Marathon training with e-Gel

One of the golden rules of running a marathon, triathlon or any endurance event is to not change anything on race day, and this applies to your nutrition as well. If you plan on racing with a gel it is important that you also use the gel during your training. By training with the product you ensure that your body doesn’t have a problem with it on race day, and you “teach” your body to tap into this supplemental source of energy.

Before building e-Gel into you training program, we strongly recommend that you first read about the importance of proper hydration for gel users.

short training runs

In your shorter training runs (approximately 7 miles or less), the use of gels is far less important than in your longer runs. If you choose to use a gel during these runs we recommend taking it with a few (4 to 8) ounces of water 5-10 minutes before you go out the door. In addition, gels are more likely to be beneficial when your glycogen stores are low (ex. first thing in the morning).

intermediate training runs

Intermediate distance runs (8-12 miles) are good candidates for gel training. For these runs we recommend using either one or two e-Gel packs. If you are using one, it can be taken either immediately before or any time during the run. If you choose to use two gels, we recommend taking the first before you go out the door and the second somewhere after the 5 mile mark. You can take them both during the run, but taking one before the run makes one less thing to carry and less water you have to worry about during the run.

long training runs

We recommend using one or more gels on all of your long runs in preparation for a marathon. Our general rule of thumb is to consume no more than one e-Gel pack every five miles. If you run 6 minute miles, you would consume no more than one every 30 minutes. If you run 12 minute miles you would consume no more than one per hour, etc. However, if you are not able to maintain the recommended hydration plan during the run, then you should reduce your gel intake accordingly.


During your run you will deplete your glycogen stores and it is recommended that you replenish this energy with a good carbohydrate source. Consuming a pack of e-Gel with a tall glass of water will quickly replenish 150 calories of expended energy along with critical rehydration. The amino acids in e-Gel are designed to reduce lactic acid build up and aid in recovery, while e-Gel’s antioxidants help protect against tissue damage and reduce muscle soreness. Recovery should also include some protein (protein bar, smoothie, etc.). We often get asked if we are going to make a recovery specific product. The answer is no, here’s why.

Now that you know how to train with e-Gel, see our race day tips:

if you found this useful please share!


related resources

gels, drinks, chews ... what's best for your sport?

Use our Sherpa Nutrition Guide tool to get your nutrition dialed in. Just plug in your sport, problems you’re having (cramping, stomach issues, running out of energy) and Sherpa will give you a detailed person guide. Free, quick and easy!

what is an energy gel and who should use them

Many people are not fans of energy gels at first because they can be sticky, thick and hard to get down. Why would anyone use an energy gel? Why not just stick to energy bars and sports drinks? All good questions… read on

when to use energy gels and sports drinks and can they be used together

If you decide to use e-Gel and e-Fuel together (or any energy gel and sports drink), follow these guidelines for best results.

energy gel comparisons

See how your energy gel stacks up

hydration and proper use of energy gels

Before building an energy gel into your training and competition program, it is critical to understand the importance of proper hydration.

energy gels are a better choice than bars and chews

Protein bars, energy gels, chews, hydration drinks, fruit … what should you use? Making the right selection can significantly improve performance.

ingredient articles

electrolytes in energy gels

Why is this important?

fat and protein during your race, don't do it!

In order to achieve optimum performance in any endurance sport you need to maximize oxygen delivery to the working muscles. What you eat plays a significant role.


Our recommendations on when to use caffeine and when to avoid it.

fructose, you need some!

Fructose often gets a bad rap, but using it properly will actually give you an advantage, learn how.

hyponautremia, electrolytes may save your life

Over hydrating and not getting enough electrolytes can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, which is serious and sometimes deadly.

race tips and strategy

the marathon wall and how to avoid it

The bad news is that “the wall” is a very real thing. The good news is that you can avoid “hitting the wall” if you follow this advice.

marathon race day tips and nutrition strategy

How much should you drink before and during the race? When and what should you eat? How many gels should you use?

how to avoid the porta potty during your race

We’ve all seen it and most of us have done it … 30 minutes (or less) into a race athletes are already looking for a porta potty. Don’t let this be you!

how to avoid "runner's trots"

This article is for athletes that experience intestinal discomfort while running and have to “go” while running.