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Marathon Pre-Fuelling

In the lead up to your marathon you should beginning think about how you are going fuel yourself for the race. Most of us will be burning in excess of 2000 Kcal during the race nearly all of which will come from carbohydrates. So how do we ensure you have enough carbohydrates to get us through the race.

Many of you will have heard the term carb-loading, but what is it? Carb-loading is when you supply the muscles with an excess amount of carbohydrates by increasing food intake and is typically done between 1-7 days before the race. Part of the aim of carb-loading is to prevent the phenomena termed ‘Hitting the Wall’, where your carbohydrate stores deplete leaving you with acute fatigue.

The typical diet for an endurance athlete should be between 7-12 g/kg of body mass of carbohydrates per day. However, when you are carb-loading this should be increased to 10-12 g/kg of body mass of carbohydrates per day.

However, the effect of carb-loading can vary from person to person depending on factors such as training status or genetic factors for example. But, with the right regime you can maximum the gains with carb-loading. So what can you do to maximum the benefits?

A limitation to endurance performance is the amount of food are gut can hold and digest. We can improve this by completing a high intensity workout in a fastest state (first thing in the morning for example). Conversely, conducting two workouts per day has also been shown to increase are ability to carbohydrate stores.

In the months preceding your marathon you should spend a week where you practice your carb-loading strategy. The perfect opportunity would be to do this in the built up to a B race. See an example week long carb-loading strategy below.





Sunday (Race)

Normal diet

10-12g/kg of BM

10-12g/kg of BM

10-12g/kg of BM

Ideally eat 100-200g 4 hours before race

So, you now have a good idea for how to ensure you won’t run out of energy during the marathon. If you need further help or have follow up questions drop us an email.

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See are other marathon articles below:


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