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Sports nutrition made simple

A healthy, balanced diet should be your first priority when you start training for any running event. However, as you ramp up your miles in marathon training, you’ll need to think about taking onboard fuel, as well as water, during your runs and that’s where specialised sports nutrition comes in.

Sports nutrition products cover everything from drinks and gels to bars, tablets and sweets. Figuring out what products work best for you will become a key element of your training once you start to run for longer than 60 to 90 minutes at a time.

This approach of trying a variety of products to find the right ones for you will ensure you have a sound fuelling and hydration plan when Event Day rolls around on Sunday 3 October 2021 – leave it until the last minute and you could find out too late that something doesn’t suit you.

However you decide to fuel your 26.2-mile Virgin Money London Marathon challenge, our partner Lucozade Sport has you covered with a simple strategy for success:

Try Lucozade Sport in training

On Event Day, Lucozade Sport and Lucozade Sport gels will be available on the Virgin Money London Marathon route, so it makes sense to try these products in training as you build up to the big day – although you could also try alternatives and carry these with you on Event Day if you prefer.

Experiment on longer runs

We store carbohydrates in the body as glycogen. When we run for longer durations, we tap into this glycogen store for the energy that keeps us moving. As these stores begin to reduce it is recommended to take on extra carbs during your training to preserve these glycogen stores. If you deplete your glycogen stores you will be out of energy and your race may be over.

The amount of carbs you consume will come down to personal preference (which you’ll discover as you experiment during your training), but the experts at Lucozade Sport recommend 30g to 60g of carbs per hour for endurance-type exercise such as marathon running.

Calculate your carbs

This isn’t as tricky as it sounds – in practical terms, you could get your 30g to 60g by sipping on a 500ml Lucozade Sport which delivers between 32 and 33g of carbohydrates per bottle (depending on flavour), or consuming a Lucozade Sport Dual-Fuel Energy Gel with water, which provides 30g of carbs per 45g sachet.

That’s the basics – to find out more on how to develop a good fuelling strategy as you train for the marathon, the experts at Lucozade Sport have answered your 20 most frequently asked questions.