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Marathon Fueling Information ► End Stronger

Marathon fueling doesn’t should be overwhelming. Positive, fueling a marathon that may take 5 hours takes some planning (at the very least it ought to), nevertheless it doesn’t should be overcomplicated. 

Observe this marathon fueling information to complete the race stronger than ever!


Study why coaching your intestine earlier than the race could be the distinction between marathon success or a race to the bathroom. Learn the way the menstruation cycle can have an effect on marathon fueling. Observe the marathon race day timeline to optimally plan the lead-up to the beginning of the marathon. Perceive tips on how to gasoline for the marathon throughout the occasion. Lastly, unlock the secrets and techniques of post-marathon fueling!

Marathon Fueling Begins 3 Weeks Earlier than the Occasion

Nailing your race diet means coaching your intestine and constructing a routine. Having a diet routine means there’s nothing new taking over beneficial power on race day. 

Study the diet secrets and techniques of world champions.

Know what, when, how typically, and the way a lot you’re going to gasoline throughout the marathon. 

Most runners can tolerate 30g of carbs per hour. However do you know that rising carbohydrate consumption will probably result in improved race performances?[1 For instance, cyclists can practice their intestine to soak up 100g of carbohydrates per hour. Runners are restricted in carbohydrate consumption as a consequence of sloshing within the abdomen, however 60g per hour will not be unusual in elite runners.

Coaching the Intestine to Tolerate Marathon Fueling

Decide a couple of key exercises in your coaching plan and check out your race diet plan. Replicate the race circumstances as intently as doable. Take into account components resembling time of day, warmth, elevation, humidity, terrain, and many others. The best exercise to coach marathon fueling is the long term. Marathon fueling is a unique beast than fueling for a 5k or perhaps a half marathon!

Begin with 30g of carbs per hour and see how your abdomen feels. Make a remark of how the exercise went. If it went nicely, enhance the subsequent take a look at by 10g extra of carbs. Do that till you discover the max quantity of carbs you’ll be able to consumption and nonetheless carry out at your finest.

Good to know:

Use the product in coaching you intend to make use of throughout your occasion. No new merchandise on race day!

Marathon Fueling and the Menstruation Cycle

Menstruation cycles can impression marathon fueling. Listed below are a few of the potential results of menstruation on marathon fueling primarily based on the section of the menstruation cycle:

  • Menstrual section: Fatigue, emotional anxiousness and menstrual ache are all frequent throughout this primary section of the cycle, making coaching and racing particularly troublesome. Steadiness blood sugar ranges with complete grains (like oats or muesli as a pre-race or coaching meal). Magnesium supplementation might also alleviate menstrual ache.
  • Follicular section: Doubtless little impression on marathon fueling. It may be a great time within the cycle for heavier coaching or racing as a consequence of elevated power ranges and motivation.
  • Ovulatory section: Whereas elevated power ranges are frequent on this cycle section, so is a decreased urge for food. This may be troublesome to beat if the marathon falls throughout this section. Give attention to hitting carbohydrate targets and belief your marathon fueling plan even when you really feel prefer it’s an excessive amount of to eat.
  • Luteal section: Digestive challenges, low power and temper, and sugar cravings are all frequent. The physique is much less in a position to make the most of glycogen and prefers fats utilization as a substitute (which isn’t as environment friendly and makes accessing power storage harder). Constipation can be frequent throughout this section, making coaching and racing particularly uncomfortable.

City runner

Marathon Fueling 3-4 Hours Earlier than Begin

Drink about 500ml of water instantly once you get up so you can begin the rehydration course of. Examine your urine coloration utilizing a urine coloration chart after your second urination to determine how a lot it is advisable to drink. You need your urine to be simply barely yellow-tinted all through the day. Beware that sure meals and nutritional vitamins can alter your urine coloration. 

Don’t drink a lot liquid that you just turn into over-hydrated. Urine that appears as clear as water is an indicator that you’re overhydrating.

Professional tip:

Why deal with your physique particular on race day? Observe good diet and hydration day-after-day!

Observe, you will have to pee rather a lot within the lead-up to the occasion begin. This is because of correct hydration, but additionally race nerves! Maintain this in thoughts if discovering a spot to make use of the toilet is difficult (instance: crowded loos on the occasion begin).

Now that you just’re good and hydrated, it’s time to eat one thing. What and the way a lot you eat will rely upon a couple of components: 

  • Particular person wants
  • Race distance/period
  • Race depth

The function of the ultimate pre-race meal is to top-up your glycogen shops. Your glycogen shops ought to be loaded by the point race day arrives. It’s a horrible concept to chop energy (notably carbs) within the weeks main as much as your occasion. 

Listed below are some typical pre-race meals for some frequent occasions. Intention to complete consuming your closing pre-race meal three hours earlier than your race begin time. Intention for 4 hours if in case you have a delicate abdomen (particularly runners). 

Marathon Fueling Recipe Concepts (and Different Frequent Distances)

Whereas this put up focuses particularly on marathon fueling, it may be good to apply fueling in shorter races too. Observe that fueling for a 5k will not be the identical factor as marathon fueling. The calls for of the occasions are fully totally different and the physique reacts to these calls for in a different way. Try the beneath pre-race fueling concepts to see how the calls for of the totally different occasions dictate fueling decisions:

  • 5k-10k: very mild meal. Toast, oats and an egg or another sort of protein like yogurt. The race will begin laborious and end tougher. You wish to arrive firstly line hydrated and feeling like you may be hungry within the subsequent hour.
  • Half-marathon: similar as 5k-10k, however you wish to arrive firstly line with out feeling hungry. You additionally don’t wish to really feel too full. One meal concept is to only add nut butter to the toast talked about above.
  • Marathon: Eat a low fiber, carb-centric breakfast that comprises greater than 100g of carbs. It is best to have tried this a couple of weeks earlier than race day. In case your race begins early, put together your breakfast the night time earlier than so that you just don’t have to consider it on race morning. Bagels with nut butter, cereal with non-dairy milk, a 2-egg omelet, rice-based dishes can all be good pre-race meal concepts.
  • Ultramarathon: eat rather a lot. Drink rather a lot. Diet turns into a recreation of how a lot you’ll be able to absorb with out upsetting your abdomen. Experiment to seek out out what works for you. Then be able to cope with abdomen upset anyway as a result of it’ll most likely occur sooner or later it doesn’t matter what.

Marathon Fueling 1 Hour Earlier than Begin

You should still really feel full out of your large pre-race meal. Eat one thing medium on the glycemic index, like a banana. That is simply to maintain your glycogen shops topped up. Maintain consuming water. 

Marathon Fueling 30-45 Minutes Earlier than Begin

Begin getting warmed up. Sip water all through the decrease depth parts of your warm-up.

When you do a few accelerations, take an power gel for working or sip a sports activities drink

15 Minutes Earlier than Begin

Go to the toilet. Cease consuming and consuming. In case your mouth feels dry, it’s simply nervousness. You might be hydrated and able to rock. Give attention to stress-free your thoughts and getting ready your self for the hassle forward. 

Do some respiratory workouts and meditation

To summarize, right here’s an instance marathon fueling plan:

Time to occasion begin What to eat and drink
Upon waking ~500ml of water
3-4 hours to start out Toast and granola. Fruit juice. Sip water.
1 hour to start out Banana. Sip water.
Half-hour to start out Drink combine with high-GI carbs AFTER a number of accelerations throughout warm-up

Runner tying shoes

Marathon Fueling Throughout Your Race

What you eat is simply as essential as once you eat throughout your race. When working or biking for greater than 1 hour, it is sensible to plan further power consumption to gasoline your exercise run. However bear in mind, you wish to have practiced this throughout your coaching. Your intestine wants time to get used to this. The very best choices are sports activities drinks and small snacks which are primarily carbohydrates:

  • Isotonic drinks
  • Banana
  • Sports activities gels
  • Gummy candies (1-2:1 combine glucose to fructose)

Intention to eat 30-80g of carbs each hour you race and relying in your occasion. Drink ~500ml of water or drink combine each hour. Be sure to have practiced this throughout coaching. Solely absorb as a lot as you may have beforehand dealt with. 

Attempt to take a couple of sips of water or water combined with a diet combine each 15 to twenty minutes to remain hydrated. Isotonic drinks are excellent as they make up for a scarcity of each liquids and electrolytes. Be sure you know when the hydration stations are coming in your race route. In the event you want extra hydration than is obtainable, carry your personal hydration backpack or belt (however make sure to have educated sporting it as nicely).

Know the course and the place it’s doable or essential to gasoline. Decide locations alongside the course the place your physique shall be working much less laborious. You course of diet extra effectively once you’re working much less laborious. Taking in diet throughout troublesome race moments is a foul concept.

Realizing the course may put together you for the difficult moments. For instance, gasoline 15-Half-hour earlier than important race sections or moments. Essential moments of the course might be hills or, in case you are actually aggressive, locations the place opponents will assault.

Professional Tip:

In the event you discover your temper turn into very destructive, eat and drink one thing!

It’s also possible to use the course to sign when it is advisable to absorb diet. Break the race into smaller, extra achievable chunks. For instance, look ahead to taking a drink on the finish of a troublesome part. It may be sufficient to push you thru a troublesome second.


Observe the emphasis on “unhealthy” meals like gels, sports activities drinks and even sweet throughout your race. Eat this meals solely throughout racing and really intense coaching. Give attention to consuming actual meals the remainder of the time.

Put up-Marathon Fueling

Put up-race diet is much less essential except it is advisable to race quickly once more or get again to coaching. Eat a traditional, balanced meal if in case you have a couple of days of relaxation earlier than it is advisable to get again to coaching or racing. Having one alcoholic beverage after a race could be an effective way to rejoice an achievement, however drink water with it and restrict your self to only one drink.

If it is advisable to give attention to post-race diet to get well quick, simply take a restoration drink with 25g of protein and 40g+ carbs. Sip that throughout the hour after your race. Eat a daily meal once you really feel prepared. Maintain consuming water.

Get much more working diet steerage!

** The data supplied on this weblog put up is for steerage functions solely, and doesn’t substitute for skilled medical recommendation. It is best to at all times seek the advice of a medical skilled or healthcare supplier when you’re looking for medical recommendation.

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