Running 101: Race Fueling Made Simple

Staying hydrated and fueled during races is not as complicated as you might think.

Take one look around your work environment and it’s usually pretty easy to spot the runner in the room: water bottle within arm’s reach, banana and energy bar sitting atop her desk, and drawers so full of snacks you’d swear she was selling them to coworkers.

When in training, runners are always keeping a close eye on what, when and how much they’re putting into their bodies throughout the day. But when race day rolls around the questions inevitably start to surface. Did I eat enough for breakfast? Am I well hydrated? When should I pop my first gel pack? How often should I drink? Do I try a sports drink at Mile 12 or just stick to water?

The answers, of course, are going to vary by the athlete, but regardless of your ability level the last thing you want to be doing is doubting yourself on race day. You must toe the starting line feeling confident in your training, and it’s just as important to be sure of your fueling strategy as well.

Use the tips offered below to keep your gas tank full the next time you go the distance on race day.

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