New York City Marathon


Written By

Science in Sport Team

5 minutes

Are you running the TCS New York City Marathon this Sunday 5th November? Being prepared for race day can help calm your nerves, allow you to focus on the race ahead and ensure you have an efficient fuelling strategy. This article provides you with some insight into on course hydration and fuel, pre-race nutrition and post-race recovery.


Hydration is a key factor you must consider during your race. As de-hydration increases this can have a negative impact on both your physical and mental performance. It’s recommended that healthy athletes should aim for at least 16 ounces of water and serving of electrolytes that suit your needs every hour you are running.

Electrolyte guide:

Low<275mg sodium
Medium>276mg – 600mg sodium
High>601mg sodium

Water will be on course every mile starting at 3 miles through to 25, excluding mile 5, 7 and 9, along with race’s official energy drink. Carrying your own liquid allows you to follow your own hydration plan and add your own electrolytes. SiS HYDRO tabs or SiS GO Electrolyte powder can provide you with the sodium and hydration you will need on race day.

On Course Fuel

Science in sport GO Isotonic Energy Gels will be on course at mile 12 and mile 18, in a variety of flavours. Each energy gel contains 22g of easily digestible carbohydrate in a truly isotonic formula. The GO Isotonic Energy Gels + Caffeine, Citrus flavour, can also be found on course to boost your marathon performance. Our gels contain 75mg of caffeine and we recommend individuals to start between 100-200mg of caffeine over the course of a long run. On race day, aim for one caffeinated SiS Gel at the start line and one half-way through, totalling 150mg of caffeine.

It is recommended that a healthy athlete aims for a minimum of 60-90g of carbohydrates every hours whilst racing, so make sure you bring enough fuel to the start line. Use time, rather than miles, to guide your fuelling needs. For example, aim to fuel every 30 minutes (+/- 15) depending on your intensity level, fuel source and hourly carbohydrate intake goal.

Remember we always say never try anything new on race day. If you have never tried the SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gel then make sure to try it out ahead of time. Head down to the Science in Sport Booth at the Marathon Expo or your local store to give it a try.

Pre-Marathon Nutrition Tips

The main thing here is keeping it simple and not trying anything new 24-48 hours before the race, consuming foods/drinks you typically have and can tolerate. Aim for lower fibre foods in the 24-48 hours ahead of your race and ensure all your vegetables are cooked. This is going to be easier on your system as you digest/absorb it.

As you may be hopping on an early ferry or bus, have a breakfast option ready for you with easy to digest carbohydrates. Aim to eat roughly 2-4 hours ahead of the race. You want to start the race fully fuelled and with no depleted carbohydrate stores.

Carbohydrate Loading

24-48 hours pre-race, your diet should consist of carbohydrate rich foods. For example, white rice, pasta, bread and potatoes. Carbohydrates can also be consumed in liquid form, including energy powders, such as SiS BETA Fuel 80 or GO Energy.

The aim is to consume 2-4 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight prior to starting. This can be a combination of solid foods or drink mixes. For example, a 68kg runner should be consuming 136-273 grams of carbohydrates the morning of the race.


This might not be the first thing you think about when you cross the finish line but post-marathon nutrition is very important for recovery. Within an hour after finishing, aim to consume roughly 20g of protein and at least 1:1 (preferably 1:2-4) amount of carbohydrates to optimise the body’s ability to take in and utilise the nutrients. Within two hours post-race, a well-balanced meal should be consumed.

At the finish line you will also receive a TCS NYC Marathon Runner Recovery Bag presented by Hospital for Special Surgery with some fantastic options to start rebuilding and replenishing after your race. This includes a variety of products to aid your recovery, including the SiS Protein Bar.

The Night Before Race Day Checklist

  • Have a breakfast idea in mind and prepped if taking on the go.
  • Have your fuel ready to go in your belt or bag.
  • Consume water and electrolytes before heading out in the morning.
  • Have your race day outfit ready and laid out.
  • Support Squad Check-in.

Click here to check out the SiS Marathon Guide for more Marathon Tips.

Good Luck to everyone running!

Written By
Science in Sport Team
Science in Sport Team
Supplying world-class knowledge, elite insights, and product recommendations to provide optimal performance solutions for all athletes across a wide variety of endurance sports.
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