Marathon Training Update: New Nuun + BMO preview

Marathon Training Update: New Nuun + BMO preview

Last weekend’s marathon training update had me running a rare Nuun event on Saturday and a little preview of my next big challenge, happening in less than a month… the BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Saturday 5K with Nuun

If you didn’t know, I’m a Nuun ambassador. A few weeks ago, local ambassadors were invited to partake in a casual 5K since Nuun was making an appearance at a nearby convention. Since it was a rare Nuun event, I decided to wake up early last Saturday to join a good group on a leisurely 5K along the seawall. I was also able to try out and take home a pouch of their new product, Nuun Performance. This electrolyte and carbohydrate formula is designed for endurance athletes to stay hydrated more efficiently. It comes in two flavours, mango orange and blueberry strawberry. Both have a subtle flavour and are not fizzy, which agrees with my stomach better.

Nuun recommends that you use it for workouts longer than an hour and a half so I used it on my 32k run the following day. I felt full of energy throughout most of the run and even afterwards. Normally I’m put out of commission after a 4 hour workout. Surprisingly, I was bouncing around with extra energy afterwards, rather than stuck on the couch, unable to get up. I’m sold on this product. Nuun will have some at their booth at the BMO Expo or you can order now from the US site (if you have a US address to ship it to). It should hit local store shelves in May, hopefully!

BMO Preview

I’ve done a marathon before but it wasn’t the BMO Vancouver Marathon. I’ve done the BMO Half Marathon twice before, but I figured it’s time to earn a red medal. Looking at the course map, I’d say, the second half the course is familiar to me but the first half isn’t. I decided to give myself a little preview last Sunday.

Cambie to Camosun

I started my journey at Oakridge Station, which is about the 2 km mark, according to RunGo. Rather than whipping my phone out each time, I decided to use RunGo to give me turn by turn directions. It worked pretty well actually. It even told me where the aid stations, landmarks, and spectator hot spots will be. I realized that the first few kilometres is a gradual uphill, followed by about 3 km of downhill. It will lead you to Camosun, the steep 1 km climb that never seems to end. I managed to run up it (slowly) without stopping but of course I had to take a celebratory selfie at the top. The hill continues on and then evens out. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself at the entrance of UBC.

UBC

After a little detour on Blanca, it was time to run around the massive UBC campus. There’s a gradual hill heading up to NW Marine Drive but after that, you can conserve some energy and coast down a long downhill. If you’ve done the Scotiabank Half Marathon or even the Fall Classic, this area will jog your memory. What can I say? It’s long and this campus is huge.

The Beaches & Point Grey

The halfway mark is where Spanish Banks is and man, that beach is long. There’s no sidewalk along most of this area so I was forced to get on the beach pathway. It was very cold and windy by the water. On race day you follow NW Marine Drive until Locarno Beach. It then turns south and winds UPHILL to West 4th. Yup it’s another steep hill. No doubt, I will be walking this. I’ve actually been here before on previous training runs so I knew how painful this section is.

There’s a bit of a downhill along West 4th until you make a left on Alma, which leads you to Point Grey Road. You can distract yourself by checking out all the nice houses and the pretty cherry blossom trees.

Kitsilano

Keep following Point Grey Road and soon it’ll turn into Cornwall. You think, oh the Burrard Bridge is close by… wrong! You actually have to turn left on Arbutus to run along Kits Beach before heading back to Cornwall via Chestnut. It’s a little distance detour that adds a bit of extra water scenery to your journey.

The Burrard Bridge

After all that running, this is your last major hill until the very end. Reaching the north end of the Burrard Bridge is the 30 km mark, where you may or may not hit your wall. Think about it, once you finish the bridge, you still have to run all the way around Stanley Park. How insane is that? LOL. At least it’s mostly flat and I’ve run the park enough times to know how much more is left. I won’t worry about that now, I just hope the weather will be as nice as this.

Am I ready?

I’d like to think I am. I felt really good about this run and assuming I’m healthy on May 7th, I should be comfortable with a 5 hour finish. I’ll think positively and just do my best on race day.

How’s your training going? Tell me what you’re training for and how your progress is in the comments below.