Marathon Advice from our Lead Physio, Ben CoffeyI am an experienced ultra-marathon runner and road cyclist. I will be taking part in the Race To The King ultra-marathon on the 25th June.
It is important not to overcompensate calorie, fluid and salt consumption in the days leading up to a race. Do not drink more than the medically recommended amount of water for your weight in the days prior to a race and certainly not more than needed on race day. This could lead to a potential risk of hyponatremia, which can be life threatening.
There is no benefit to excessive 'carb loading'. Simply eat clean and healthily in normal quantities avoiding alcohol, refined sugars, and saturated fats. The most effective 'carb loading' takes place in the first hour after workouts in the weeks leading up to the race. This keeps your glycogen stores topped up. Any excess carbohydrates will be stored as fat.
Be careful of high sodium content in the days preceding a race. This can potentially disrupt the hormonal mechanisms that regulate sodium in the body.
The pre-race meal should be consumed three or more hours prior to the start. You can take a complex isotonic energy gel no more than 10 mins prior to racing.
During the marathon, know your pace and stick to it. Refuel and rehydrate correctly, being extremely careful not to take on too any calories or too much water. More isn't better!
Most importantly, enjoy it!