Most runners generally don’t go much over 6-10 miles and in that case have no need to worry about nutrition or even hydration really.
What you soon learn as you start to go further is how you feel when when you bonk or hit the wall at 13 odd miles.
It also destroys your confidence so it’s just a case of getting on top of your nutrition.
There are a few ways but most people need carbs.
A small amount of glucose is always in your blood stream but the majority is stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen as you can only store so much when it’s depleted you feel mentally and physically drained which is known as hitting the wall.
Consuming carbs helps reduce glycogen depletion and keep blood sugar level.
A lot of people suffer stomach cramps etc but usually because they have smashed 10 gels along side lucozade the sugar can’t be digested that quick leading to not feeling too well.
The ideal amount is 100 to 250 calories (or 25 to 60 grams of carbs) per hour, after the first hour of running.
Most gels contain around 20g so for a 5 hour marathon you could consume around 4 rather then the 1 Every 20 minutes the packets usually state.
These with water or a light isotonic drink would suffice your marathon.
For those who can’t stomach gels....
There are always carbohydrate drinks you can have such as CR7 my favourite hypotonic sports drink or tailwind nutrition.
Training runs are the time to practice what you need. Gels are pretty fancy and contain different things your body needs when racing.
However the body ultimately wants sugar so some other options...
* Dried fruit
* Carbohydrate Drink
* Gummy bears
* Shot bloks
* Flap jack
* Protein bar
Personally I take all my calories from fluids up to marathon distance but that takes time to do.
What do you like to snack on the run?