Your body has limited stores that only last for 60 to 90 minutes (intensity dependant).
This poses a problem when you need to be able to run for 3, 4, or more hours…
Fueling during the London Marathon is just as important as your training leading up to race day.
That’s why we have put together a drinks stations guide for the London Marathon so that you know what you can get at each mile along the route…
Water Stations On The London Marathon Course
There are water stations every two miles along the route (12 in total). At the water stations, some volunteers hand out 250ml plastic bottles of Buxton water.
To mitigate plastic waste TCS has put major sustainability efforts in place which we will discuss later on in the article.
There are Lucozade Sport drink tables providing Lucozade in cups at:
- Mile 9/ 14km
- Mile15/ 24km
- Mile 21/ 33km
- Mile 24/ 38km
Lucozade Sport Energy Gels are being handed out at:
- Mile 14/ 22km
- Mile 19/ 30km
Now that you know what is going to be provided for you along the route, let’s have a look at what the best thing to drink during the London Marathon is…
What Is The Best Way To Hydrate During The London Marathon?
Failing to prepare an adequate hydration strategy before race day can lead to unwanted consequences.
Dehydration can cause a decrease in your aerobic energy capacity, which will reduce your exercise endurance and muscle strength.
You should aim to consume 400ml to 800ml of water an hour – As we said earlier this amount does vary between each individual and should be modified to thirst, intensity, and environmental conditions.
We recommend that you learn how much water your body needs to consume to stay well-hydrated during your training period, especially on your long runs.
You can do this by checking your weight before and after a long run to make sure that you haven’t lost more than 2 percent of your body weight, and checking that your urine is not too concentrated.
With regards to the water and Lucozade stations… these are not in place so that you stop to drink at every station.
Think about how much fluid you consumed during your long training runs, and try to replicate this intake when running the London marathon, adjusting to thirst and environmental conditions.
Stop only for drinks and fuel as you have planned and practiced within your training.
With that being said…
Should You Bring Your Own Water To The London Marathon?
Yes, you can wear a hydration pack when running a marathon. That is on the condition you have been using the hydration pack while training.
Having a pack with your hydration and nutrition during a marathon can definitely be beneficial but there are drawbacks to running with a pack.
Tips For Efficiency At The London Marathon Drinks Stations
- Stop only if it’s a part of your plan.
- Look ahead and start heading to the correct side of the road before you get there.
- Slow down for the volunteers to hand you your bottle.
- Don’t drink the entire content of the bottle at once, you can hold it while you run and drink slowly.
- Be mindful of where you throw your trash along the route.
- Throw the leftover water on your neck or head… Especially in hot weather.
The London Marathon Drink Station Sustainability Efforts
Each of the Buxton water bottles that runners receive every 2 miles along the route is made from recycled plastic and the goal is to recycle every bottle after the race.
Runners are asked to drink and empty out any water in the bottles and then throw them away in dedicated recycling bags along the course.
To reduce the number of drink stations required the London Marathon has provided bottle belts and has worked with partners to introduce alternatives to plastic – eg compostable cups for Lucozade Sport.
Bottle belts and hydration packs have been encouraged and are encouraged to promote self-sufficient hydration methods and reduce plastic consumption.
Note: Research from 2019 showed that participants who used a bottle belt took 40% fewer Water bottles which is a big leap toward improving sustainability efforts.
Failing to prepare an adequate hydration strategy before race day can lead to unwanted consequences… Make sure you plan correctly so that come race day all you have to think about is crossing that finish line.
Takes the guesswork out of your marathon training, here is a 12-week London Marathon Training Roadmap for YOU!