in an optimally hydrated state is crucial for improved performance. Additionally, for endurance events like marathons, it is equally important to alternate water intake with beverages that contain sodium.
Dott. Federico Scarso
Biologo NutrizionistaR&D Proaction
I have a degree in motor sciences and a middle-distance technical specialist, it is just for you that I have prepared the best program that will see you as the protagonist on October 22nd at the Venicemarathon!
Therefore we have no more excuses, there are no alibis: I will take you by the hand and we will arrive as winners at the finish line! Follow the right schedule!
Before starting any program we need to do a test, the rhythm test, the one that will give us the right awareness so as not to make a mistake with the rhythms that we will find in our program, in our introductory cycle.
It will be a very simple test: follow the instructions, run the test correctly, and then you won't stop! We will finish in style, at the top of our form, on October 22nd at the Venicemarathon!
If you are training for your first marathon or you are not an expert runner, download the 7-minute chart, which will show you the pace to maintain during your training sessions.
Its purpose is to determine your personal current fitness level in order to identify your target paces for your workouts. It is good practice to undergo the test after 2-3 days of mild activity or rest. Before carrying out the test, it is necessary to carry out an adequate warm-up at a very slow pace (at least 15 minutes) with some running extensions before starting off. The test consists of running for 7 minutes at your maximum speed. It is very important that the speed is sustained but constant throughout the test, otherwise the test may not be reliable. The goal is to determine how many meters you will cover in the 7 minute time frame. Then identify your reference line (with the value closest to your meters) and those will be your training paces. If your test places you exactly in the middle of the two reference values, take on the lower value. Furthermore, should the pace ranges calculated from your test turn out to be unsustainable for you during training sessions, simply refer to the values in the line below.