• Helen Phillips

Eat and hydrate right for long run and race day success

I’m not suggesting you run into the nearest McDonalds to load up on junk mid way through your race, but if you’re training for a half or full marathon, then you’re going to need to train yourself to take on food for fuel and water to hydrate during your run.  Read on for my tips to eat and hydrate right for long run and race day success


Your body has enough carbohydrate, stored in muscles and the liver to fuel about 90 minutes of running. After this time, unless you take on more carbs you’ll be relying on fat to fuel your run, which can feel really hard. That moment when all of a sudden you feel you cant go on, the moment you bonk, you hit the wall, that’s the point when your carbs have been used up.

To keep going for longer you need to find carbs you can eat on the run

Use you long runs to try different foods and running fuels out. Everyone is different, what works for me might not work for you.

Try sports gels, drinks and chews, gummy bears, percy pigs and jelly babies, bananas, jam sandwiches and dried fruit.  What you choose needs to be high in available sugar, palatable, quick to digest and easy to carry.

You also need to drink water with your carbs, as pure sugar in the stomach can cause gut issues when you run.

If you're running a marathon, be sure to have a plan that’s tried and tested in training!

The first marathon I ran I didn’t know about refuelling, didn’t take any of the jelly babies offered to me.  I BONKED BADLY.  Please don’t repeat my mistake.

You need to practice drinking water and drinking on your run to thirst.

Carry a water bottle, use a camelback or hide bottles along your route.  On days when it’s hot and humid you’ll sweat more, so will need to drink more water. But don’t be fooled by cold days, you still sweat so still need to drink!

If you’re a heavy sweater, or if your sweat is salty and leaves white marks on your clothes, make sure you also include salt in your race food. Some gels and sports drinks contain added electrolytes to help you maintain your salt levels.

Practice makes perfect. So practice your eating and drinking on your long runs, so come race day you’re prepared.

If you've a marathon in your sights why don't you come and join Marathon Club Hub to help with your training and preparation for your race.  Marathon Club Hub is my marathon training and preparation coaching programme for marathon first-timers and will help you get trained, prepared and ready to run your marathon without the stress of having to work it all out yourself.

Each week through spring you'll join other first-timers for a virtual training & preparation coaching call to keep you on track with your plan.

Come join Marathon Club Hub HERE.

Let's do this!

Helen x

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