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Marathon Fueling Information ► End Stronger

Marathon fueling doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Positive, fueling a marathon that may take 5 hours takes some planning (a minimum of it ought to), but it surely doesn’t should be overcomplicated. 

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


Be taught why coaching your intestine earlier than the race will 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 learn 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 vitamin means coaching your intestine and constructing a routine. Having a vitamin routine means there may be nothing new taking over helpful vitality on race day. 

Be taught the vitamin secrets and techniques of world champions.

Know what, when, how usually, 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 growing carbohydrate consumption will possible result in improved race performances?[1 For instance, cyclists can practice their intestine to absorb 100g of carbohydrates per hour. Runners are restricted in carbohydrate consumption on account of sloshing within the abdomen, however 60g per hour just 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 carefully as doable. Contemplate components equivalent to time of day, warmth, elevation, humidity, terrain, and so forth. The best 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 a remark of how the exercise went. If it went effectively, improve the subsequent take a look at by 10g extra of carbs. Do that till you discover the max quantity of carbs you possibly can consumption and nonetheless carry out at your greatest.

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 here 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 nervousness and menstrual ache are all widespread throughout this primary section of the cycle, making coaching and racing particularly tough. Stability blood sugar ranges with complete grains (like oats or muesli as a pre-race or coaching meal). Magnesium supplementation can also alleviate menstrual ache.
  • Follicular section: Doubtless little impression on marathon fueling. It may be time within the cycle for heavier coaching or racing on account of elevated vitality ranges and motivation.
  • Ovulatory section: Whereas elevated vitality ranges are widespread on this cycle section, so is a diminished urge for food. This may be tough to beat if the marathon falls throughout this section. Deal with hitting carbohydrate targets and belief your marathon fueling plan even for those who really feel prefer it’s an excessive amount of to eat.
  • Luteal section: Digestive challenges, low vitality and temper, and sugar cravings are all widespread. The physique is much less in a position to 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 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. 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 vitamin and hydration every single day!

Be aware, you will want to pee so much 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 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 depend upon just a few components: 

  • 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 must 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 here are some typical pre-race meals for some widespread occasions. Intention to complete consuming your remaining 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 Widespread 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 just isn’t the identical factor as marathon fueling. The calls for of the occasions are fully totally different and the physique reacts to these calls for otherwise. Take a look at the under pre-race fueling concepts to see how the calls for of the totally different occasions dictate fueling decisions:

  • 5k-10k: very gentle meal. Toast, oats and an egg or another sort of protein like yogurt. The race will begin onerous and end tougher. You need to arrive initially line hydrated and feeling like you can be hungry within the subsequent hour.
  • Half-marathon: identical as 5k-10k, however you need to arrive initially line with out feeling hungry. You additionally don’t need to really feel too full. One meal concept is to simply add nut butter to the toast talked about above.
  • Marathon: Eat a low fiber, carb-centric breakfast that accommodates 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 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 so much. Drink so much. Vitamin turns into a sport of how a lot you possibly can 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’ll most likely occur in some unspecified time in the future 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. 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 vitality gel for operating 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’re hydrated and able to rock. Deal with enjoyable your thoughts and getting ready your self for the trouble forward. 

Do some respiratory 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 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 necessary as if you eat throughout your race. When operating or biking for greater than 1 hour, it is sensible to plan further vitality consumption to gasoline 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 most effective 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 devour 30-80g of carbs each hour you race and relying in your occasion. Drink ~500ml of water or drink combine each hour. Ensure you have practiced this throughout coaching. Solely soak up as a lot as you’ve 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 best as they make up for an absence of each liquids and electrolytes. Be sure you know when the hydration stations are coming in your race route. When you want extra hydration than is obtainable, carry your personal hydration backpack or belt (however be sure you have skilled sporting it as effectively).

Know the course and the place it’s doable or essential to gasoline. Choose locations alongside the course the place your physique shall be working much less onerous. You course of vitamin extra effectively if you’re working much less onerous. Taking in vitamin throughout tough race moments is a foul concept.

Figuring out the course also can put together you for the difficult moments. For instance, gasoline 15-Half-hour earlier than crucial 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:

When you discover your temper turn into very detrimental, eat and drink one thing!

You can even use the course to sign when it is advisable 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 tough part. It may be sufficient to push you thru a tough 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. Deal with consuming actual meals the remainder of the time.

Put up-Marathon Fueling

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

If it is advisable to concentrate on post-race vitamin to recuperate 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. Hold consuming water.

Get much more operating vitamin steerage!

** The knowledge 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 for those who’re looking for medical recommendation.

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