How to Nail Your Race Day Fueling Plan

How to Nail Your Race Day Fueling Plan

Are you ready to take on your next marathon? If so, one of the most important things you'll need is a race day fueling plan. That's right—it's not enough just to have a training plan; you also need to think about what kind of nutrition will give you the energy and stamina needed to get through the big race. Don't worry, though—we've got all the tips and tricks you need in order to create a successful fueling plan!

The Basics of Race Day Fueling

One of the most important aspects of running a marathon is having enough fuel and hydration throughout your race. This means that you should start your race with some carbs already in your system and make sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids during your runs. You can do this by eating a light meal or snack about 2 hours before the start of your race. This should include complex carbohydrates like whole wheat toast, oatmeal, brown rice, or quinoa as these are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates. Additionally, be sure to drink water throughout the day leading up to your race as this will help ensure proper hydration levels when it comes time for the big event!

Tips for Race Day Fueling

In order to maximize performance during your marathon, it’s important that you keep an eye on both what and how much fuel you’re taking in throughout your run. Here are some tips for ensuring that you get enough fuel without overdoing it:

  • Start with small amounts at frequent intervals—for example, 15-30 grams of carbs every 30-45 minutes. This will help ensure steady energy throughout your run while avoiding any potential spikes or dips in blood sugar levels. • Stick with familiar foods—eating something new on race day can lead to an upset stomach which will negatively affect performance. Stick with foods that have worked well for you in the past such as bananas, gels, sports drinks or bars.
  • Monitor caffeine intake—while caffeine has been known to increase alertness and improve performance during races, too much caffeine can cause dehydration or other negative side effects so moderation is key!
  • Time it right—it’s best not to eat any food within two hours leading up to the start line as this can cause gastrointestinal issues during your run. Instead focus on hydrating properly (water is best) and consuming small snacks or meals throughout the day leading up to race time.


Race day fueling plans are essential for any runner looking for peak performance during their big event. A proper fueling plan will help ensure that runners have enough energy and hydration throughout their run without feeling sluggish due overconsumption prior to starting out on their course. With these tips in mind, runners can begin creating their own personalized plans tailored specifically towards their needs and goals! Good luck!

Learn more about race day fueling on the Behind the Sweat podcast

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