Marathon Q+A: Nick Morgan

Hi everyone

Nick Morgan, Lead Sport Scientist at Lucozade Sport will be online between 1pm and 2pm today to answer any queries you might have about your spring marathon nutrition.

Nick has been helping our Lucozade Sport Super Six as they prepare for the Flora London Marathon and will be on hand to discuss all aspects of race nutrition, whether you want to know what to eat and drink during your taper or fine-tune your nutrition strategy for race day itself. We're starting this thread now so you have a chance to post your questions beforehand - that way, Nick will be able to hit the ground running rather than having to deal with too many questions all at once.

Time to get posting!

Alice RW

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Comments

  • Hi Nick,

    What is the best mix of protein, carbs, fats the week before the marathon, I know some people that only eat pasta for the 5 days before and little else, for me a good supply of protein should aid muscle recovery aswell as the energy from the carbs?

    Thanks

    R22 

  • Nick

    Two quick questions:
    (a) What would be your pick for best marathon dinner the night before....?

    (b) Is there a limit to the number of gels you would take on a marathon in conjunction with lucozade sport?  I am hoping my finishing time will be around 3.15?

    Thanks

    Rob

  • Hi,

    I am doing London and am planning on taking on Lucozade carbohydrate gels after about one hour, then every 45 minutes until the end (am hoping to finish in under 4:30 hours). I will take on water to wash down the gels and extra water at some of the other points. If I am consuming gels and water, do you think it is necessary to drink Lucozade Sport as well?

    Thanks.

  • Hi Nick

    (sorry didn't read this was all about nutrition! - i blame the cold!!! )

    Quick question on my taper, I've managed to catch a cold this week and was going to get a nice slow 20 in this weekend but will have to put that off until next week (Thursday or friday) and then start to taper, is this going to be ok? It will be my only 20 and the furthest I've run due to injury in feb. I'm fit otherwise and my injury is ok, i just want to make sure i've got the miles in my legs, furthest i've gone so far is 17 miles. I'm hoping for a 5 hour marathon.

    Thanks

    Jo

  • Hi, I am struggling to get the timing right for eating before the LSR's. Would you reccommend big breakfast and big lunch rather than big tea the day before? The 20 mile run last week although ok for my legs but was marred by an upset tummy., my thinking was eating too late the night before.

    Also I struggle to eat gels as they seem to cause tummy probs - I managed an 18 mile run with just taking on a small amount of liquid, and loads of lucozade sport on finishing. I felt fine. Should I stick with this strategy, not much time to play about now?

    Thanks

    Claire

  • Hi Nick,

    I have done all my training using Lucozade Sport drinks and towards the end of my long runs I eat a few jelly babies just to give me a bit more "fuel".  I was just wondering if they would affect the isotonic drink or not (too much glucose to liquid?) or is it safe to eat them and drink the Lucozade Sport drinks?

    Many thanks for taking the time to answer everyones questions.

  • Happy lunchtime everyone... I have just entered the thread and will begin answering questions in 10 mins or so.

     I will begin with the questions already posted, and then work my through as best as I can. Please feel free to email again if my answer leads onto another question. And remember the only stupid questions are the questions you don't ask!

    As always, please stay with me as I try and type as fast as possible, and certainly forgive any spelling mistakes!

    With only 3 weeks to go (from Sunday) these are very exciting times for those running the marathon - myself being one. For those of you with other running challenges on the horizon then all this information will be more than applicable.

     I hope everyone is well... and here goes!

  • Rob22: The best mix of carbohydrate, fat and protein.

    The most important thing about the last few days before the marathon is conitnue to have a good well balanced diet based on carbohydrate (70%), protein and fat (15%). In real terms Rob you should have arounf 6-9 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per day (420-620 grams of carbs per day). This comes from rice, pasta, potatoes etc. My other piece of advice is that don't try and eat loads in one go. Have three go meals but grazing is a much better way to consume the food you need without feeling lethragic and bloated.

    So: key is carbohydrate, but don't go silly and overload plates. Use the guidelines above and check the back of packets and structure evenly throughout the day. There should be no one meal necessarily bigger than any other in that day.

  • Rat

    Two quick questions:
    (a) What would be your pick for best marathon dinner the night before....?

    I will have a bowl of pasta with salmon and broccoli in a light tomota sauce. I will follow this with a banana and yoghurt. That is my favourite and within guidelines... so soemthing similar for yourself should work. Again as above, it will be a good solid dinner but not ridiculous in size. My loading and carbohydrate will have been attended too over the 3 days before and simple meals throughout the day. Don't get into a state about about having a huge dinner the night before, just ensure its quality along with your breakfast and lunch

    (b) Is there a limit to the number of gels you would take on a marathon in conjunction with lucozade sport?  I am hoping my finishing time will be around 3.15?

    No limit per se, but certainly you can't really use anymore than 60 g of carbohydrate per hour. Given one gel gives you 34g (or very close) then one gel and some Lucozade Sport every hour is good advice. For a time of 03:15:00 I would have a gel on 01:00:00 min, 01:45:00  and 02:30:00. Try and have as much of the 330 ml LS as you can too to maximise delivery. The new bottle and sports cap make it easier to run with

  • Hi Nick

     I am running FLM and am using SIS Go Gels which contain 144cals and 36g of carbohydrate.

    •  How often should I take them? The instructions say every 30 mins but the opinions of the forum vary with some saying every 50-60 or more.
    • Should I take them with water alone or with Lucozade Sport and water?

    Thanks

  • SuzR

    am doing London and am planning on taking on Lucozade carbohydrate gels after about one hour, then every 45 minutes until the end (am hoping to finish in under 4:30 hours). I will take on water to wash down the gels and extra water at some of the other points. If I am consuming gels and water, do you think it is necessary to drink Lucozade Sport as well?

    Wow... that fits in with what I said above ^^^. Good minds think alike!

    In terms of consuming LS... well again as above guidelines suggest 30-60 g of carbohydrate per hour. If the gel gives you 34g then you are within range. However, I would certainly also use LS at the stations (5,10,15,19 & 23) to try and get that little bit more in. We have seen from previous stats that 85% of last years runners slowed significantly towards the end and whilst I can't say it is because of carbohydrate I am pretty certain I would want to get as close to 60 g per hour as I can without feeling sick.

    Therefore the simple answer is yes if you can. But balance it with what you have trialled in training along what you can stomach and feel comfortable with

    For reference: It is ORANGE LUCOZADE SPORT on course in 330 ml bottles. remember they are fully recyclable and therefore remember to think of others runners and discard to the side and not at the feet!

  • JWrun

    Quick question on my taper, I've managed to catch a cold this week and was going to get a nice slow 20 in this weekend but will have to put that off until next week (Thursday or friday) and then start to taper, is this going to be ok? It will be my only 20 and the furthest I've run due to injury in feb. I'm fit otherwise and my injury is ok, i just want to make sure i've got the miles in my legs, furthest i've gone so far is 17 miles. I'm hoping for a 5 hour marathon.

    The most encouraging thing is to here how sensible you seem! Honestly, what you have described is probably very similar to what others have experienced. I think getting up to 20 miles is beneficial, but given you are slightly run down (pardon the pun!) then one more long run is probably sufficient.

    I would wait until you are feeling better and remember to eat well, plenty of carbs for energy along with a well balanced diet. This should help you through but what you have suggested sounds very sensible

  • Hi Nick,

    I'm not running London as I got injured......................but hopefully running it next year. My question is regarding nutrition during the race. I've run a couple of marathons running with 'go' gels - these have less carbs and are more dilute than the usual ones. I ran each race taking one every 3M from mile 6-21 (6 in total). Is this a good strategy. Usually by the end I'm sick of them! Can I get by using less? Also, what's your opinion on the caffeine ones? Are they useful?

  • Fiona CFiona C ✭✭✭

    Hi Nick

    If I was to fuel myself using the 5 Lucozade Sports in addition to gels, for an average 50kg runner aiming for a 3:30 marathon what would your thoughts be in terms of carbs in on the timing of gels - was thinking of one at 6, 12, 17 and 21 miles with a spare just in case for 24/25.

    Thanks

    F

  • Hi Nick,

     I'm training for my first half ironman and i'm just starting to do my longer rides and runs as part of my training. My pre and post fuelling is fine however i'm a little unsure of the what nutrition/foods are good to consume 'on the go' apart from gels and lucozade drinks. I'd like to consume more solids as gels often leave me feeling empty and hungry. Can you give me some good suggestions?

     Also - at what point into the run leg should i stop eating solids and concentrate on getting fuel from sports drinks? I'm aiming to do the half marathon run leg in around 1:45.

     Cheers, Gary

  • Mouser12

    Hi, I am struggling to get the timing right for eating before the LSR's. Would you reccommend big breakfast and big lunch rather than big tea the day before? The 20 mile run last week although ok for my legs but was marred by an upset tummy., my thinking was eating too late the night before.

    ok... the timing of the meal is very important for sure. Ideally you wil eat 3-4 hrs before you run. I know I know that is not always possible. Basically, have a good meal the night before (as examples above) and then eat as early as you can before running on the Sunday and race day. How late you ate on Sat doesn't concern me unless it affected your sleep patterns as this is just as important in preparation. Therefore if your worried about timing it is the breakfast that is the biggest timing issue. I've eaten 2 hrs before and felt terrible when running so I always do 3hrs and then use lucozade sport or sweets to top up closer to run time

    Also I struggle to eat gels as they seem to cause tummy probs - I managed an 18 mile run with just taking on a small amount of liquid, and loads of lucozade sport on finishing. I felt fine. Should I stick with this strategy, not much time to play about now?

    There isn't much time left to try much new. However, you might have felt fine on 18 miles, but this is at the time when it really starts to get harder and you still have 8 miles to go. I don't know how fast you are but that is definitely another 60 mins or so. I would find away of using lucozade sport on course if you can and maybe on some of your smaller run (or last long run) try some jelly babies or some other alternative. If you really are concerned, then my advice would be to best utilise the LS on course and pace really well so you don't go off to fast otherwise you will really challenge your carbohydrate stores.

  • Darrell

    I have done all my training using Lucozade Sport drinks and towards the end of my long runs I eat a few jelly babies just to give me a bit more "fuel".  I was just wondering if they would affect the isotonic drink or not (too much glucose to liquid?) or is it safe to eat them and drink the Lucozade Sport drinks?

    In the interests of time the simple answer is NO. If that is working for you then sounds great, no impact at all.

  • Nick,

    Many thanks for your prompt reply. It now puts my mind at rest. Thank youimage

  • KittenKat

    What would you say are the main differences between energy chews (such as Ride Shots, Shot Bloks etc) and energy gels?

    no knowing all products that in depth I am not sure. Key things to think about are: 1) How much carbohydrate does a product provide (remember trying to get 30-60g in per hour) and 2) Which product is easiest to consume or which do you prefer?

    Find the balance between what you prefer but the best way to get enough in

    Which are better in endurance training/racing and why?

    The one you prefer that gives the most carbohydrate possible

    And....... are they really of any superior benefit to the Jelly Babies and Fruit Pastilles that I've got sat in my fridge right now?

    The are a great source of simple carbohydrates so energy is readily available. If you like them, can stomach them and have tried them - Use them! I used wine gums on Sun, the only issue is carrying the, The back pocket on my shorts seemed a great idea apart from the sweat!

    •  Camilla

    am running FLM and am using SIS Go Gels which contain 144cals and 36g of carbohydrate.

    •  How often should I take them? The instructions say every 30 mins but the opinions of the forum vary with some saying every 50-60 or more.
    • Should I take them with water alone or with Lucozade Sport and water?

    The gels are best taken with water really to help wash them down as they are quite sweet. If you can with Lucozade sport then by all means. In terms of when/how often then every 30 mins seems fine but for 4hrs I am not sure that is always as easy to do. Logically it is sound advice, but so is every 45 mins. I would work on something like on 60 min and then every 45 mins. Although, go with what you ahve tried in training.

    To alleviate any worries though.. the discussio is largely unnecessary. you are definietly doing the right thing in terms of a strategy, just work out whether 30, 45, or 60 mins intervals best works for you.

  • Nick

     How much water should I drink on morning of the race (ie from 7am till start). I am looking to do 4 hours or so and want enough water but not to have to stop for pit stop after 800 yards! i have heard it is sensible to have nothing then start drinking in the pens, and I have some luco sport with caffeine for just this purpose. Also I am v aware there are lots of water stations in London unlike some smaller maras.

     Also intending to take some energy tablets at start and save the wine gums till a bit later -what do you think?

  • faithfulred

    I'm not running London as I got injured......................but hopefully running it next year. My question is regarding nutrition during the race. I've run a couple of marathons running with 'go' gels - these have less carbs and are more dilute than the usual ones. I ran each race taking one every 3M from mile 6-21 (6 in total). Is this a good strategy. Usually by the end I'm sick of them! Can I get by using less? Also, what's your opinion on the caffeine ones? Are they useful?

    I think you could get away with less.. you don't need to start at 3 miles, unless that took an hour! I would say in a marathon you could get away with only two, one at 13 and one at 20/21 if you really struglle with taste, format, tummy etc. The gels reccomendations are all above so i'll not repeat now, but I think you could get away with less.

    Caffeine ones are good too... for all the benefits of caffeine, i.e. reducing perception of effort. Depends on how much caffeine is in the product, although some is better than none if your happy using it

    Sorry to hear about the injury. Best of look recovering

  • Fiona C

    If I was to fuel myself using the 5 Lucozade Sports in addition to gels, for an average 50kg runner aiming for a 3:30 marathon what would your thoughts be in terms of carbs in on the timing of gels - was thinking of one at 6, 12, 17 and 21 miles with a spare just in case for 24/25.

    LS at each station and 4 gels will give you very quickly.. hmmmm....say 270 grams of carbs (give or take), therefore that is about 40 grams per hour... I think that makes sense. Maths with be slightly out but close enough. The timing looks good too alongside drink stations too. The biggest drop in pace normally happens from 20 km onwards so starting at 6 and 12 works well.

    Actually you know.. i really like those timings, may think about that myself image

  • Thanks Nick - off to buy Jelly babies for my last LSR.
  • EEK - "Average" 50kg runner - really ?

  • Gary Chambers

    I'm training for my first half ironman and i'm just starting to do my longer rides and runs as part of my training. My pre and post fuelling is fine however i'm a little unsure of the what nutrition/foods are good to consume 'on the go' apart from gels and lucozade drinks. I'd like to consume more solids as gels often leave me feeling empty and hungry. Can you give me some good suggestions?

    If your on the bike then anything goes... bars are the most popular for ironmen. However some sort of chocolate biscuits or even sandwiches are known. Realistically, bars are you best choice of solid food along with banana's as another fav. For the ironman, the cycle is where you can make all the nutritional difference for food intake. When running it becomes much harder

     Also - at what point into the run leg should i stop eating solids and concentrate on getting fuel from sports drinks? I'm aiming to do the half marathon run leg in around 1:45.

    You could keep going throughout depening on well you are stomaching it! If we just look at this in its simplest form you need carbohydrate and fluid. Therefore, drink throughout  - lucozade sport providing both fluid and energy. But supplement with something solid in gels, barsm sweets.

  • ......and in comes the stupid question ..................do you HAVE to use gels /  energy chews / jelly babies etc ? My longest run to date is 16 miles and I've not crashed and burned (yet)
  • Mr missionator

    How much water should I drink on morning of the race (ie from 7am till start). I am looking to do 4 hours or so and want enough water but not to have to stop for pit stop after 800 yards! i have heard it is sensible to have nothing then start drinking in the pens, and I have some luco sport with caffeine for just this purpose. Also I am v aware there are lots of water stations in London unlike some smaller maras.

    Water stations are every mile from 3 miles I think. Simple guidelines for fluid intake... i'l start geeky but make it easy.

    5-7 ml of fluid per kilogram body weight 3-4 hours before, i.e. 350-490 ml - a sports drink basically

    If you urine is still dark then top up with another 3-5 ml/kg body weight, i.e. a further 210-350 ml - half a bottle of sports drink. This should leave you well hydarted to start

     Also intending to take some energy tablets at start and save the wine gums till a bit later -what do you think?

    Both provide carbohydrate for energy so could aboslutely work. I would just keep taking something every 2 miles... even if just 2 tablets. That way carbohydrate intake is continuous and it shouldn't affect your tummy

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