Marathon-Day Nutrition

Preparation is the key to an enjoyable event day experience – and when it comes to nutrition, preparation can make the difference between achieving your goals or not. Here’s what you need to know:

The week before the marathon

Increase your carbohydrate intake in the seven days prior to the big day to ensure you are storing the energy in your muscles that you’ll need during the marathon challenge. Foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, bananas, jelly sweets and Lucozade Sport are all high in carbohydrate and low in fat.

The day before

To ensure that your body is properly hydrated in the lead up to event day, you should drink plenty of fluids. A good indication of your hydration status is the colour of your urine. Dark urine indicates dehydration and that you need to drink more. If your urine is a pale straw colour, you are sufficiently hydrated and should aim to maintain this status right up to the beginning of the event.

The evening before the marathon, try to eat high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods that you like and are accustomed to eating. Chicken and pasta in a tomato sauce or a baked potato with tuna and vegetables are both great examples.

The big day

Your event day breakfast is very important. Cereal, toast, porridge, fruit and juice are all high in carbohydrates, but don’t try anything new. Aim to have your breakfast two to four hours before you start the event and keep yourself hydrated by drinking little and often.

Regardless of the weather, it is important to drink throughout the marathon – taking regular sips of Lucozade Sport, and avoiding consuming large quantities of fluid, will help you to stay hydrated and top up your energy stores without feeling uncomfortable in your stomach.

Top Tips

  • Don’t try anything new on event day
  • Drink to thirst – when you are thirsty, make sure you drink before and during the event
  • Drink little and often – avoid consuming large volumes of fluid throughout the race
  • Make sure you have a drink and snack handy when you finish the event
  • Enjoy yourself - and good luck!

Pace yourself

Pacing yourself is crucial if you want to enjoy the marathon. Running an even-paced event will help you to avoid wasting precious energy stores early on in the run. Starting off too quickly means you’ll be using up too much energy during the first few miles and you may find you run out of carbohydrate (our muscles’ preferred energy supply) before you get to the finish.

Pace Bands

Wearing a pace band on your wrist is an easy and effective way to help you run an even-paced race. They show you how long it should take to complete each mile of the race, to help you finish within your target time. Integrating your race hydration and nutrition with your pacing strategy is vital.

Running an even paced race in combination with regular fluid and energy top ups can help delay fatigue. Regular sips of Lucozade Sport will top up your energy stores and also help prevent dehydration.

Lucozade Sport pace bands

Lucozade Sport has taken the hassle out of race pacing by providing free pace bands to all runners.

By using the pace band generator at Lucozade Sport you will be able to create a pace band personalised to your desired time and distance. Simply select the pace band that matches the time you expect to finish in and wrap it around your wrist next to your watch.