Nutrition and Hydration

Hi All

I have been running since April of this year and am now starting to embark upon relatively long runs. I ran 10 miles last week with only lucozade isotonic and felt really good.


Today I ran 12 miles and have read advice saying that more carbs need to be taken on board in long runs such as these. I took a High 5 carb pack before the run and one an hour in (which was about 6 miles). I also drank lucozade on the run. However, I definitely felt from about mile 8 that I needed the loo which I hadn't experienced before and am sure it was the combination of the High 5s and the lucozade.


My question is if I drink lucozade throughout a very long run (I am doing London marathon next year) will that be enough? I know it has some carb content but wouldn't have thought it was enough. So if the carb gels upset my stomach what could I take instead?


OR I could take the High 5s but drink water instead of lucozade but I am worried about replenishing the salts and potassium etc if I do that.


I hope this makes sense, can anyone help please?! I really don't want to head out on long runs and be worrying about needing the toilet!



  • A difficult question because everyone is different. Having said that, I followed the advice regarding hydration and 'fueling my run' in the Runner's World magazine. The latest is on page 56 of the November issue (I know it's only October but I'm a subscriber and get the mag early). You may be able to search this website and find the articles. An earlier issue dealt with hydration.

    This is what I did as a result of reading those articles. I sipped 500ml of Lucozade energy drink over a period of one hour before the race. Through experimentation, I discovered that I would need to drink 1/3 of a 500ml bottle of Lucozade every 4 miles so as to replace my energy requirements before they became depleted. 

    I cannot stomach energy gels so I turned to wine gums (which are very low in fat by the way) to supplement the energy drink. I chewed one wine gum every two miles.

    I completed the Oxford Half marathon last Sunday (13th Oct) and found that I didn't need the toilet during the run and didn't hit the wall through lack of energy. Indeed during the last three miles or so, I was surprised at how many runners (30 - 40) I overtook who appeared to have hit the wall. I felt strong and didn't feel I was even coming close to hitting the wall.

    Of course my reply deals exclusively with hydration. I did other things regarding food as advised in the Runner's World articles which will also need to be followed to help with sufficient energy levels for the race.

    I am only a novice runner but this worked for me. The trick is to try it out in training and don't do anything different in the race.

    I found Runner's World and extremely good source of information.




  • You don't 'need' anything like as much assuming you're a healthy weight and eat a reasonable diet. I eat breakfast before my long runs (around 3 - 400 calories), wait at least an hour and then can run 16 miles comfortably on nothing more than a couple of mouthfuls of water (if it's hot). For longer runs I may take on one gel after 12 - 14 miles.


    Sometimes I'll use one gel in a half marathon but not always, depends on how I'm feeling, in a marathon I usually take up to 5 gels.

    Everyone is different but no one needs to buy into the sports drink/gel/recovery product market - we have enough energy stored to run slowly for days and the important thing is to train your body to use it's glycogen and fat stores efficiently.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Up to about 2 hours you probably don't need anything whilst running. Anything over that and you could take a gel or two, or some sports drink, or anything. To be honest I don't take anything during any of my long runs...only if need to practice what going to use in races. Might feel hard, but your body adapts.

  • Wow. I'm really impressed with what you guys can do over those distances. For me, anything over an hour and I have to refuel. The plan I worked to was not dissimilar to this.

  • It's probably just that you're not used to the distance more than fuelling.

    Up to 15 miles and you don't need any energy drink or food.

    Maybe water if you want.
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