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Marathon Nutrition Tips

Fall is here and so is Marathon Season!

Food is fuel. Don’t expect to race at a premium level when you’re putting crappy fuel in your body. Also, don’t expect to race at a premium level when you’re not putting enough fuel in your body – check out these nutrition tips to keep you going and going!

1) Hydrate Early and Often: Don’t wait until the morning of your race to start your hydration plan!

  • Before the race, drink 2-4 liters daily in the 48-72 hours leading up to the big race. On race morning, drink 1/10th your body weight in ounces 4 hours prior to the start to give yourself plenty of time to flush any excess fluids.
  • During the race, take advantage of aid stations so you don’t have to carry extra weight: aim for 16-30 oz of fluids—either water or sports drink—per hour starting after the first few miles. Not only does dehydration make it harder for your heart to pump blood to working muscles, it also makes you feel like you’re working harder due to its effects on the central nervous system.

2) Sip and Nibble: Think of your fueling strategy like an IV drip.

The goal is to take in calories and fluids in small, frequent doses rather than as large quantities spread out every hour or so. Try to eat or drink something every 15-20 minutes, however small it may be! An Energy Chew or two, a sip of Hydration Drink Mix or Roctane Energy Drink Mix, something to keep a steady flow of nutrients and energy to your working muscles.

Try these new GU Flavors for Fall!

Try these new GU Flavors for Fall!

3) Train Your Nutrition: However you chose to fuel on race day, be sure to practice, practice, practice!

Race day is not the time to try anything new. Your nutrition plan should be dialed, even down to which flavors you know work well during long runs. It’s particularly important to find out how much fluid you can tolerate before you get that sloshing feeling in your stomach. Practice your plan during weekly long runs leading up to your race, and adjust as needed.

4) Protect Your Muscles: During prolonged, strenuous exercise (like marathons!) your body will start to break down its own muscles to supply amino acids for energy production.

To protect your muscles from breakdown and help kick start recovery, we recommend supplementing your supply of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the most important amino acids for muscle repair and rebuilding. Not only that, BCAAs are metabolized directly by the muscles themselves, providing an additional energy source!


Most importantly – remember that running is fun, so smile and just keep going!

Nutrition FTR

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