How To Fuel A Marathon

If you’re taking on an endurance challenge like a marathon, it is really important to work out a fuelling strategy to make sure you optimise your energy supply and hydration status during the event. This way you will be able to get the most out of yourself on the big day.

Why Is A Nutrition Plan Important?

The body gets its energy by burning fats, carbohydrates and some proteins. Carbohydrate can be converted to energy the easiest; using the least amount of oxygen to do so. More so than fat. But usually our body uses a combination of the two to allow for the lower and higher intensity phases of training or racing. The only problem is, our carbohydrate stores are limited; so our marathon fuelling strategy needs to revolve around replenishing these stores.

Similarly hydration is an important area to factor in to race day. Dehydration can have an negative impact on performance and concentration, which over a long event such as the marathon can be really detrimental to the final result.

How To Fuel A Marathon — OTE Sports

Pre Race Event Meal

Before an event, we would suggest having a high carbohydrate meal around 2-3 hours before the start. This will allow your body to process the food and avoid any discomfort when you begin. Some ideas of good pre-marathon meals are:

– Large bowl of porridge made with semi skimmed milk. Topped with a large banana and drizzle of honey.

– Large plate of pasta mixed with either a tomato or pesto sauce. Top with a grilled chicken breast.

– Beans on 2-3 slices of toast with a side of scrambled eggs.

We recommend sipping on OTE Hydro Tabs during the days prior to the event to ensure you start the event fully hydrated. Also if you struggle to eat early in the morning or prior to an event due to nerves, trying using OTE Β Energy Drink as an easy way of consuming extra carbohydrates.

The Final Countdown

Before most big marathons you have to spend time in a holding pen depending on the guide running time you have given when you entered. You may spend anything up to and beyond an hour in this pen which is usually outside on a road. During this time we would advise having a snack with you such as an Anytime Bar and a bottle of Energy Drink, which will be particularly important if it is a hot day. It may be worth having some warm clothing with you too to wear during this time if the weather isn’t so good, but these may have to be sacrificed and left at the start unless you can get a helper to retrieve them.

There is often a bag drop option where you can have a bag sent to the finish. Think about your nutrition when packing this bag and place in there a shaker and a recovery drink sachet to make up as you finish. This will help kick start the recovery process. Also think about the logistics of getting back to your car or accommodation, things could be very busy so packing some extra snacks such as an Anytime Bar is always a good idea

How To Fuel A Marathon — OTE Sports

During The Race

We would always suggest trialing you fuelling strategy in training. And try to avoid using any sport nutrition you are not familiar with on the big day (even if it is free!)

The following is based on a 4 hour marathon time, looking at consuming 60g of carbohydrates per hour. Aiming for a total of 240g of Carbs.

1. 10 minutes before: One OTE Energy Gel

2. We would advise taking 1Β OTE Super GelΒ and 1/2 a 500 ml bottle of OTE Energy Drink each hour to achieve the 60g Β carbohydrate intake. Take one energy gel at the start of the hour and sip the energy drink little and often throughout.

3. Within the last hour we would advise switching the Super Gel for OTE Caffeine Gels to give you a final boost.

4. Within 30 minutes of finishing the marathon, make sure you consume an OTE Recovery Drink to help kick start the recovery process.

These may seem like a lot of energy products, but it is important to remember OTE is designed to be kind on the stomach and eliminate any discomfort that may usually be associated with the use of Sports Nutrition products. Check out why you would use an energy gel here.

Super Gel = Game Changer

Because time to fuel during a marathon is limited, the Super Gel has become the product of choice for many of our pro athletes.

Each gel delivers 40g of carbohydrates, which is double that of a standard gel. These is particularly advantageous for endurance events such as the marathon, when there is a clear emphasis on staying on top of fuel stores.

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How To Fuel A Marathon — OTE Sports