Mike Oberli
Total Running 4'028 km
Member since about 14 years
Post #539 of 540

If you realy like to run the marathon on water, you should run all your trainings on water to.

For a good regeneration, give your body back what you take during the run, if possible within the first houre. That means carbs, protein and water, depend of length and speed.

Estimated: To run a marathon below 2:45 on water, you must be able to run a marathon around 2:30 - 2:35 on carbs.

User img default
Total Running 26'023 km
Member since over 10 years
Post #62 of 68

the german running coach Peter Greif once said: if you finish a marathon below 2:45h, the gel you eat during the race will be absorbed only after you cross the finishline. The slower you are running, the more carbon you can absorb, because you are running at a lower intensity.

I lately finished a marathon in 3h, I ate 4 gels, I don't know how much made it into my blood during the race.

I did all the long runs with empty stomach and did not eat anything during training. Sometimes I tried to do the long runs with not completly filled carbon depots, just to experience, what would happen, if I run out of fuel (it was painful, but I think it was worth the experience). Gels I only ate during tempo training, just to see, if my stomach could handle it, at high intensity.

based on this experience I would suggest you to focus on a race without any refuel carbon (you can eat one or two gels, hoping something makes it into your blood) During preparation I would try to do long runs uncompletely (carbon) loaded. I also would extend the distance to 38 or even almost 40 km (only the longest of your longruns).

The race I would start fully (carbon) loaded. You don't need a calculator, but you have to train the absence of carbon fuel. And don't worry, even you have enough body fat. You don't need 700 g  (as Hansruedi said), but only the difference between your carbon depots of appr. 2000 kcal and the total demand for a 42k which might be around 2600 kcal, I would guess it's max.100g of fat. If you think you don't have 100g of fat available, you should not run a marathon anyway

please don't forget to talk to others, my opinion is just one of many....

keep running, and good luck


Hansruedi Nyffenegger
Total Running 20'547 km
Member since over 8 years
Post #299 of 410

Hi Edo

... those informations and goal would have been helpful before the question...

As you run pretty fast, a gel every 5 km (as you asked) would end in 3 gels per hour, that's rather more than 90gr. I'm not sure, if I got you right, but I understand your answer, that you take gels with iso-drinks. That seems to me to much. And that could explain your stomach problems. 

With only 6% of bodyfat you are pretty low. I would think about it. But that still means, that you have (with maybe 60 kg) 3.6 kg of fat - and you still have more than enough for a marathon, especially as you use gels and iso etc. But with such a low level of bodyfat, you should really take care to keep your fat-level while training. Eat healthy. Running ist a lot but not everything.

In competion you should start with the maximum of carbs. Eat hash-brown or pasta the evening before, you might eat porridge 3 hours before start, drink 5dl iso 1 hour before, and eat a banana or so shortly before start. So you can stretch the time you take in your carbs and you have a mixture of quick and slow carbs. But I guess, you all did that allready.

Filled up, you could try to reduce your intake while running and your stomach won't be overloaded  in the competition. I'd try to take 3 gels with 1,5 l of water (or the equivalent of isodrinks). For the whole run, and you might try a gel with water every 10 km and a sip of iso every 5 km between.  Butr as you run on a such high level, it might make sense to speak to specialists. Not only for the strategy during the competition but as well on the question, if 6% is ok or under the healty limit. For that you need to see a doctor.







Edo Rajčević
Total Running 9'229 km
Member since over 4 years
Post #2 of 2


thank you for your reply regarding nutrition while running. This is topic that needs to be talk about and it would be great to see how runners are funkcioning.

I would like to run marathon 2:45h only on water :) But we know this is not working.
When talking about nutrition need to have plan how, when and why to eat something at planned minute.

thank you on information that you have wrote, but I dont have 700g of fat that I can give for marathon.
If I will do it for every long marathon, then my BI would be lower than 6%



My long run 36km at 2:35 - 2:40h

During training I'll use aapproximetly 2600-2700 calories and need to replace 600-700calories. This is around 6 or 7 bananas.
This is something that i cant use for this kind of training. 

Need water with electrolites and 4 gels every 7km


Easy training or training less than 90min...here I use nothing. 
After training some fat like, jogurt, avocado, walnut, protein...or just make smoothie from all of this groceries


Glicogen that we use as energy from our body is approximetly 400-450g this is around 1600calories (training days) if we dont do training then we have cca 700-750g  this is around 1800-1900calories of glicogen in or body. This is only for trained people.

So question is how to maintain hard work widouth stomach issues :)













Mike Oberli
Total Running 4'028 km
Member since about 14 years
Post #538 of 540

Hi Edo

Hello Edo
The most important information is missing.  What is your goal.

    I have done 30km runs in the morning without breakfast and only water during the run.
    I have done 20km runs in the morning without breakfast but with iso and gel during the run.

It always depends on the speed, related to the maximum possible power. The faster you run, the more energy you need during the run.
If you take carbs after a hard run (long or fast or both), it is a good idea to take them with protein. Protein helps repair muscles and absorb carbs faster. 1/3 protein, 2/3 carbs.

Well, for a 1h run, you don't need carbs, only perhaps if you run with competition speed.

Keep running

Hansruedi Nyffenegger
Total Running 20'547 km
Member since over 8 years
Post #298 of 410

Hi Edo

I run all my LJs (2 or up to 3+ hours) withouth any nutrition - just water. Often I start early morning, without any breakfast. Sounds difficult, but It's just a matter of training. Only a few weeks before I run competitions I train my stomach to the products available on the competition. So I try train my body to take as much energy as possible out of my fat, rather than of the carbs.

In the competition I change between carbs and water, I usually can't eat more than a banana or so every hour. As the average distances of the refreshment posts in marathons are about 5 km, I take something at every post - or leave it, if I don't feel like. I don't like gels, so stick usually to drinks, chocolate or banana, but that's a question of personal taste and the food provided. I also like bouillons, btw...

The max. a stomach can take in, varies in the literature between 30g to 90g of carbs per hour. Thus said, I would rather not take gels every 5 km. One every hour - OR a cup of iso at every post. Yes, one says, that you can train your stomach. Lot of runners have  problems with more than 30 g / hour. So my only plan in competition is to start completely fueled and then to take only as much as I can digest, a cup of water usually every 5 km, or even more, if it's hot. Usually I manage to take in (and keep...) about 8 dl of Iso through the whole marathon. As with you, after 30 km, I often  start to have problems with my stomach, so in the last part of the competition, I stick to water with only a sip of carbo-drink. I did Marathons and 2 Ultras with that strategy.

The stomach problems originate - is in my opinion -  that most runners take much more carbs than what can digest and that they don't take enough water. A gel should be taken with > 3 dl water PLUS the water you lost through sweat. When I see / hear of runners taking 3 gels per hour (= 90 g), I estimate that they should drink considerably more than 1 l water per hour. And as the blood tends to be in the legs and not in the belly, it is obvious, that the stomach will be under stress, when you fill it with litres of water and carbs. If you take gels without enough water or swallow them with isodrinks they will drain water from your bowels. And when you are already a bit underhydratet that will end in stomach problems and abdominal cramps. My opinion, but I'm more than happy to listen, if someone has other ideas / better explanations.

To be clear: almost everybody has more than enough fat/energy to run several marathons. You won't starve, if you stick with water. Of course, it's nice to refill in competition, and it can make a difference with your finishing time. But carbs, creatine etc. are in my eyes somewhat overrated - if you are not a professional, you can do without. The industrie has succesfully planted in the mind of the average sportsman, that it's paramount to use it's products in every training. The longer I train, the less I agree, I now use carbs only in competition and in the try-out trainings for them.

The amount of calories you need to run a marathon depends largely on your weight and a bit on your speed (and a few more things). You might calculate something like > 1000 kcal per hour running. I prefer the say: 2 chocolate bars / hour. For my best marathon, my watch calculates 3920 kcal, that would mean for me with 84 kg about 700 g of body-fat. (...only...). And - as Stefan says - yes you use first your glycogenes, so it ist maybe only half that amount.

No, I don't need a calculator. Why should I, when I still have some love-handles around my waist? And I'm far from underweight professionals. Or did I understand your question wrong?

After a Longjog or a marathon, yes, you should take proteines. That could be meat, soy, curd, joghurt or the industrial products...

Keep on running



PS: I like to hear later from you, if and how my opinions helped - or why it's didn't, so we all hear can learn from each other.





Edo Rajčević
Total Running 9'229 km
Member since over 4 years
Post #1 of 2

Hi to all marathoners,

need tipes regarding nutrition while running 30+km

- What do you eat day before long training?
- What do you eat while running? (gels, carbs, water, iso drinks...)
- When are you taking your nutrition? Every 5km one gel+water, or first 10km only iso drinks and after gels and fruit?
- What makes you stomach disfunkcional?
- Do you have a nutriotion plan for running?
- Are you using Creatine for recovery?
- Are you using Proteine for recovery?
- Are you using carbs for recovery?
- How many carbs are you using on 1h of running?
- Do you use calorie callculator?


I have start this topic becouse I would need some solution for longer running. 

For some reason my stomach after cca 25-30km refuses carbs that I have refuling with. I use for example 25% of refuling carbs
If I losse 1000calc need to refule 25% and that is 250calc

Please assist