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How to fuel yourself for a marathon

London Marathon race day is almost here, and there's a whole lot to think about, but fueling yourself properly is an easy win. So the experts at Science in Sport (SiS) have given us some tips on how to fuel yourself correctly for a marathon

Preparation

Carbs are your main source of fuel on race day, so it’s important to eat carbohydrate-rich foods leading up to your run. SiS recommends 100g of carbohydrates for an evening meal, such as pasta or potatoes, avoiding excess, fat, fibre and spicy food. On the morning of the race, have a carb-based breakfast such as toast or cereal three hours before the start of the race.

Energy

Most of us have enough carbohydrates stored in our bodies for 90 minutes of exercise, so for the race itself you will need an additional intake to help get you to finish. SiS recommends 2-3 SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gels per hour of the marathon and then a SiS GO Energy + Double Caffeine Gel one hour before the end of the race to provide a boost as you approach the finish line.

Hydration

A runner can lose up to two litres of fluid an hour when running in warm conditions. So starting your race fully hydrated is essential if you want to be at peak performance. Aim to replace 500ml- 1000ml of fluid per hour depending on your sweat rate. SiS recommends sipping on SiS GO Electrolyte before and during the race to stay fully hydrated. 

Nutritional Routine

It’s important to practice your nutritional routine. Consider what works well for you and don’t do anything new in terms of nutrition on race day. Measure what levels of carbohydrate and water that you’re comfortable with while running and then stick to these amounts on the day to avoid unexpected discomfort or dehydration.

Recovery

The first 30 minutes after the race has finished is the most important for recovery. It’s essential to start the recovery process immediately and drink plenty of water to rehydrate. SiS recommends SiS REGO Rapid Recovery, which will give you 20g of protein and 23g of easily-absorbed carbohydrate to help your muscles recover while WHEY20 can give you 20g of protein, making it useful for a quick, on-the-go fix. Have a balanced meal when you get home and include SiS GO Hydro to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat. It’s also worth taking in protein the night before and on the night of the race to ensure your muscles are in a good condition, SiS Overnight Protein is a slow digesting protein that works while you’re sleeping.

Click here for more tips on running the marathon

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