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Marathon Fueling Information ► End Stronger

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

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


Study why coaching your intestine earlier than the race might 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. Comply with the marathon race day timeline to optimally plan the lead-up to the beginning of the marathon. Perceive learn how to 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 may be nothing new taking over precious vitality 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 rising carbohydrate consumption will seemingly result in improved race performances?[1 For instance, cyclists can prepare their intestine to soak up 100g of carbohydrates per hour. Runners are restricted in carbohydrate consumption resulting from sloshing within the abdomen, however 60g per hour isn’t unusual in elite runners.

Coaching the Intestine to Tolerate Marathon Fueling

Choose just a few key exercises in your coaching plan and check out your race vitamin plan. Replicate the race circumstances as intently as potential. Take into account components comparable to time of day, warmth, elevation, humidity, terrain, and so on. The perfect 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 effectively, enhance the subsequent 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 propose 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 among the potential results of menstruation on marathon fueling based mostly on the part of the menstruation cycle:

  • Menstrual part: Fatigue, emotional nervousness and menstrual ache are all widespread throughout this primary part of the cycle, making coaching and racing particularly troublesome. Stability blood sugar ranges with entire grains (like oats or muesli as a pre-race or coaching meal). Magnesium supplementation may additionally alleviate menstrual ache.
  • Follicular part: Probably little impression on marathon fueling. It may be a very good time within the cycle for heavier coaching or racing resulting from elevated vitality ranges and motivation.
  • Ovulatory part: Whereas elevated vitality ranges are widespread on this cycle part, so is a lowered urge for food. This may be troublesome to beat if the marathon falls throughout this part. Concentrate on hitting carbohydrate targets and belief your marathon fueling plan even in the event you really feel prefer it’s an excessive amount of to eat.
  • Luteal part: Digestive challenges, low vitality and temper, and sugar cravings are all widespread. 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 vitality storage harder). Constipation can be widespread throughout this part, making coaching and racing particularly uncomfortable.


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. Test your urine shade utilizing a urine shade chart after your second urination to determine how a lot it’s worthwhile 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 shade. 

Don’t drink a lot liquid that you simply grow to be 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!

Be aware, you will have to pee quite a bit 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 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 on just a few components: 

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

The position 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 widespread occasions. Goal to complete consuming your ultimate pre-race meal three hours earlier than your race begin time. Goal 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 follow fueling in shorter races too. Be aware that fueling for a 5k isn’t the identical factor as marathon fueling. The calls for of the occasions are fully completely different and the physique reacts to these calls for in a different way. Take a look at the under pre-race fueling concepts to see how the calls for of the completely different occasions dictate fueling decisions:

  • 5k-10k: very mild meal. Toast, oats and an egg or another type of protein like yogurt. The race will begin onerous and end tougher. You wish to arrive at the beginning line hydrated and feeling like you may be hungry within the subsequent hour.
  • Half-marathon: identical as 5k-10k, however you wish to arrive at the beginning line with out feeling hungry. You additionally don’t wish 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 comprises greater than 100g of carbs. It is best to have tried this just a few 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 quite a bit. Drink quite a bit. Vitamin turns into a recreation of how a lot you may soak up with out upsetting your abdomen. Experiment to search out out what works for you. Then be able to cope with abdomen upset anyway as a result of it can 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 huge 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 vitality 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. Concentrate on enjoyable your thoughts and getting ready your self for the trouble forward. 

Do some respiration workout routines 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 begin Toast and granola. Fruit juice. Sip water.
1 hour to begin Banana. Sip water.
Half-hour to begin 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 necessary as if you eat throughout your race. When working or biking for greater than 1 hour, it is smart to plan further vitality consumption to gas 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 can be primarily carbohydrates:

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

Goal 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 you have practiced this throughout coaching. Solely soak up as a lot as you will have beforehand dealt with. 

Attempt to take just a few sips of water or water combined with a vitamin combine each 15 to twenty minutes to remain hydrated. Isotonic drinks are superb as they make up for an absence of each liquids and electrolytes. Remember to know when the hydration stations are coming in your race route. For those who want extra hydration than is obtainable, convey your personal hydration backpack or belt (however you’ll want to have skilled sporting it as effectively).

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

Understanding the course also can put together you for the difficult moments. For instance, gas 15-Half-hour earlier than essential 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:

For those who discover your temper grow to be very unfavorable, eat and drink one thing!

It’s also possible to use the course to sign when it’s worthwhile 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.


Be aware 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. Concentrate on consuming actual meals the remainder of the time.

Put up-Marathon Fueling

Put up-race vitamin is much less necessary until it’s worthwhile to race quickly once more or get again to coaching. Eat a traditional, balanced meal if in case you have just a few days of relaxation earlier than it’s worthwhile to get again to coaching or racing. Having one alcoholic beverage after a race might be an effective way to have a good time an achievement, however drink water with it and restrict your self to only one drink.

If it’s worthwhile to concentrate on post-race vitamin to get better quick, simply take a restoration drink with 25g of protein and 40g+ carbs. Sip that throughout the hour after your race. Eat an everyday meal if you really feel prepared. Maintain consuming water.

Get much more working vitamin 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 all the time seek the advice of a medical skilled or healthcare supplier in the event you’re looking for medical recommendation.

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