Marathon Fueling Information ► End Stronger


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Marathon fueling doesn’t should be overwhelming. Certain, fueling a marathon which may take 5 hours takes some planning (not less than it ought to), however 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 how 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 how one can gas for the marathon through the occasion. Lastly, unlock the secrets and techniques of post-marathon fueling!

Marathon Fueling Begins 3 Weeks Earlier than the Occasion

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

Study the vitamin secrets and techniques of world champions.

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

Most runners can tolerate 30g of carbs per hour. However do you know that growing 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 attributable to sloshing within the abdomen, however 60g per hour is just not unusual in elite runners.

Coaching the Intestine to Tolerate Marathon Fueling

Choose a couple of key exercises in your coaching plan and check out your race vitamin plan. Replicate the race circumstances as intently as attainable. Take into account elements equivalent to time of day, warmth, elevation, humidity, terrain, and so forth. The perfect exercise to coach marathon fueling is the long term. Marathon fueling is a special 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 an observation of how the exercise went. If it went properly, improve the following take a look at by 10g extra of carbs. Do that till you discover the max quantity of carbs you may 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 number of the potential results of menstruation on marathon fueling based mostly 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 very good time within the cycle for heavier coaching or racing attributable to elevated power ranges and motivation.
  • Ovulatory section: Whereas elevated power ranges are frequent on this cycle section, so is a lowered urge for food. This may be troublesome to beat if the marathon falls throughout this section. Deal with hitting carbohydrate targets and belief your marathon fueling plan even in case 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 capable of make the most of glycogen and prefers fats utilization as an alternative (which isn’t as environment friendly and makes accessing power storage harder). Constipation can also 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 if you get up so you can begin the rehydration course of. Verify your urine coloration utilizing a urine coloration chart after your second urination to determine how a lot you want 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 simply develop 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 vitamin and hydration each day!

Observe, you’ll need to pee loads within the lead-up to the occasion begin. This is because of correct hydration, but additionally race nerves! Hold this in thoughts if discovering a spot to make use of the lavatory is difficult (instance: crowded bogs on the occasion begin).

Now that you simply’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 elements: 

  • Particular person wants
  • Race distance/length
  • 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 thought 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. Purpose to complete consuming your last pre-race meal three hours earlier than your race begin time. Purpose for 4 hours when you’ve got a delicate abdomen (particularly runners). 

Marathon Fueling Recipe Concepts (and Different Widespread Distances)

Whereas this put up focuses particularly on marathon fueling, it may be good to observe fueling in shorter races too. Observe that fueling for a 5k is just not the identical factor as marathon fueling. The calls for of the occasions are utterly totally different and the physique reacts to these calls for in a different way. Take a look at 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 form of protein like yogurt. The race will begin arduous and end more durable. You need to arrive firstly line hydrated and feeling like you may be hungry within the subsequent hour.
  • Half-marathon: identical as 5k-10k, however you need to arrive firstly line with out feeling hungry. You additionally don’t need to really feel too full. One meal thought is to simply add nut butter to the toast talked about above.
  • Marathon: Eat a low fiber, carb-centric breakfast that incorporates greater than 100g of carbs. You need 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 simply 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 loads. Drink loads. Vitamin turns into a sport of how a lot you may soak up 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 should in all probability 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 massive pre-race meal. Eat one thing medium on the glycemic index, like a banana. That is simply to maintain your glycogen shops topped up. Hold 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 lavatory. Cease consuming and consuming. In case your mouth feels dry, it’s simply nervousness. You might be hydrated and able to rock. Deal with stress-free your thoughts and making ready your self for the hassle forward. 

Do some respiratory workout routines and meditation

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

Time to occasion beginWhat to eat and drink
Upon waking~500ml of water
3-4 hours to start outToast and granola. Fruit juice. Sip water.
1 hour to start outBanana. Sip water.
Half-hour to start outDrink 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 if you eat throughout your race. When working or biking for greater than 1 hour, it is smart to plan further power consumption to gas your exercise run. However keep in mind, you need 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 might be primarily carbohydrates:

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

Purpose to devour 30-80g of carbs each hour you race and relying in your occasion. Drink ~500ml of water or drink combine each hour. Be sure you have practiced this throughout coaching. Solely soak up as a lot as you’ve beforehand dealt with. 

Attempt to take a couple of sips of water or water combined with a vitamin combine each 15 to twenty minutes to remain hydrated. Isotonic drinks are very best 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 case you want extra hydration than is obtainable, deliver your personal hydration backpack or belt (however make sure you have educated sporting it as properly).

Know the course and the place it’s attainable or essential to gas. Choose locations alongside the course the place your physique might be working much less arduous. You course of vitamin extra effectively if you’re working much less arduous. Taking in vitamin throughout troublesome race moments is a foul thought.

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

Professional Tip:

In case you discover your temper develop into very damaging, eat and drink one thing!

You may as well use the course to sign when you want to soak up vitamin. Break the race into smaller, extra achievable chunks. For instance, stay up for 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. Deal with consuming actual meals the remainder of the time.

Put up-Marathon Fueling

Put up-race vitamin is much less essential except you want to race quickly once more or get again to coaching. Eat a traditional, balanced meal when you’ve got a couple of days of relaxation earlier than you want 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 you want to give attention to post-race vitamin to recuperate quick, simply take a restoration drink with 25g of protein and 40g+ carbs. Sip that inside the hour after your race. Eat an everyday meal if you really feel prepared. Hold consuming water.

Get much more working vitamin steerage!

** The knowledge supplied on this weblog put up is for steerage functions solely, and doesn’t substitute for skilled medical recommendation. You need to all the time seek the advice of a medical skilled or healthcare supplier in case you’re in search of medical recommendation.

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