Proper fueling during a marathon is crucial. This is because our body only has so much energy stored up to keep us going. If we don’t consume energy during a long distance race, it’s possible that we may “hit the wall”
I’m going to give you some tips on proper furling during a race. Typically, for the first 3 hours of a race, athletes need about 30-60g of CHO every hour. If you are racing for longer than 3 hours, you’re needs increase to about 60-90g of CHO every hour.
1) Begin fueling early on so you don’t feel fatigued later! If you don’t feel like eating food, try a sports drink.
2) Stick with what you know and do not introduce anything new, for that could upset your stomach and throw you off.
3) Use training as a time to experiment with different options, This way on the day of the race you will know what food and drink combination will give you the most energy to last the entire time
4) Take advantage of the “hydration stations.” Every couple of miles foods and drinks are provided for the runners. My advice is to always take a cup of water and/or a cup of Gatorade. These stations also usually have some sort of sports gel, so if you like those, make sure to grab some as well!
5) Drink your energy. We still need to hydrate during long runs, which is why Gatorade or coconut water is a great option. Not only do these drinks supply carbs and electrolytes, but they also contribute to our fluid intake needs!
6) Plan your “race day fueling plan” before the actual race. It’s important to get an idea of what you will be eating and when. Planning will allow you to make sure that you are consuming enough energy and carbohydrates so you feel great the entire time and have a perfect race day finish!
If you would like individual nutrition coaching to improve your performance, contact us today! Alex can support you in meeting your nutrition goals when it comes to sports and marathon training.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.