Sunday, December 10, 2017

Marathon Day Fueling

I used the exact same fueling plan for my last two marathons, and very close to it for the two before that.  I've never had any stomach or GI issues with this nutrition, and I've always felt like I had enough fuel for the distance.  While I think that marathon nutrition is very individualized and should always be practiced in training, this is what works for me.
  • 3 hours pre-race:  a large baked sweet potato (no skin - the only time I don't eat it) and a nuun energy tab dissolved in about 12 oz water (40 mg caffeine).  I can also do a plain potato, but I like sweet potatoes more, plus they are more nutrient-dense.  Potatoes sit better with me than grains, but in a pinch I'm okay with breads, bagels, Cheerios, oatmeal, and other bland basic carbs.
  • Between 2.5-0.5 hour pre-race:  sip on 12 oz water with a second nuun energy tab.
  • 1.5 hours pre-race:  two scoops of Generation UCAN vanilla flavor mixed in about 8 oz of almond milk.
  • During race:  3 Accel gels (each with 40 mg caffeine), around the 10K, 20K, and 30K marks, but with some variation based on the course aid station placement, because I try to take them with water.  I always carry 4 gels just in case, but haven't taken the fourth recently.  I also take water at each aid station, and at CIM I took nuun on the course because that's what I train with.  I dislike other brands of sports drinks that are often provided in marathons, so I've typically used water only on the courses.
    Gels & nuun energy
That's nuun energy in water, Generation UCAN
powder, & my baked sweet potato


  1. Did you feel like the caffeine taper helped?

    1. I really have no idea if it did or not! But it didn't hurt me any so I will do it again. What's been surprising about that is that after 3 weeks off coffee I don't want it often now; most mornings I just have tea. Sticking to decaf tea the week before Houston will be super easy so I might as well!

    2. I’m like you, I like drinking something warm in the morning but don’t really need the caffeine. I usually drink decaf coffee but had never thought to do tea. I may have to switch!

    3. There are a lot of really good holiday flavor teas out right now too. I got a really good cinnamon one, and I also like chai tea a lot.

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