How to Eat Before Running a Marathon

How to Eat Before Running a Marathon
If this is your first marathon, you may think there are all sorts of complicated rules for getting ready. It's comforting to find out, from the time you make the momentous decision, that training has many facets, all based on common sense. So the truth about eating before a marathon is to eat nutritiously.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Water Healthy food
  • Water
  • Healthy food
Step 1
Begin eating well as soon as you begin marathon training. Eat adequate, but not copious, meals of food you like that you know is good for you, and limit the oily, fatty, prepared and sweetened foods you eat. The US Department of Agriculture, in consultation with nutrition experts, suggests a healthy diet includes whole grain cereals and flour products, dark green and orange vegetables, dried beans and peas, a variety of fruits and dairy products like reduced-fat milk and cheese.
Step 2
Experiment when you do speed work and distance-building courses. Find out what foods go down well, allow you to run well and don't return to haunt you.
Step 3
Eat high-fiber food sparingly the night before a long run, because it moves quickly through the digestive tract. High-fiber foods include legumes, whole grain products, fruits and vegetables. All are necessary for good nutrition except, possibly, just before a hard race.
Step 4
Overbalance your marathon-training and marathon-running diet toward whole-grain carbohydrates and away from proteins and fats. This is especially true the last two weeks before your race and is called carbo-loading. Potatoes in their skins, pasta, rice, fruit and whole-grain bread help store energy in your muscles.
Step 5
Drink, drink, drink. Load up on water, and perhaps fruit juices, but not on caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
Step 6
Eat a regular-size meal of familiar and not overly spicy food, more carbs than fats or proteins, the night before the marathon. White-flour pasta with only a little bit of simple sauce is the stereotypical dinner before a race. Drink a lot of water.
Step 7
Eat a small breakfast---really a carbohydrate snack---the morning of the marathon. Drink a lot of water.

Tips & Warnings

 
Expect to gain a couple of pounds the final two weeks before the marathon, when you're tapering the miles you run but eating normally. It's not absolutely necessary to scrub coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas entirely, but knowing their dehydrating effect, limit consumption and replace the water lost when you do drink them. Before you order that marathon eve dinner, think about whether you wish to taste its repeat while you run. Hold off on exotic and rich menu choices until a day or two after you cross the finish line. Don't expect to feel like a huge meal the day you run a marathon, or, possibly, the next day.
 
Expect to gain a couple of pounds the final two weeks before the marathon, when you're tapering the miles you run but eating normally.
 
It's not absolutely necessary to scrub coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas entirely, but knowing their dehydrating effect, limit consumption and replace the water lost when you do drink them.
 
Before you order that marathon eve dinner, think about whether you wish to taste its repeat while you run. Hold off on exotic and rich menu choices until a day or two after you cross the finish line.
 
Don't expect to feel like a huge meal the day you run a marathon, or, possibly, the next day.
 
You know your body. Be honest with yourself, and see a doctor before training for a marathon if you may have a condition that endurance training could irritate or if your fitness level is basal.

Article Written By Lani Johnson

Lani Johnson is a hiking, writing musician. Recent published work includes journalism, poetry and research. See her online writing at Trails.com or at Azacda.presspublisher.us.

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