The weeks leading up to your next marathon comes with a slew of challenges. Eating, sleeping and running have taken on a whole new meaning. Every time you fulfill a task that’s important for your body, it’s an opportunity to prepare yourself for race day. Each aspect of your training important, but nutrition is one of the most important factors to your success. You can train your body for hours and fail on race day because you didn’t work hard in the kitchen. We’re here to help you build your ultimate plan to eating whole and healthy meals leading up to your race! Our goal is to help you create a plan that is easy to follow and that will make training an easy task.
When You Eat and How Often You Eat Is Important
The timing and frequency of your meals is incredibly important to your results as you train. During your training you need to find the right balance between meals so you don’t run on an empty stomach. This can lead to you underperforming and feeling tired throughout the run. One or two hours before each run grab a light meal or snack as fuel. During the day eat small meals every three to four hours to keep your energy up.
Eat Nutrient Rich Foods
When you start training you should boost the number of carbohydrates you eat on a day to day basis. Keep your fat and protein levels the same, while you focus on bringing in more carbs for energy. Make sure you reach for clean sources instead of grabbing foods like bread, chips and pizza. Whole grains, rice and legumes can be a great source of carbs! We’ve outlined good sources of carbs and protein below:
Carbohydrate Sources: Potatoes, beans, bananas, apples, carrots, root vegetables, whole-grain breads, brown rice, corn
Protein Sources: Lean beef, chicken, fish , eggs, cheese, low fat milk, beans, tofu, soy products, peanut butter, cottage cheese
Snacking While You’re On the Run
When you are reaching ten to 20 miles during a run eating light snacks along the way can help replenish the energy you burn. The key to eating during the run is choosing something that is quick and easy to digest. Foods like fruits, energy bars and gels are perfect! Most of these items are light and easy to carry, but are also full of complex carbohydrates. Every 30 to 45 minutes during your run try to consume one of these snacks.