The marathon is a gruelling endurance event, covering a distance of 26.2 miles. For the world’s fastest they are completing the distance in around 2 hours 3 minutes for the men and 2 hours 17 minutes for the women. That means running at speeds in excess of 20.80kph and 18.40kph respectively, but to achieve such incredible results athletes must take on board nutrition and hydration out on the course or fear depleting their energy reserves and hitting the notorious ‘Wall’. So, what, and more importantly how, are the world’s fastest getting on board this nutrition? WHAT DO THEY USE? Let’s start with what elite marathoners are using to fuel themselves. The Elite Running Team, Ethiopia’s fastest training group, including 2022 female World Marathon Champion Gotytom Gebreslase are using the Science in Sport range. It’s what carried Alemu Megertu to 2nd place at the 2023 London Marathon and it’s what the team will be using in the upcoming 2023 World Championships in Budapest as well as the Autumn marathon season which kicks off in September. Each athlete will use products from the range that agrees with their stomach and gives them the edge they need; this can be either the GO Isotonic Energy Gels or something like the BETA Fuel 80 drink. DRINK STATIONS In the elite marathon field, whether it’s an international competition or a major marathon, athletes will get the chance to put their own pre-made bottles out at feed stations every 5km along the course. As they run past, they will be able to spot their drink, quickly grab it, and take on board the energy they need to keep competing. But, as we mentioned, when you’re running at such high speeds, it can be hard to pick up something like a generic water bottle. The size, dimensions, and weight of a 600ml bottle are too much, so to help our athletes get more efficient and successful in fuelling throughout the marathon we created the Elite Running Bottle. A smaller, compact design that is ergonomically designed to be grasped at speed, fit in the palm of the hand effortlessly and provide the optimum amount of nutrition. HOW IMPORTANT IS NUTRITION? Over the past few decades, we’ve seen records begin to tumble closer to some incredible boundaries, the sub-2-hour barrier for men and a sub-2-hour-14-minutes barrier for women. From the introduction of carbon-plated running shoes and super foams with incredible energy-returning properties to in-depth pacing strategies and the benefit of drafting to preserve energy. Another layer to be added is the evolution of endurance nutrition to combine all of these energy-saving and efficiency-enhancing developments with the delivery of fuelling. FUEL LIKE THE ELITES If you want to improve your marathon this Autumn, consider adopting the same strategy as the World’s best. Gotytom Gebreslase uses the Elite Running Bottle alongside her bespoke fuelling products from SiS. Two-time World Record holder Lamecha Girma enjoys our GO Isotonic Energy + Caffeine before he competes. Runner-up at London 2023 Marathon Alemu Megertu also uses the Elite Running Bottle mixed with our BETA Fuel 80 drink and BETA Fuel + Nootropics. Our nutrition products are designed to push the boundaries of endurance running. Through our partnerships with Elite Running Team, England Athletics, and the likes of Eilish McColgan, we are committed to transferring the pioneering integrated Performance Solutions that we have been providing for years in the pro-peloton, with the likes of the INEOS Grenadiers. Recent testing indicates that individuals like Gotytom Gebreslase have capabilities that exceed World Records, with tailor-made nutrition solutions we can push marathon running to new levels and continue to develop nutrition that is optimised for runners at all levels. Written By sisteam Supplying world-class knowledge, elite insights, and product recommendations to provide optimal performance solutions for all athletes across a wide variety of endurance sports.