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The best way to Nail Your Marathon Race Day Hydration

How to Nail Your Marathon Race Day Hydration

Hydration is one thing a whole lot of runners get fallacious through the marathon, particularly when we’ve got a freak sizzling day in April and race day is lots hotter than many of the lengthy coaching runs we’ve executed through the winter months!

The very best factor you are able to do in preparation on your marathon (other than tapering and carb loading!) is to ensure you are hydrating nicely throughout race week.

For most girls, our each day hydration wants are about 2.7L per day (20% of which we sometimes obtain via meals consumption). Throughout race week I sometimes purpose for round 2.5L fluid per day, via a mix of water, juice (carbs!), espresso/tea, carb drinks, and electrolyte drinks. Don’t overlook to take a refillable bottle to drink on the expo!!

The best way to Nail Your Marathon Race Day Hydration

Why is it vital to hydrate on the run?

  • stop dehydration
  • assist absorption on carbs

Dehydration cannot solely influence our general well being and wellbeing through the race, but additionally negatively influence efficiency. Changing into dehydrated reduces blood quantity, will increase coronary heart fee, reduces gastrointestinal blood stream, raises core temperate and will increase the speed of muscle glycogen utilization.

What are the indicators/signs of dehydration?

  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • runners tummy
  • cramps
  • elevated perceived effort ranges

How a lot fluid do you have to drink through the marathon?

Your sweat fee is how a lot fluid you lose per hour whereas coaching. This could fluctuate from individual to individual in addition to based mostly on the local weather/depth of exercise and so on. Common sweat charges are 500ml to 2500ml per hour!

Sweat Fee

You may work out your sweat fee by weighing your self bare earlier than an hour run (ensure to go to the john first!). Ideally you’d do that at a time of day that will probably be comparable temps/circumstances to race day. When you drink something earlier than your run after weighing in ensure to doc precisely how a lot in ml. Run for 60 minutes (or 30 minutes and double it), then weigh again in bare!

Take your pre-exercise weight, subtract your publish train weight = weight misplaced in grams per hour of train. Don’t overlook to subtract any fluid drunk after weigh in. 1g = 1ml. Subsequently in case you lose 500g per hour, your sweat fee is 500m/hr.

The excellent news is that through the race, you need to be aiming for a ‘like for like’ sweat alternative, as you may be beginning hydrated and capable of replenish post-race.

For most individuals, consuming to thirst, assessing how you’re feeling and adjusting based mostly on race day circumstances must be adequate. Aiming to drink 300ml – 600ml per hour for a race lasting longer than 60 minutes.

For very heavy sweaters or very popular temps, you would possibly need to enhance this to over 700ml – 1L/hr (the max fee of fluid absorption).

Are you a Salty Sweater?

Do you end a run with salt streaks down your face and garments? Or undergo with cramping, complications after a long term/race? Does the salt sting your eyes?

Sodium is the electrolyte misplaced in best quantity after we sweat, between 200 and 2000mg sodium per litre of sweat relying on the individual!

Final week I used to be invited to the Porsche Human Efficiency lab at Silverstone to have some testing executed by their specialist staff due to Precision Gas and Hydration. While I sadly didn’t spot any of the F1 drivers that I’ve creepy crushes on, I did study lots.

salty sweater test

Apparently I’m classed as a salty sweater! I typically have a salt crust on my face however by no means on my garments so had guessed I used to be medium salty!

You may ebook to have a sweat check at one in every of 45 centres across the UK (no working or warmth chambers concerned!), or for a faster, barely extra generic check, attempt the Precision Gas and Hydration on-line Gas and Hydration Planner right here.

How a lot do you have to drink on race day morning?

Don’t attempt to chug water to compensate on race morning, you need to go into the day nicely hydrated!

On race morning attempt to have a 500ml electrolyte drink about 2 hours earlier than the race. Ideally you need to have completed it not less than 45 minutes earlier than the race begin.

As a salty sweater, I used to be suggested to have a Precision Hydration 1500 pill containing 750mg sodium or a sachet of PH 1500 with 750mg sodium and 15g carbs, dissolved in 500ml. I’d additionally drink your typical drink with breakfast – for me this is able to be a espresso (to assist get issues going!) and a few water to assist my pre-race bagel go down. I’d take the electrolyte drink with me to sip on the best way to the beginning line.

I’d additionally take an electrolyte drink on your drop bag to drink after ending and earlier than you get caught into any of the publish race celebratory drinks!

Marathon Race Day Hydration tips

What does Preloading/Hyperhydrating imply?

The aim of preloading or hyperhydrating is to carry on to sodium and fluid the evening earlier than a race or exhausting coaching session to buffer sweat losses. While not definitive, there may be sturdy proof that taking extra sodium with fluids earlier than you begin sweating can promote elevated acute fluid retention and improved endurance efficiency, particularly when it’s sizzling.

You are able to do this with excessive sodium electrolyte drinks, meals or including salt into your weight loss plan. For these within the US, Skratchlabs have a really excessive sodium electrolyte drink (apparently they aren’t allowed to promote it within the UK!) For a British choice, attempt the Precision Gas and Hydration 1500 tabs or sachets. Salty. sweaters could profit from having one in every of these the evening earlier than the race, or massive coaching run in addition to the morning of. Alternatively have a 2 or 3 of the usual sodium electrolyte drinks.

You might additionally hyperhydrate by selecting salty meals choices as a part of your carb load, eg pretzels, bagels or including salt or soy sauce to your meals.

Are you able to overhydrate?

The easy reply…sure.

You may drink an excessive amount of water within the lead as much as the race and through the occasion, growing the chance of hyponatremia (low blood sodium ranges). The truth is, at one Ironman, 10% of contributors have been discovered to have hyponatremia firstly!

The important thing to avoiding that is to get your sodium consumption proper!

Finest Electrolyte Drinks

Salty sweaters will need to look out for larger sodium content material of their electrolyte drink choices – identical to gels/gasoline, not all electrolyte drinks are created equal. As a normal rule, most runners might want to take between 700-900mg sodium per 1L fluid, which might come from drink, gels/chews or salt tabs, or actual meals choices (particularly in ultras).

I’d counsel searching for electrolyte tabs with 200mg per 500mls. I’ve had an electrolyte style check requested so hold a watch out for that coming quickly!


I’ve used Nuun for years (and years). I like the flavour choices and their vitamin containing pill choices. Private favorite flavours are Kona Cola, Watermelon, and Strawberry Lemon. Accommodates 360mg sodium per tab.

Precision Fuel and Hydration

Precision Gas and Hydration

I lately tried these after being beneficial the diff power choices. They’ve 250mg/500ml, 500mg/500ml and 750mg/500ml choices of their impartial flavour, in addition to electrolyte drinks with added carbs for an actual bonus!

ORS Hydration

I actually just like the lemon and strawberry flavours of those tabs. They appear to be extra available than many different electrolyte drinks (eg Boots shops) and are additionally cheaper per pill than Nuun and PFH. The ORS Hydration have 277mg sodium per 500ml and the ORS Sport have 260mg sodium per 500ml.

energy drink mix packets

Finest Carbohydrate Drinks

My private favourites (though a extra thorough style check is certainly wanted);


This was in my water bladder for many of my coaching runs for the London Marathon over the summer time. I liked having an additional blast on carbs on the run (plus Caffeine in a few of the flavours). I just like the Bare, Cola and Lemon flavours. 50g carbs/200 kcals per 54g sachet.

Precision Gas and Hydration 60g carb drink

I used this to carb load earlier than the Chicago Marathon. Containing 30g carbs and 500mg sodium per 500ml, this can be a very easy addition to your carb loading technique and can be sipped on race morning! Love that the flavour is admittedly impartial (like all of their merchandise).

Maurten 320

The marathoners fave, with almost 80g of carbs in every sachet, this can be a nice choice for individuals who battle consuming sufficient carbs within the pre race carb load. 80g carbs, 500mg sodium per 500mls. I haven’t personally tried Maurten drinks however know a lot of runners that love them.

There are all kinds of carb drink choices out there, and very like gels, will be trial and error as as to whether you just like the style. I discover Xmiles an excellent place to start out your search or take a look on the race expo. You can too make your individual by mixing water with orange juice and a pinch of salt.

Tailwind carbohydrate drink

The best way to carry your fluid on race day

It will rely on what you might have practiced with, what’s allowed on the race course and what provisions can be found on target.

For the London Marathon, with water bottles nearly each mile, I haven’t ever run with a hydration pack. Nonetheless I did use one in Berlin, Paris and Tokyo (earlier than they banned them!). choice can be to take a handheld with you crammed with carb drink to sip on for the primary 4-6 miles, then hand to a spectator or ditch it in an help station bin and change to on target hydration stations. Alternatively, you would have your spectators hand you pre-mixed bottles while you see them.

Personally, I prefer to stroll via the water stations, particularly if they’re cups, to make sure I get sufficient to drink earlier than working once more. I attempt to time my gels with the help stations to benefit from the water there to scrub down the gels!

When you like utilizing a hydration pack, you need to use them for London Marathon, plus they’ve loads of area to hold all of your gasoline too! In case your race doesn’t enable hydration vests, then figuring out what you’re going to do on race day goes to be an vital a part of your coaching.

What fluid is on the market on the London Marathon course?

There are Buxton Water stations offering bottles of water roughly each mile from mile 3 onwards. Lucozade Sport is supplied in cups at mile 9, 15, 21 and 24.

What do you have to drink after the race?

Ideally you’ll take an electrolyte drink in your drop bag to drink after ending to interchange sodium and fluid. You additionally need a mixture of carbs and protein to assist with restoration post-race, though by this level it’s possible you’ll choose to take pleasure in this in meals type reasonably than a restoration drink. For those who battle to eat post-race, it is likely to be value bringing a restoration shake combine with you to sip on!

Another questions on hydration – let me know within the feedback or ship me a DM on instagram!



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