Marathon fuelling: How to avoid the wall

Running a marathon is a pretty serious undertaking, and while you’ve probably been putting in the hard yards in training, there is one area you can likely improve upon without inflicting any more pain – nutrition.

You only have enough stored carbohydrate to last you for about 90 minutes of running, so you need to take in extra to avoid completely depleting your glycogen stores and hitting the wall. This is most likely to happen from mile 16-20, depending on how fast you run.

Starting to take carbohydrate early into your run helps to preserve your glycogen stores and stave off early fatigue.

There is a limit as to how much carbohydrate you can absorb, which is about 60 grams per hour. During your run you are quite limited for options to get those carbs on board; your preferred option needs to be easy on your stomach and convenient to carry.

To perform at your highest level, aim for 3 SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gels per hour, every hour.

The easy solution is an SiS GO Isotonic energy gel, which provides 22 grams of rapidly absorbed carbohydrate in an isotonic formula.

This means that the gel can begin to be absorbed quickly and carries the least risk of casing stomach issues. This formulation is unique, read why not all energy gels are the same here.

Hydration is really important as well, so don’t neglect this. You should aim to drink 500ml-1000ml per hour depending on your sweat rate and the conditions. By careful of taking in energy drinks that are available on course that you may not have trained with and maybe high in simple sugars.

Make sure that you practice your nutrition strategy in training and in any practices that you do as part of your build up.

To fuel your marathon effectively, you’ll need to estimate how long you are going to take to complete it, and then carry enough gels to get you through. To preserve your glycogen stores, take your first gel after around 30 minutes and then repeat every 20-30, depending on the speed that you are running at. You can carry up to 8 in our SiS Marathon Belt.

We can’t stress enough just how important fuelling while running a marathon is to your performance and crucially your enjoyment, make sure you train as you race and give yourself as little to worry about on race day as possible.