The Basics of Endurance Nutrition + Fueling

Nutrition plays a key role in everyday life, especially when you are training for a race or endurance event. There are some basic principles to creating a nutrition plan that will set you up for race day success. It can be fairly simple, but does involve a lot of trial and error to figure out what is best for you. The different distances and different durations for training and racing require a difference fueling plans.

As an endurance athlete you need to focus and determine on the duration and the intensity of your training, which would help you determine the amount and type of fueling that your body needs to performed.

Some basic fueling knowledge for endurance needs:

– No carbohydrates are typically needed for exercise that last for 45 minutes or less.

-Exercise lasting 1 to 2 hours you need to consume 40-60g per hour of carbohydrates, or about 270 calories per hour.

– Exercise lasting 2+ hours you need to consume 60-80g per hour of carbohydrates, or 350 calories/ hour + 20 ounces of water.

Remember to continue to maintain hydration and to fuel yourself with some carbohydrate post exercise no matter the duration.

Maintaining a proper nutritional balance is key to a successful training block, and knowing how not to over or under fuel your stomach. This all takes trial and error to figure out what works for you personally as an athlete. There is no one nutrition plan that fits all needs, so test out and be patient as you navigate the best way to properly fuel yourself.


Nely Ward, Nutrition & Endurance Coach