First Marathon - Drinks Question

LS21LS21 ✭✭✭

Hello all,

 After some advice from experienced racers really. I've been running for a good while as training for another sport, but have only ever done a few 10k races and the odd half-marathon due to time constraints as much as anything. However, I've entered my first marathon in a few weeks time, and my naivety of not really racing much in the past has led to a couple of questions.

Training is going good but I'm finding for anything over say 13 miles I HAVE to use energy drinks and gels. I made myself a bit poorly a while back when I used just water so lesson learnt....Anyway having only done halfs as a maximum before I relied solely on water at the feed stations and that was fine. My question now though, is if you want to use energy drinks what's the process for getting them to the drinks stations, and how do you find your bottle amongst all the others? Or is the best thing just to carry it with you, say in a CamelBak or whatever?

Sorry as this probably seems a really stupid question, but I'm genuinely not sure how to go about this and I really don't think I'll finish if I don't take on energy drinks and gels. So any advice on what people do will be GREATLY received.



  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    Not many races allow the average runner to have their own drinks waiting for them at drinks stations (this is mostly for elite athletes).  The Halstead Marathon is one, however.

    If you think the race you've entered does allow for this, you'd have to contact them about the arrangements.

    Mostly, you'll have to carry it yourself, either in a Camelbak or similar, or in a hand or belt-held bottle.

  • LS21LS21 ✭✭✭

    Brilliant thanks for the reply. Kind of as I thought actually. On the race info the stuff re personal drinks is a bit vague so I'll think I'll just drop the organisers an email. As I say, I've never even thought about it before as I just had water at the stations, but I'll have a think re best thing to do for the longer race.


  • ScreamScream ✭✭✭

    Do they not supply energy drinks?  Most marathons will - ok, it may not be your drink of choice but they should supply them...

    As you say, drop them an email.

  • LS21LS21 ✭✭✭
    They don't actually - it does specify only water and sponges are available but runners can make provision to use their own sports drinks - I guess that means carrying it with you, but I'll double check anyway. I've got enough time to experiment in training, with just trying energy drinks beforehand and then just taking on water and gels on the run itself so I might see how I get on with that. Cheers for the reply anyway - much appreciated.
  • if you can cope with water and gel then you can be self sufficient - you need a fair amount of energy drinks to get the calories in - so gel would be my first choice. Thats what i use - one every five miles works for me. But take the last one early as it takes a while to kick in.
  • LS21LS21 ✭✭✭

    That's interesting thanks - I assume you mean literally every five miles you take on a gel then? So far the longest I've ran for is about 16 miles, and I took on just one gel at the 1 hour 40 mark (30 mins or so from the end of my run). That seemed to work ok for me actually coupled with the 750 ml of Energy Drink, but if I had to run any further than that I would have had to take on more via gels I think.

    My initial thoughts for the race itself was maybe a gel at 1 hour 40 minutes, and then extra ones at say 30 minute intervals, meaning I'd consume 4 or 5 in the entire run (target time is circa 3:45). Again I was going to experiment re this in my longer training runs over the coming weeks, but does that sound generally ok or is my thinking way-off?

    Any help/advice gratefully received as this running for more than 90 minutes lark is all a bit new to me!

Sign In or Register to comment.