How Many Calories Did I Eat at the 2019 Austin Marathon

Leading up to Race day, I started thinking about all the snacks offered to me at the last Austin Marathon I ran back in 2017. What sets Austin apart is the amazing energy and participation from the crowd. Along every mile of the 26.2 course, you are bound to find at least a few if not a mob of unruly spectators cheering on friends, family, and strangers in a variety of ways. Some ways involve music and performances, some involve clever or inspirational handmade signs, and then there are those involving My favorite..FOOD!


If you’ve read my earlier blogs, you might have seen me mention that I’m training to run a 50 mile race. This year’s Austin Marathon fell right in the middle of that training, which has been going really well so far! So I said to myself, why not use this race as a training run? Not only in terms of distance, but also in nutrition. Based on my research, the ability to constantly consume calories throughout the race is an important key to successfully completing ultramarathons. Eating all the time has never been my problem, but doing it while running long distances? That’s another question.. 


So I decided that I would try and eat every snack and drink offered to me during the Austin Marathon. Yes, mainly for my own indulgence but also for training purposes. I was also curious on how many calories I could consume while running this race. Could I eat MORE Calories than I burn running 26.2 miles? There was only one way to find out!


So over the course of the race, I consumed approximately 1070 calories in food and beverages.  The total calories I consumed was well short of the calories I burned during the race (approximately 2500 calories burned) and honestly less than I expected based on the 2017 Austin Marathon.  Food I ate along the way were mostly carb concentrated, which makes a lot of sense when doing aerobics for 4+ hours. I had healthy stuff like bananas and oranges, and less healthy stuff like gummy bears, m&ms, sour patch kids, nutter butters, and some cake. The food all had one thing in common...everything was Delicious!



I didn’t hold back on beverages either. In addition to drinking plenty of water and Nuun mixture drinks, I drank 4 shots of beer and 1 shot of pickle juice. Shooting pickle juice may not sound too appealing to the average person, but this shot provides the perfect mixture of saltiness and sourness to wake you up in the middle of a race while replenishing some of the salt you lose in the first few hours of a marathon. My pickle juice shot came at mile 16 of the marathon, and I couldn’t have asked for better timing.