Finished Tokyo Marathon 2011! No.5 Timing of water supply and lunch #tokyomarathon

runningtokyo marathon 2011

Are the predetermined water and feeding points for above-average runners?

I think the timing of water supply and food service for ordinary runners is very important. Basically, the water and meal points provided by the Tokyo Marathon are set for the general public, so people tend to think that they should just follow them.

I don’t deny that. However, especially for a mere runner like myself, a runner who belongs to a lower level than the average runner, I cannot help but think that refueling at the designated water and meal points is not optimal.

In a way, that’s not surprising, because the timing of the water points, especially the feeding points, is probably set based on the average of the participating runners.

What I’m trying to say is that I think the timing of the lunches is too far away from what the meet is supposed to be, especially for the lower average runners, and there is too much distance to the lunches.

Slow runners get hungry around Shinagawa (15km)

In the Tokyo Marathon, the first feeding point is set at around 23km, in the Kyobashi/Nihonbashi area just after passing Ginza.

より大きな地図で 東京マラソンコース 2011 を表示

Runners with a goal time of 5 hours and 30 minutes or more reach this area at around 12:10 p.m. If you’ve already run more than 20km and so much time has passed, you’ve probably been in a state where you don’t have enough energy from water alone for a long time. In fact, that was the case for me.

So, for runners who take more than 5 hours and 30 minutes, I think it would be good to have a meal once at about 15km to 18km, much before the meal at the 23km point set by the event.

But of course, that’s selfish of the lower runners, and it’s not like their opinions about setting up a lunch point further in front of them will be accepted…

Furthermore, after 25km in the middle of the race, your stamina and concentration will start to decline. The fatigue reaches its peak around Asakusa Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), and this is when concentration is at its lowest.

The last time I ran Kaminarimon was pretty hellish. Fortunately, I was able to come back to life with a milky chocolate that I got from someone along the road just after the Kaminarimon turnaround, but without that, I think I would have retired.

These are the things I felt about completing the race two years ago.

So I’ve decided to bring some food.

So this time, I took advantage of that reflection and quickly did what I could to say, « If the school lunch points aren’t going to be moved up, then you should have your own food.

Basically, you have to consistently have something sweet in your mouth. For this measure, I decided to pack a bag of Morinaga Caramels in my waist pouch and eat them about every 2km.

I also prepared a few pieces of « chocolate board » and put them in my running backpack where I could easily get to them so that I could feed myself efficiently around 15km and 25km.

I ate one piece of chocolate after 15km as I had planned. This was quite effective, and I was able to come back to life in the section up to 20km when I was almost out of stamina.

In the end, because I brought my own food, I conquered the 42.195km without making much use of the school lunches (mainly bananas and cream bread) provided by the event.

By the way, I brought two bags of caramels and three sheets of chocolate this time, but honestly speaking, this was too much. A bag of caramels and two sheets of chocolate would have been enough, and if we could have eaten the lunch provided by the event, I think there would have been no problem with stamina even for lower level runners. I think I’ll use this as a reference for the next time I can participate.

Timing of water supply

Lastly, I haven’t written much about the timing of water supply, but I thought that every 2km would be sufficient. What I can say for the lower runners is that until about 15km in the first half of the race, it would be good to be conscious of the timing of the restroom and keep it a little low, and immediately after the restroom, depending on the temperature and the way you sweat, supply more water. (I will write more about toilet timing later.)

That’s all I wrote about water and meal timing from a lower runner’s perspective.