marathon breakfast

7 messages
26/12/2010 at 18:15
hi,i'm after advise on what sort of breakfast i should be eating the morning of a marathon, also advise on gels etc mid race to keep the energy levels doing cts half marathon in angelsey in jan and the coniston marathon in july but need guidence on the right foods i should be eating.
27/12/2010 at 11:30
Hi Debra,
In general for a marathon a high carbohydrate breakfast a good few hours before the start is best, e.g. porridge and golden syrup, toast and jam etc. However it is vital to try this out before a long training run or two as it may or may not suit you personally. (e.g. I for one had very lively guts and so on marathon day I breakfast on a chocolate/toffee bar!).
Don't forget to carboload for the 3 days before the race either - 10g of carbohydrate per kilo of bodyweight per day, which more or less means double and triple helpings of rice, potatoes or pasta at each mile, sport drink or fruit juice all day, and if in doubt some rice cakes or malt loaf... yikes! I hate doing this but it really works.
Gels. Again like with brekky it is v v v important to try things out in training runs and find out what suits YOU. Up to 1 every half hour, washed down with a few gulps of sport drink, starting from mile 3 or so, is what the manufacturers suggest. As marathons stand or fall on "gas in the tank" (carbohydrate levels in the body) it's worth trying that and then finetuning it to suit you. There are lots of different types of gels to try and some have caffeine too !

Getting this right makes a big difference so you have certainly left yourself enough time for experimentation! Good luck...
27/12/2010 at 15:46

For what its worth my pre marathon routine is as follows.

24 hours prior to race-start drinking as much water as possible. Carry water with you at all times and continue to drink all tghe way through to bedtime and keep water at bedside whilst sleeping.

race day breakfast-coffee,toast. 1.5 hrs before race start 500ml of eneregy drink followed by energy bar. No more fluid before race start.During race I take water every 30 minutes with an energy gel at 1 hour 2 hour and 3 hour marks.

try it during the long sunday runs to see what works best for you. 

27/12/2010 at 18:23

I absolutely agree with Fido, you have to try out a breakfast well in advance and not start on race day.

I hate breakfast it makes me sick eating early in the morning, but I was thinking that before a marathon obviously I need to force down breakfast. My 2 first marathons I forced down breakfast and I felt ill, my last marathon I skipped breakfast and ate a gel and drank a bit of sportsdrink before...guess what? PB by 20 minutes.

Ok not saying you should skip breakfast but rather that you should plan a long run starting the same time as your race and try what breakfast and how much works for you. We are all individuals.

Same goes with water try how much you need on a long run, many runners drink too much which can be dangerous or at best annoying with toilet breaks and a clucking stomach. Personally I eat between 3-4 gels during a marathon and drink maybe 1 pint water + a bit of sportsdrink, although I am the type of person which need very little water.

27/12/2010 at 18:58
In my experience the morning of a marathon isn't really going to deliver any benefit in terms of food consumed, as with hydration, carbs all come from from the day/days before.

Generally I'd go with something really quick to digest which requires little effort to eat in a horribly nervous state... for me toast and jam and perhaps a banana if I'm feeling really brave. I would agree with Zaba though... technically you can go with nothing at all providing your previous days are properly fuel.

28/12/2010 at 09:01

I agree with what Zaba wrote

Zaba wrote (see)

... but rather that you should plan a long run starting the same time as your race and try what breakfast and how much works for you. We are all individuals.


but I would aim to try different things out on 3 or more longer runs building up to the marathon - e.g. 16, 19, 22 miles over a period of months.

There is also the viewpoint that carbo-loading is over-rated and can leave you feeling bloated and heavy on the run.

The challenge on the marathon is how to refuel your body on the run - you can't store enough fuel to get you round and the body can only digest at a quick enough rate if you are using energy driks or gels.

FWIW my current practice, for a 4h00 - 4h30 marathon, is:

1 day before - drink 2 litres of energy drink and anything else I can drink. Solid food should be simple and easily digested and not too much roughage.

Morning of the race I take an energy bar (PVM in my case) as my breakfast (about 1 1/2 hrs before the race start - which is maybe a bit too close but we start races early in South Africa).

On a self supported marathon, I carry two 500ml bottles of energy drink with me and aim to make them last for 2 1/2 hrs. I can do this being male and having big hands - I appreciate it might not be feasible for you.

The most important thing is to practice what you will do on race day beforehand on your training runs and then on race day itself, don't do anything new.

28/12/2010 at 15:28
thanks for all your replies i can take something from all of is ages till july so should have perfected something buy then.thanks again

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