Integrating Endurance Gut Study Findings Into Marathon Training: Sarah’s Journey

Marathon running is not just about putting on your running shoes and hitting the pavement. 

It’s a complex and demanding sport that requires comprehensive preparation, including understanding the science behind it. 

Our Osteopath, Sarah, recently embarked on an endurance gut study, which has provided valuable insights into how repetitive eating during exercise impacts fuel availability, gut function, and symptoms. She has seamlessly integrated these findings into her marathon training schedule, as she prepares for her first marathon in mid-October. 

In this article, we will delve into the study and see how Sarah has applied its lessons to her training regimen.

The Endurance Gut Study

Before we explore Sarah’s marathon training journey, let’s understand what the endurance gut study involved. The study was designed to examine how repetitive eating during exercise affects various aspects of an athlete’s performance. 

Here’s a breakdown of the study:

Day 1: Baseline Data Collection

  • VO2 Max test to assess aerobic capacity.
  • Collection of baseline data, including weight, height, and body fat distribution.

Preparation for Day 2

  • A strict two-day Low FODMAP diet, meticulously prepared by Monash University.
  • A day of fasting followed by breath sample analysis over three hours, sampled every 15 minutes.

Day 2: Endurance Run and Data Collection

  • A gruelling three-hour run, with two hours at 60% of VO2 Max and one hour at a high-intensity level.
  • Collection of various data points, including faecal samples before the run, finger prick tests every 20 minutes during the first two hours, VO2 Max tests every 30 minutes during the first two hours, and full blood draws at various points.
  • Consumption of carbohydrate gels at the start and every 20 minutes for the first two hours, along with 290ml of water.
  • Two-hour post-exercise breath analysis, sampled every 15 minutes.

Preparation for Day 3

  • Seven days of daily exercise, accompanied by the consumption of three gels, each with 290ml of water, all provided and prepared by Monash University.
  • A two-day strict Low FODMAP diet, again prepared by Monash University.
  • Another day of fasting was followed by breath sample analysis over three hours, sampled every 15 minutes.

Day 3: Repeat of Endurance Run and Data Collection

  • A second three-hour run mirroring the previous day’s conditions.
  • Collection of data, including faecal samples, finger prick tests, VO2 Max tests, full blood draws, and breath analysis, just as on Day 2.

Key Takeaways from the Study 

At the conclusion of this exhaustive study, Sarah gained valuable insights into her body’s performance, including:

  • Her VO2 Max result is crucial for assessing aerobic capacity.
  • Body composition results in a better understanding of her physical condition.
  • Hydration requirements during exercise and her sweat rate.
  • Optimal fuelling strategies during exercise, including the best times to consume carbohydrates for peak performance.
  • Her gut’s tolerance for fats or carbohydrate-based gels and their ability to fuel her endurance needs.

Integrating study findings into Marathon Training Sarah’s commitment to her marathon training journey is exemplary. Armed with the knowledge acquired from the endurance gut study, she has made several adjustments to her training regimen:

  • Fuelling Strategy: Sarah now knows precisely when and how to consume carbohydrates during her long training runs to optimize her energy levels and performance.
  • Hydration: She has fine-tuned her hydration plan, understanding her body’s sweat rate and requirements during exercise.
  • Recovery: Sarah incorporates recovery strategies learned from the study to reduce post-training fatigue and improve her overall recovery times.

Incorporating scientific research into her training regimen has undoubtedly positioned Sarah for success in her upcoming marathon, showcasing the importance of a well-informed and tailored approach to endurance sports.

If you’re intrigued by the study or would like to learn more about its findings, feel free to contact Isabel Martinez, the head researcher, at

Sarah’s passion for running aligns beautifully with treating athletes with sporting injuries. Her understanding of the human body is truly sensational. She will get you back to what you love doing in no time!

Sarah is available for Osteopathy consultations and 1:1 Clinical Rehab pilates on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm. 

You can book your next consultation here.