It would take countless books to cover fueling for endurance and do it justice. Here are some quick key points that will help you train for a crucible, marathon, or anything that puts you to the test.
Hydration is equal, if not more important than fueling!
Most people assume that they bonk or lose steam during an endurance event due to fueling, but the real reason may be hydration. It is also recommended that an athlete performing an endurance event for more than 60 minutes consume 30-60g of water per hour.
Drink it if you can.
That brings us to this next tip. It is best to drink your fueling, if you can, by combining both hydration and fueling. It is recommended that athletes consume 600 – 1200 mL per hour of a sodium, carb, and water cocktail, that is 2.5- 5 cups of fluid. You might be thinking, who wants to carry all that fluid? You can carry a little baggie of salt, lemon juice, and maple syrup in your race waist pack and at the water stations bite open your baggie and drink it down with some water that is provided.
Practice your fueling ahead of time.
A dress rehearsal is absolutely mandatory. You should practice on 1-hour events then 2-hour events. How do you know it works? If you feel great during and after your run. Add on time and fueling as you go. How do you do this without the support of a race crew? We recommend wearing a camelback when training, with your fueling cocktail mixed in, and then time your hydration/fueling effectively.
Pre-fuel and hydrate.
It goes without saying that the night before your event should be a time to eat a large dose of healthy carbs, protein, and fat. You can really get a nice fueling base set for your event with some rice or sweet potatoes, some chicken or fish, and some olive oil, avocado, or nuts. You will also want to get yourself good and hydrated.
Conditions dictate a lot.
This is simple but often overlooked. If it’s hot, you sweat more and need more fluids. If it’s cold, you sweat less and can do with less. If you’re a woman and are in the high hormone phase of your cycle, you will need more hydration.