5 Common Marathon Training Mistakes

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Aug. 5, 2013
  • Updated Oct. 1, 2013 at 6:45 AM UTC
Having a plan for aid stations during your marathon is crucial going into the race. Photo:

Not Practicing Race Day Nutrition In Training

Simply grabbing a few gels and drinking when you feel like it in training is not specific enough to optimally prepare you for race day. This haphazard approach to marathon nutrition usually results in cramps, bonking and bathroom issues.

Moreover, getting race day nutrition perfect requires more than just one or two runs. You need to experiment with how your body reacts to the different flavors and consistency of gels and sports drinks, changing weather conditions (you’ll need to drink more on hot days, which, if not practiced, can result in bloating and cramping), and how far apart your stomach can handle different amounts of fuel and fluids. Finding the right recipe takes time and practice.

What To Do
First, establish a detailed plan. Think of everything. Will you use the cups on the course, bring your own gels/water, how often will you drink and eat, what flavors will you use, will you stop or run through the water stops?

Once you’ve got your plan in place, begin to mimic this strategy as often as you can in training, tweaking and tinkering small things each week to find the perfect nutrition plan. For more tips on how to practice, read our guide to practicing marathon hydration and nutrition.

RELATED: Demystifying Sports Nutrition

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FILED UNDER: Recovery / Training TAGS: / /

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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