Running the Nike Melbourne Marathon: Your Guide to Best Preparation

It is less than a week to go before the much-anticipated Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival gets underway. We have many patients at the moment coming in for their final tune ups to be ready for race day, which includes WHL staff members Cliff, Anthony and myself.  

 Something that is highly debated amongst the elite athletes, but sometimes overlooked in the amateur community is race day nutrition. It is the foundation that supports your body to help drive you through the race and across the finish line. Here are a couple of recommendations to help fuel your body across the weekend:  

 Marathon – Pre-race:  

  • The best part about the de-load week before a race is the carb loading that goes on. While it’s easy to go overboard, it is recommended that runners consume around 10g of carbs per kilo of bodyweight in the 2 days before the race (1). This can come from pastas, rice or sugar-based snacks to help top up your glycogen (the body’s easily accessible energy storage) before the race. It is best practice to try and have your larger meal at lunchtime and a lighter dinner meal the night before the race (1).  
  • The morning of the race, try and eat 2-3 hours before the race. That way it is well absorbed by your body before the gun goes off. Aim for something with high carbohydrate, around 100g, and avoid excessive amounts of fats or proteins which will make your stomach heavy (1).  

 Marathon – In-race: 

  • These aforementioned glucose levels will deplete from the 90-minute mark, so it will be necessary to help fill up these energy levels with a high carb sports drinks or gels. Some well recommended gel brands include sport in science or maurten (2).  
  • It is recommended to consume 30-60g of carbohydrates every hour. For reference a banana will be between 24-30g, and a gel 20-27g.  
  • It will be important to have done some training with whatever supplement you choose over your longer training runs so your body is accustomed to metabolising them while your active. This will help prevent gastric upset during the race (2).  

 Marathon – Post-race: 

  • It might not the best choice to reach straight for a beer immediately after you’ve finished the run, particularly if you are rolling straight into another training program after this race. Try and consume an easily digested protein or high carbohydrate drink first to help stimulate recovery. Otherwise, enjoy the celebrations after finishing, you’ve earned it!  


Tom Johnstone, OSTEOPATH




  1. A Complete Guide to Proper Marathon Nutrition [Internet]. TrainingPeaks. 2021 [cited 6 December 2021]. Available from: 
  1. How to fuel your body best during marathon training [Internet]. Runner’s World. 2021 [cited 6 December 2021]. Available from: 
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