A normal adult needs to consume between 1900 and 2600 kcal of energy per day to meet their daily energy requirements. However, research into energy expenditure during a marathon shows that runners can burn as many as 2200 and 2500 kcal during the race. Therefore, whether you are an elite runner needing to ‘fuel’ intense running for two to three hours or take four-hours-plus to complete the distance, it’s vital that you adopt the correct nutritional strategy to get you through the race.
Firstly, in the days leading up to your long training runs, practise your pre-race nutrition strategy. Then, try drinking or eating while on the run – use these practice sessions to learn what your body can and can’t tolerate. That way, you can be sure that you will be fully prepared come race day.
The energy your body needs to fuel your longer runs comes from what you eat and drink. It is essential that you take on enough carbohydrate to help fuel your muscles and prevent energy depletion. Evidence shows that by increasing your carbohydrate stores, you can not only improve your performance but enhance your recovery too. Energy bars, carbohydrate gels and sweets provide a good carbohydrate boost to help make training easier and more comfortable.
The second challenge you face is taking on sufficient fluid and salts to help replace what you lose through sweating and thus minimise dehydration. Drinking sufficient quantities to remain hydrated before, during and after running is crucial to allow your body to sweat, maintain your core body temperature, and protect your body from the dangers of overheating.
As you increase your miles in training, it is worth considering using a recovery drink after a run. Such drinks are C-Glutamine, Lucozade, Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Check out the cla side effects. Lucozade Sport Recovery Drink contains carbohydrate, to help replace your body’s energy stores, and protein. It will also help restore your fluid balance. By making sure you get the right nutrition in your training you’ll be much better prepared for race day and this could help you finish the race with a smile on your face!mr
The finishing times from 2008 really reflect the challenging nature of the Flora London Marathon, and highlight that for most participants simply reaching the finishing line will require a truly Olympian effort. And despite the increasing numbers of people running in this mass-participation event, the scale of the challenge should never be underestimated.
The achievements of lronman athletes prove that through a disciplined approach to training and appreciating the importance of good nutrition, people can sustain exercise for enormous lengths of time – both in training and competition. In order to prepare for the Flora London Marathon then, it’s essential you start thinking about how you will cope with the challenge of running for this length of time and from a nutrition perspective, how you plan to stay hydrated and consume enough carbohydrates to avoid hitting ‘the wall’.
At the moment, these are questions that different people answer in diverse ways. Experimenting with your nutrition in training, and planning where, when and what you intend to eat and drink on race day therefore becomes vital in the months leading up to the Flora London Marathon.
Remember, Lucozade Sport will not only be there on race day, we will also be at the marathon warm-up events. Whatever your running goal, we’ll be there, fuelling you to the finish line.