On October 13, Fritz Burgher checked running 26.2 miles off his bucket list. To prepare, the Medill senior went for morning runs and made sure to chow down afterward.
“During the summer I would get up early in the morning and hit the ground running… I would always have a big hearty breakfast: poached eggs, orange juice, toast, Powerade. I made sure I got protein and carbs in right away,” Burgher says.
Throughout the summer, Burgher followed his early morning workout plan, but when band camp began in September, he had to adapt his running routine to fit with his NUMB commitments.
“My workout schedule took a hit as soon as band camp started. I didn’t have the energy to wake up and run early,” Burgher says. “Sundays were my big long-distance conditioning days.”
The night before the race, Burgher and his parents headed to Dave’s Italian Kitchen in Evanston. Burgher dined on angel hair pasta, meat sauce and bread, packing in the carbs to charge himself up.
On the big day, Burgher kept his morning meal small, because he says he’s not keen on eating a lot before working out. While riding the El downtown, he downed his “go-to” fare of red Powerade, a banana and a Nutri-Grain bar.
Burgher received valuable nourishment during the long run, too.
“The marathon was incredibly well organized. There was water and Gatorade throughout the route at every mile, and during the second half, there were energy gummies and bananas,” he said. “Being able to constantly stay hydrated was great.”
After the race, Burgher headed to Lou Malnati’s to indulge in deep dish pizza, followed by dinner at Thai Sookdee.
Advice for Runners
Burgher says he came up with his own nutrition plan while training for the marathon. For aspiring distance runners, he emphasizes a high-protein, high-carb diet. Wholesome eating makes a difference, he says.
“Make sure you’re maximizing your meals. It’s one thing to have a great workout, but if you go home and eat a bag of Ruffles or junk food, then you aren’t maximizing your workout,” Burgher says.
Running isn’t the only area where he has needed prime fuel. Burgher, a drum major for the Northwestern University Marching Band, also watches what he eats when the ‘Cats (and NUMB) take the football field. Members of NUMB arrive at Ryan Field four to five hours before kickoff on game days, he says. They rehearse and play for the team before eating breakfast, provided by Sodexo, in Welsh-Ryan Arena. The meal typically includes foods such as eggs and toast and offers something to keep the band going strong, Burgher says.
“It is important to eat and hydrate before the game, because all we have is an apple and water throughout the whole game,” he says.
As for running, Burgher hasn’t marked another marathon down on his calendar just yet. But his sights are still set on other athletic feats.
“I would like to potentially run another marathon in the future. Maybe a triathlon or an Ironman,” he says.
If Burgher sticks to a good diet and continues training, it won’t be a surprise to see him at another finish line soon.
Energy drink of choice: Red Powerade
Favorite Evanston restaurant: Thai Sookdee
Chicago restaurant suggestion: The Berghoff
On-campus dining choice: Norbucks
Favorite treat: Andy’s Frozen Custard