T Nation

Marathons and Supplementation

I’m training for the LiveSTRONG century marathon that will be held this august… I have a good idea of supplements to use during, but that would just be for energy purposes. I would like to weigh close to the same throughout training, hopefully trying to keep as much muscle as possible.

What supps should I use during my long hours on the bike?
Im thinking EAA, leucine, dextrose, creatine and casein hydro. I’d like to hear some recommendations from ppl w/ experience in the category and who are of decent size, for obvious reasons. Thanks fellas, it’s greatly appreciated. Also, dosage would be good too, I weigh in about 170 now…

I think I read somewhere here that FINiBARs were made for endurance athletes, look into it.

Cool man, what about liquids/powders? I already have to carry a ton of water, I think it’d be easier to kill a shake riding and not have to dig around for some bars… Although that would give me an excuse to try the supposedly awesome FINiBARs haha.
I do think the shakes would be better though because I’ll be riding for a couple HOURS so hopefully I don’t have to cram 50 bars down my throat as I ride, I need a lot of calories because I’m burning a ton riding…

It would be a big mistake to use Creatine during such an activity.

One serving of Surge Workout Fuel and one FINiBAR per hour are all that you’ll need.

I like the numbers on the Surge and FINiBARs, that seems about right w what I would use in the supps.
Just curious, why no on creatine?

[quote]fmaurice wrote:
Just curious, why no on creatine?[/quote]

Creatine will not help during such activities and it may cause gastric distress which could make it difficult to provide your body with the fluid and energy it will require.

Make sure the whole week before the race your diet is really heavy on carbs.

[quote]strungoutboy21 wrote:
Make sure the whole week before the race your diet is really heavy on carbs.[/quote]

This is overkill for most people.

Carb loading isn’t necessary unless you’ve been following a low carb diet, and even then you’d only need to load for a day or two.

Glutamine. Beverly International makes one with BCAAs.

Whatever supplements you decided to use, make sure to use them in training a couple times to see how you’ll react. You don’t want to find yourself bloated or cramping on race day with 50 miles left to go.

[quote]Mod Brian wrote:

[quote]fmaurice wrote:
Just curious, why no on creatine?[/quote]

Creatine will not help during such activities and it may cause gastric distress which could make it difficult to provide your body with the fluid and energy it will require.[/quote]

Read the second page, explains creatine’s place in aerobic and anaerobic settings.

[quote]Rocky2 wrote:

[quote]Mod Brian wrote:

[quote]fmaurice wrote:
Just curious, why no on creatine?[/quote]

Creatine will not help during such activities and it may cause gastric distress which could make it difficult to provide your body with the fluid and energy it will require.[/quote]

Read the second page, explains creatine’s place in aerobic and anaerobic settings.[/quote]

I’m aware of that article, but it doesn’t change the fact that the advanced endurance athletes with whom we’ve worked closely with rarely see a benefit from creatine supplementation unless they don’t eat meat. The fact that it tends to promote weight gain is also a negative in their eyes since cycling is all about one’s power to weight ratio.

Supplements like Beta alanine and Citrulline malate work far better for such athletes in the real world.

This is all appreciated a lot fellas. So as far as the creatine goes… I take that now of course. Should I just not take it the day of the marathon, or should I stop 1 week out, or sooner?

There’s a lot of things to think about in this thread. Also, I’d look into adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola rosea. Also there are some herbs that help improve V02 max. You can try a google search… of course nothing is better for V02 max than actual training (including sprint intervals), but it’s just a thought.

[quote]BulletproofTiger wrote:
There’s a lot of things to think about in this thread. Also, I’d look into adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola rosea. Also there are some herbs that help improve V02 max. You can try a google search… of course nothing is better for V02 max than actual training (including sprint intervals), but it’s just a thought.[/quote]

VO2 max training and supplementation will be of minimal benefit for someone training to get through a century ride.

His cycling training should primarily involve endurance and tempo work if he wants to perform better at something like this.

It would be a different story if he were a competitive athlete training for a race.

I’m no expert on endurance, so I’ll take your word for it Mod Brian. I thought I had read of the benefits of including a session or two of interval training per week (EVEN for endurance athletes such as him) and tapering off as the event nears. I think it was in regards to marathons. Of course I do realize that tempo work should be prioritized though.

Mod Brian, one more thing, are you saying that things like rhodiola are also of little benefit for these types of events, or were you just correcting my advice on V02 max training?

soooo, anyone know when I should stop taking creatine before the ride and how soon. Also, what about water loading I guess you could call it, not sure though. Like high sodium/potassium intake the day(s) prior. And would I benefit from something like Mineral Muscle (the new supp) or just adding some sodium/ potassium to my shakes?

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this before, but for long bouts of endurance exercise you may want to explore Gu or Powerbar Gel . These are easier to digest than bars or protein shakes while you are in the middle of a workout, and the extra carbs can help provide your body energy and keep from going into a catabolic state.

Thanks for the reminder man. I like GU. Powerbar gels are full of shit (shit=sugar of course)

I’ve never tried either of them, but I wouldn’t doubt that the Powerbar Gel’s are crap, in fact I don’t really like any of the Powerbar products, particular their bars because the primary source of protein is soy.