MAKE DO WITH LESS
Runners are more likely to overfuel than underfuel, says Goldthorp, and that can cause gastrointestinal problems. For distances up to and including the half marathon, try to forgo midrun gels or sports drinks. Instead, just drink water when you’re thirsty. However, only attempt this strategy if you’ve been properly fuelling throughout the week and after eating an easy-to- digest 200- 400kcal meal two to four hours before the race. Don’t worry about hitting the dreaded wall: most runners will have enough stored energy to cover such distances without taking in extra calories, provided they pace themselves evenly. And in case of emergency, you can grab the sports drink and/or gel offered on the route.
HOW TO TRY IT
Try water- only training runs to see how you respond (but carry your go-to fuel in case it goes poorly). Research what the race provides – if it’s a new-to-you sports drink or gel, ‘ taste it in advance to avoid nasty surprises midrace,’ says Allison.