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3532 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 27, 2012 8:23 PM by lenzlaw
jneptune Amateur 21 posts since
Sep 24, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 3, 2012 1:41 PM

Fueling During A Marathon



I'm looking for some guidance from experienced long distance endurance athletes on fueling during a long race.


I just ran the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon and was very disappointed that I missed my PR because my hamstrings cramped with only .6 left!  I was feeling great the whole race, on pace to break 3:10, and with that short distance to go I could not run off the cramp and had to walk/hobble to the finish line.


I sweat a lot so I use a lot of fuel, but the fact that I'm still cramping late in these races tells me that I still have some adjustments to make.


Here is what I typically take in during a marathon:

I carry a 20 ounce bottle filled with Hammer Perpetuem (270 calories plus many other electrolytes)

2-3 Hammer Endurloyte pills per hour as suggested on the bottle

6 E Gels (Made by I choose them because they pack more calories, sodium, and potassium than anyone else I've researched)

Water at every aide station to either refill my bottle or just drink out of the cup.


I've tried the "less is more" idea as well and still cramped around mile 22.


Whatever suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance,



"True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united."

-Karl Wilhelm von Humboldt


"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."

-John Wooden

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 10, 2012 1:51 PM (in response to jneptune)
    Fueling During A Marathon

    Try honey packets (natural, unrefined and easily converted to energy) or Honey Stinger if you prefer the gels.  Also, by-pass some of the aid stations because you really do not know what you are getting, so preparing your own fuel belt is a less risky.  Look at your overall diet (increase your iron intake maybe) and the combination of things that you are currently using..something may be interferring with your digestive system and performance.  (So, the pills, the gels, the Hammer, and the unknown water sources may not all be mixing well, for example). 


    You mentioned trying the less is best idea, but try the honey instead of gels and then eliminate either the Hammer pills or drink to see if that makes a difference. 


    Wishing you all the best. 

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jun 11, 2012 5:42 AM (in response to jneptune)
    Fueling During A Marathon

    Might be more with your training, sounds like you should have had plenty?

  • emalcon1 Amateur 9 posts since
    Jun 13, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 18, 2012 7:46 AM (in response to BOSNPM)
    Fueling During A Marathon

    I get dehydrated absurdly quickly as a result of a few experiences with heat exhaustion in the military. As a result, I've had to get a laser focus on my sports nutrition strategies. I have a strategy for hydration and one for calorie replacement. For hydration, I stick with the stuff focusing on hydration: Gatorade/Nuun/all the hydration tabs from various manufacturers (Gu, Hammer, etc). For calorie replacement, I focus on stuff promising just calorie replacement (Clif Shot is a good one for that). That way you lessen the variables you're messing with which allows you to know where to make tweaks.

  • usnavy233 Rookie 7 posts since
    Apr 2, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jun 23, 2012 9:05 AM (in response to jneptune)
    Fueling During A Marathon

    What's your diet like outside of your training nutrition?

    "He is best; who is trained in the severest school."

    - General Thucydides, 424BC

  • usnavy233 Rookie 7 posts since
    Apr 2, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jun 26, 2012 12:37 PM (in response to jneptune)
    Fueling During A Marathon



    Based on your regular diet I would say you're getting plenty of nutrition pre-run. It almost seems to me that you're overdoing it with 6 E-gels (I'm a fan of cranksports to) plus Endurloyte every hour plus Perpetuem off the start. That just seems like a lot more potassium and sodium than your body can use. I could be wrong on that, but that's just my first impression. But for now...


    What's was your training plan leading up the marathon? How many miles per week, what was your long runs and how many did you get in, etc? Maybe the culprit isn't nutrition overload.

    "He is best; who is trained in the severest school."

    - General Thucydides, 424BC

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,473 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jun 27, 2012 8:23 PM (in response to jneptune)
    Fueling During A Marathon

    A few general comments.

    - You don't say what your training paces are.

    - More miles, less cross-training.  I would think more like 60 - 70 mpw.

    - Inadequate taper. 3 week taper, decrease volume substantially across the 3 weeks (70%/50%/30%), and minimize, if not eliminate the cross-training.




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