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Nutrition Guide - Road Running

Nutrition Guide - Road Running

It is not a requirement to take on additional nutrition during a shorter distance race and this is also dependant on the time you expect to be running for, but if you are running for a longer period of time or this is your 'A Race' you might will benefit from ensuring you hit the start line fully fuelled.


Make sure you are hydrated, and fully fuelled ready to run, try a pre-loading strategy. Ideally, drink between breakfast race, sipping slowly and finish 45 minutes before race start. There are a number of energy drinks on the market that can be used as an effective pre-load. 

Start sipping, swilling and swallowing your energy drink anything up to four hours but no shorter than half an hour in advance of your run. The maximum benefit is obtained from drinking early, as the slower you sip-feed your fuel into your system the more time the body has to absorb it and maximise performance.

Preload Drink Mix with 500ml of water.

Taking an energy gel on the start line. Another option is to take a gel at the start line, this has the added benefit of giving you a boost 15-25 minutes into your run. Ideally for shorter races when not fuelling during the race.


Time and distance dependant in-race nutrition may not be a requirement however if you are racing over an hour you may benefit from a boost, for example a 10k or half marathon with an expected finish time between 1h 30m - 2h 00m you would benefit from an energy gel after 1 hour (in-between 5 miles and 10 miles) that will help boost you to the line.

Also if you are racing a Half Marathon you would also see a benefit from a race fuelling strategy similar to a marathon.

Half Marathon & Marathon distance events

The key is to take fuel on from the start of the race, don't wait until it's too late.

Operating a strategy to consume 1 x Gel every 5-6km \ 3 - 5 miles or 20 - 35 minutes, this will see you taking on 5 - 7 gels.

If you have had issues with energy gels before don't let this put you off, taking nutrition too late in a race can cause stomach distress, also a drop in sodium can have a similar effect. The Key is to fuel little and often from the start.

If you are not keen on taking on energy gels you can switch to different fuelling methods including 

Drink alternative

An alternative to a pure gel strategy is to take on your fuel via an energy drink. This is also a benefit for runners who suffer from gut/stomach issues when using gels.

You can also use gels and solid fuel types with your energy drink fuelling.

Alternatively, there are a number of great sources of fuel made in a chew form - these are a direct replacement for gels however you will need to carry the packets and fuel as recommended. An example with CLIF SHOT BLOKS is that you would eat 3 blocks to get the same intake as you would from a single gel.


It is crucial that you refuel as soon as possible after running a marathon, a combination of recovery drink within 20 minutes of finishing your event and some solid food.

Your post run cravings and treats will be high on your priority list but it's important to get yourself refuelled to aid the recovery process.

And remember however no matter how good your recovery drink tastes to get the maximum benefit DO NOT drink it too quickly, savour the drink and your body will have more time to absorb it.

As this is post event your solid food can be anything and normally something you are craving but if you know you have a space of time before you will be able to easily get food, a recovery bar or energy bar is the perfect solution and can be packed and ready in your post race kit bag.

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