Coke, Salt, Ice Water, Etc.

How I wish I could be a part among the “volunteers” in The Bull Runner’s Dream Marathon this coming weekend. Due to my scheduled meeting with people outside Metro Manila which is connected with my recon activities for my next “adventure run” and incoming PAU road races, I could not be a part of the said event. However, I am coming up with the following suggestions and tips for the runners who will be experiencing their first Full Marathon:

1. Ice Cold Coke—It does not matter if it is Coca-Cola, Pepsi, RC Cola, or Sarsi, you need to drink at least one can, one bottle up to one liter of Coke if you feel exhausted or before you think you are at the verge of hitting your “wall”. You will be surprised that this sweet ice cold drink will give you the much needed “kick” on your last few kilometers. In all my road races that I’ve organized, there is always a Coke in every Aid Station, to include the usual water and Gatorade drinks!

2. Salt—It could be the ordinary table salt, rock salt or iodized salt or if there are available commercial salt tablets, you have to bring some in your packet or in one of the zippered pockets of your hydration belt. If you are going to finish the full marathon in 4 hours or more, you have to take some salt or salt tablets to maintain the sodium level of your blood. For the ultrarunners, they mix salt and ice cold coke for their hydration intake in the last 10-20K of their ultra races.

3. Ice Water with Sponge—If the heat of the sun is too much to bear on your skin or body, you need a sponge soaked in an ice-cooled water to use in rubbing the parts of your body being exposed to sunlight. You can also douse some of the absorbed ice water on the sponge to your head. Ice cold water poured on your head  and back gives refreshing sensation to your body.

4. Immodium—Don’t forget to take immodium capsule or diatab tablets at least one hour before the start of the race. This will give you the confidence to run without any GI issues even if you eat some foods or drink a lot of water/drinks during the race. However, it is advised that you should have your pre-race “bowel movement” before taking this medication.

5. Massage—Be sure to have your last body massage at least two days before the race/event. Don’t have your massage a day before the race as your body muscles will not have enough time to rest & recover before the race.

6. Alaxan FR, Pain-Killer Medications, & others—I know of some “hardcore and competitive” runners who take Alaxan FR with Immodium before the start of the Full Marathon for obvious reasons. The Alaxan FR will anticipate the “arrival” of pain to your leg muscles and joints during the race. Other runners would say that Viagra make them stronger, faster, and can extend their endurance limit in long distance running events but there is a need for advise from your physician. My elite athletes will always remind me to take Pharmaton tablets at least 3 days before the marathon run.

7. Candies—Most of the ultra runners crave for candies during the second-half of the race as they are sweet. It is worth trying with a candy in your mouth while you are running. Be careful not to experience being “choked” when you swallow your saliva with the sweet extracted from the candy while you are breathing with your mouth! In my road races which I organize, runners are always served with Cloud 9 bite size chocolate candies in every Aid Station.

8. Kinesio Tapes—I have a lot of Kinesio Gold Tapes (Black in Color) For Sale and I only used them once when I had an injury on my lower left leg and it gave me some comfort in my recovery runs. When I participated in the Jeju International Ultramarathon Race last March, I’ve seen a lot of the Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and US runners using this kind of tape on their legs. Michelle Estuar, the Lady Champion in the 1st PAU 50K Race, was sporting a lot of Kinesio tapes during the race. The way I looked at her during the run, she looked like a running “Robocop”!

Good luck to the TBR Dream Marathon Runners!


6 thoughts on “Coke, Salt, Ice Water, Etc.

  1. runningshield

    i totally agree on n0. 6 ALAXAN FR -I take 1000 mg before bedtime before race day and another 1000mg a hour before race time. it works very well for me.
    thank you


  2. Hi Sir Jovie,
    Sayang! I am about to complete my first 1000 km after crossing the finishline of TBR Dream Marathon (which incidentally is also my first FM).

    Thanks po sa mga reminders. Hope to meet you Sir on other road races.



  3. Arthur

    Hi BR!
    I have some reservation on #6. Medication especially pain killer affects the kidney function. Also, it might cover the message the body is sending, thus resulting to serious/permanent injuries. But, this is just my opinion. I take viagra though but for other reason.


  4. Runners should be very careful taking “Vitamin I” (I for Ibuprophen) – Item #6 above. Several runners have had kidney malfunctions due to intake of it during ultra races. It could be fatal.

    If one already feels pain during the first 1/3 of an ultra race, it means lack of training, injury or residual fatigue. Vitamin I is not THE solution.


  5. Second the vote for Coke or any type of soft drink. It tastes so good especially when it’s hot out. The sugar and the caffeine is a great boost. I won’t have time to down a whole can usually opting for a small cup or whatever I can down quickly in an aid station. At my recent race, the Miwok 100k, I drank Coke the last 16 km of the run. I still took my gels since I wasn’t taking in enough soft drink to provide me with enough calories.

    I have used candy as a substitute for energy gels when I’ve run out but usually at the aid stations I will avoid those type of sweets, including cookies and such. I read that they make your blood sugar spike but I’m not sure how an energy gel is different since that is also really sweet, like syrup. Maybe different sugar composition. In my own experience I crave salty, savory foods towards the end of a long race even when taking my salt tabs; potato chips, pretzels. I think it’s because I get sick of all the sweet tasting gels and energy drink. More than once I wished there was pancit palabok at the end of an ultra!

    With Jonnifer and Arthur on Ibuprofen but I will take Acetaminophen since purportedly it is processed differently according to a report by Runnersworld last year. That said I will only take it if I’m hydrated.

    I heard Viagra helps with high Altitude, great for races like Leadville. I would just be happy if I can find an allergy medicine (seasonal allergies due to pollen) that doesn’t make me fatigued. I stopped taking it last night and had my best run this morning in two weeks.


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