Fueling: How to start your fueling practice for race day

EPISODE 56 LISTEN HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/56-fueling-how-to-start-your-fueling-practice-for-race-day/id1446735036

Practicing marathon fueling now! We all know fueling is an important part of running. Many people find this topic confusing, and we are going to shed some light for beginners. Everyone’s body is different. I know I struggled with this a lot. It can almost feel like you are fighting your body at times. I promise you practice makes perfect for this! Your body is trainable! You can really transform how your body processes fuel and water and how you run. What have you been doing during training for nutrition & water before & during? Our body stores about 2 hours of glycogen that is easy to convert and use in endurance events. Each athlete responds differently in a glycogen depleted state. Some people can still run just fine. Others see a dramatic shift in their performance. It all depends on how you train. The biggest issue is with waiting until mile 11 to fuel is that your body may not be able to absorb the nutrition at that point. Our body is really smart. Towards the middle of the race, our body realizes what we are doing. The blood circulation priorities become your legs/ muscles working hard on running. As a result, sometimes our body/brain temporarily signals to ‘slow down’ or shut down temporary digestion processes. This is sometimes why running AND fueling is such a tricky spot for athletes! We will definitely want to get you comfortable to drink liquids while running at the least. Especially running a marathon in June! Dehydration can be a huge issue if we don’t train the body how to take in liquids during training. Step 1- Start drinking 4-8oz of water 10-20 min before EVERY run you do (all easy runs, workouts, etc). I want to get your body used to having liquids Step 2- During a longer workout or run, stop in the middle for a 30 second water break drinking 2-4oz Step 3- Start to eat 60 min before your run something light that sits well with your stomach (half a banana) Build on these 3 points. The other fueling with gels is not a ‘huge deal’ but it is still important. One step at a time 🙂 I know many athletes who have ran well off just liquid fueling.


Fueling can be one of the toughest aspects of running especially for those doing the half and full marathons! Check out our tips for nailing a strategy down that you are confident about & works for YOU:👇

✅START SMALL: If you have a tough time eating before running, start VERY small (half piece of toast) to give yourself some confidence that you can eat before running. It might be best for you to do really small portions through the morning of a race, especially for later race start times ⏱

✅KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL: Keeping a food journal can help you figure out your problem foods/times of eating. This is important to realize that the issue isn’t eating before you run, the issue is eating CERTAIN FOODS or eating too close to running. This varies person to person

✅FIND A PRE-RACE DINNER THAT WORKS FOR YOU: If your stomach is upset during your race, it is more likely caused by your dinner the night before the race than the breakfast you had a few hours before. Low-fiber, high-carb dinners work great for avoiding bathroom issues and storing up that glycogen 🙌

✅PRACTICE DURING YOUR LONG RUNS: By no means do you need to practice your pre-race dinner, pre-race breakfast and race fueling each week. That can be hard to do as an amateur runner with a lot going on. Aim to practice it on two long runs per month 🗓

✅FIGURE OUT YOUR MORNING BATHROOM ROUTINE: How often do you need go to #2 before feeling emptied and ready to go? How many hours do you need to get everything out? These are things to figure out! 🚽

✅FUEL EARLY DURING RUNS & RACES: Start fueling 30-45 min into the race. Your body will be able to process THAT fuel and save the fuel stored in your muscles for LATER in the race when your body can no longer digest the gels you are taking in as efficiently •
👉You CANNOT perform well during a 90+ minute long run or race if you don’t eat in the morning or eat a proper dinner the night before. Your body can only store up to two hours of glycogen so you will need those stores fully stocked before heading out the door

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