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So far this month we've looked at how to fuel ultra marathons and sportives (check out our blog here if you've missed them). But unlike either of these, there are far fewer opportunities to have a pit stop during marathons. Plus there's also the challenge of marathons usually being mass participation events and therefore, no chance for kit drops.
Find out below our advice on what to use, how often to consume, how to carry your Active Root as well as extra tips on fuelling using Active Root during a marathon.
You should be consuming between 60-80g of carbs per hour during steady exercise e.g. a marathon.
Both our Gel Mix and Sports Drinks contain approximately 30g of carbs per serving. So you need between 2-3 of these per hour if you were just using Active Root nutrition. (ElectroLite contains only 8g of carbs, so you'd need to drink this on top of 2x servings of Gel Mix).
This could be 2x servings of Gel Mix and 1x of ElectroLite, or 1x serving of Gel Mix and 1x serving of Sports Drink.
Tip: for marathons abroad, make sure you're ready for any additional heat! Take some spare ElectroLite+ sachets just in case you need more salt.
You should aim to consume a small amount at regular, frequent intervals, e.g. every 20 minutes. This is maintain a steady energy supply and prevent blood sugar peaks and crashes.
Steady fueling is especially important from 1/2 way onwards. A lot of people suffer from the dreaded wall at 20miles which is often when your glycogen (energy stores) are completely depleted. I made the mistake of not eating between 15 - 18 miles because I felt great, but quickly began suffering in the miles after. So keep fuelling to prevent this, even when you're feeling good!
Top tip: use the 20min fuel intervals as a way to count through your marathon. E.g. if you're going for 4x hours, that's 12x fuel intervals.
There are a few different options as to how to carry nutrition including; short pockets; bumbags, hand hold bottles etc. We'd advise investing in a quality, comfortable race vest. Usually these contain a bladder that sits on your back, perfect for Active Root Sports Drinks, and two pouches on each strap than can hold Gel Mix Soft Flasks.
Top tip: We'd definitely advise trying before you buy. The last thing you want is something poor fitting where you have to twist your entire body to get to your nutrition.
Example of fueling for 3hr+ long run
I usually sip on a Soft Flask, whilst also occasionally drinking Sports Drink, more often if it's hot. So in 3 hours i'd consume: - 6x servings of Gel Mix in 2x Soft Flasks - 3x serving of Sports Drink (500ml) or ElectroLite+ in 1litre of water in a race pack