Long run nutrition options training for first marathon (Read 63 times)



    i am training for my first marathon and have not really eaten before or during long runs

    ran 14 today slowly and felt fine but planning to run 16 week after next and thinking should start practicing nutrition

    I have heard about gu suggestions and wondering about them and other options - not sure if anything more natural,or healthier or if gus best?

    also how to introduce and if anything before- I am typically trying to run long soon after waking up on sundays

    thsnks in advance



      Everyone will have an opinion on race fuel, but it's a personal thing. Which one actually fuels you better is probably not so critical right now; mainly you need to find something that doesn't irritate your stomach, which you can't know till you try it. I just use the regular Gu and it's fine for me. Note some have caffeine and some don't, so watch for that too. I would just be sure to start trying something on your LRs, with roughly the frequency you'd be using for the race - usually every 45 min or so. Wash it down with some water right after taking it.


      I do all my weekday runs pre-breakfast (but post-coffee). However for weekend LRs, I eat breakfast ~2 hrs pre-run. Mostly carbs with a little protein, like PB&J on toast. On race day it might be 2-3 hrs before the race depending on logistics, and then I'll have a banana at about T-1 hr.



      not bad for mile 25

        And don't neglect hydration. I have run too many marathons dehydrated in the last 6 miles.  Drink water early and often.


        Interval Junkie --Nobby

          . . . you need to find something that doesn't irritate your stomach, which you can't know till you try it.




          There are usually 3 options:

          1. Normal "Gu", which is basically high-tech sugar
          2. Gu with Caffiene
          3. "Gu" made from Honey (for the hippies)

          And all come in various forms.  Paste that you squeeze into your mouth and gummies that you chew are two common ones.


          So, here's what you need to practice:

          • Make sure your stomach can handle whichever you chose (some people find the Honey version irritating)
          • Make sure the Gu of choice is compatible in your stomach WITH THE RACE gatorade . . . by trying it on your run.
          • Make sure the the method of ingestion isn't annoying (I personally find gummies stuck between my teeth, or sitting like a rock in my stomach, unhelpful)
          • Figure out how you'll transport them on yourself (my first marathon had me casting off Gu because they were dragging down my shorts).

          And here's the race tip: DO NOT try anything you haven't already tested.  They might be giving out free $1,000 "ultra sport caviar" at mile 8.  Unless you think trying that is more important than your race-goal, just wave it off, no matter what miracle the product offers.  If you find something at the Expo that sound cool, save if your NEXT training session.


          Good luck!

          2021 Goals: 50mpw 'cause there's nothing else to do

          John Wood

            Check out what the race offers and test it out on your long runs. If you do good with it, your set. If it’s gu, just remember to take it and then take some water so it does it’s job.


              Testing various options during your long runs is necessary to see what your stomach can tolerate but also to see what things taste good to you and which don't. I've had some I tried I absolutely hated (i.e. e-gels taste very bitter to me, but some people really like them.) The usual for me is to eat something every 45 minutes on runs over 2 hours. I also practice drinking every 2 miles since that is the usual at the races I've run. At most marathons I've attended, they give out gels, but they usually aren't until fairly late in the race. I've found that I do better starting early and eating more often. If I wait, my stomach rebels and I get bad cramps or just can't swallow them.