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We’ve spent months placing within the miles and testing out every kind of fueling choices on the run. But, what to eat the week of a marathon begins sending us in to a little bit of a panic! And the way do we modify our consuming the morning of a marathon?
Do we have to carbo load?
Are we purported to do the carb depletion earlier than the loading?
And what about all these nerves which can be messing with our abdomen?
Let’s break down each items of the puzzle and assist you determine what’s going to work finest so that you can enter the race feeling rested, muscle glycogen topped off and abdomen comfortable.
Why What You Eat Earlier than A Marathon Issues
Your race efficiency can completely be improved or derailed by vitamin. It doesn’t matter what number of miles you’ve put in in case your physique doesn’t have sufficient of the proper gas to get you to the end line.
Whereas your urge for food could drop some throughout taper after which be very low attributable to nerves earlier than the race, it’s vital that you just gas!
Throughout a marathon, your physique primarily depends on cardio power manufacturing, fueled primarily by carbohydrates and a few fat.
Carbohydrates, saved as glycogen within the muscle tissues and liver, present available power throughout extended train. That is essential to keep away from a drop in power and temper (which then derails your focus).
As you run, your muscle tissues break down glycogen to supply adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the power foreign money of the physique. The physique’s glycogen shops are restricted, and the speed of glycogen depletion goes to extend throughout a race when you’re pushing more durable than regular, it could possibly additionally range based mostly in your health ranges, age and measurement.
When glycogen ranges change into critically low, you would possibly expertise a sudden drop in power ranges, muscle fatigue, and a major lower in efficiency. This phenomenon, sometimes called “hitting the wall,” is usually a important impediment to beat throughout a half marathon.
Therefore, we need to go in to the race with a physique that’s totally stocked after which we need to maintain feeding it to maintain that power flowing!
Let’s begin by wanting on the total image of the week after which extra particularly race morning.
What to Eat the Week of a Marathon
Let’s begin with the concept nearly all of runners usually are not doing carb loading accurately and certain don’t must make a drastic shift of their weight-reduction plan.
We don’t need to do new issues on marathon day…why would you need to make large adjustments to your regular habits the week of the race?
- Eat usually till 2-3 days earlier than the race
- Proceed consuming fiber as much as then after which nonetheless embody some to maintain issues transfer
- 3 days earlier than the race be certain not less than 50-60% of your energy come from straightforward to digest carbs
- 2 days earlier than the race once more purpose for not less than 60%
- 1 day earlier than the race see if you may get nearer to 70-80%
I’ve seen some suggest as much as 90% of your weight-reduction plan in these days be from carbs.
However for many runners, I discover that quantity has felt overwhelming or they’re simply craving some precise substance by protein. So be much less tied to the quantity and extra centered on relaxation, restoration and never strolling all day within the expo.
Carb loading has the potential to enhance efficiency by 2-3%. That’s almost 7 minutes for a 4-hour marathon.
MUST READ: AVOID these seven carb loading mistakes >>
What are Straightforward to Digest Carbohydrates?
Straightforward to digest carbohydrates don’t imply sugar and sweets. Although they’re scrumptious, we don’t need to enhance irritation or trigger power swings, so these are solely a part of your race week plan.
- Juice – one of many few occasions we’ll suggest it right here as a result of often we would like the fiber of a smoothie
- Bagels – or I really like sourdough as a result of it usually helps to calm the abdomen as a result of fermentation
- Rice – white rice has much less fiber
- Potatoes – go loopy with common potatoes or candy potatoes, simply watch the butter or heavy fat the day earlier than the race
- Oatmeal – throw in some floor flax for further anti-inflammatory goodness
- Pancakes, waffles, benefit from the muffin you would possibly usually overlook
- Berries, bananas, cantaloupe
As a result of carbohydrates trigger the physique to retain water (we would like effectively hydrated muscle tissues for the race) it’s completely widespread to gain weight while running.
That is 2 DAYS, you aren’t gaining fats. It’s water.
I dig Betty Crockers model of throwing in some chocolate chips!
What Do I Eat the Night time Earlier than a Marathon?
Take into consideration a light-weight meal.
That’s proper, I’m not a fan of the standard pasta dinner. Until that is what you’ve been doing with success all through coaching.
Most runners report feeling groggy and weighed down within the morning after consuming an enormous bowl of pasta and breadsticks.
Straightforward at residence meal from Wellbeing.
You need to arrive to the race feeling gentle, recent and never like your physique is digesting an enormous dinner after what was most likely not your finest night time of sleep.
A couple of choices:
- A pair slices of pizza (works nice if that is what you’ve performed all by coaching)
- Salmon and potatoes (personally salmon and candy potato fries is my favourite pre-race dinner)
- A sandwich – love sourdough to assist the abdomen, plus get in somewhat protein and throw in some avocado
- Rooster stir fry with white rice and lightweight on the excessive fiber veggies
Discover the choices are low fiber, most likely somewhat decrease in fats and better in carbs. However nothing loopy. As famous the entire issues we need to eat the day earlier than the marathon are SIMPLE.
As we speak is just not specializing in large prime quality vitamin like all of the fruits and veggies…it’s carbs that your physique doesn’t must work too laborious to make use of.
When Ought to I eat Earlier than a Marathon?
I’m going to stipulate a plan for you beneath, however ideally we’re going to be consuming just a few occasions. First shall be your main meal to high off glycogen shops and that shall be 2-3 hours earlier than the beginning time.
This meal is actually vital for that final little bit of power and shouldn’t be skipped. I do know you will not be feeling hungry throughout that 3AM get up name, however you’re going to be so glad you ate come mile 10….and 25.
What to Eat the Morning of a Marathon?
Marathon morning is somewhat completely different than a lot of your lengthy runs. You’ll be able to’t merely eat and get going. Your finest pre marathon meal goes to be a mix of the good selections you made at dinner and now what you finalize on race morning.
Somewhat you’ll be awake and certain shifting round for hours earlier than crossing the beginning line.
2-3 hours Pre-Marathon Meal
Whereas nonetheless in your lodge or residence, attempt having oatmeal with nut butter and berries OR a bagel with 2 tbsp nut butter. One thing with somewhat substance to it.
This meal is probably going going to be 300-500 energy and principally carbs. Chances are you’ll need to have some fats or protein to assist create that lasting power and maintain you full as a result of it positively sucks to really feel hungry throughout a race.
Frequent issues that work for lots of runners:
- Bagel with nut butter and a banana
- Sourdough with nut butter (sourdough is commonly simpler on the abdomen it’s my go to) and a few raisins
- Juice + some dry cereal on the go
- Bowl of oatmeal with some protein powder, berries and nut butter
On the best way to the race
In the event you didn’t get in a ton for breakfast (and no 200 energy isn’t sufficient) then attempt consuming a banana (I LOVE the banana wrapped in a tortilla concept above straightforward to move and eat on the bus, firstly, and so forth) or a Clifbar. Once more, these are nonetheless straightforward to digest carbs.
**Be aware: Bananas truly assist to assuage the abdomen. So not solely are they an awesome carb for gas, but additionally if you happen to’re feeling nervous and further bonus factors for the potassium, vitamin C and different great things.
About 10 minutes earlier than when your wave is able to go eat a Honey Stinger Waffle or your favourite gel – you completely need some carbs proper then due to that large time hole.
All through all of this attempt sipping electrolytes. You don’t need to really feel bloated, so simply sip constantly. Do not forget that hydration is just not solely a part of your power, however helps with digestion.
Keep away from Marathon Abdomen Points
In the event you’re avoiding race morning fueling since you’re fearful about runner stomach issues, then my first concern is we didn’t do sufficient observe fueling throughout coaching. However it’s additionally attainable that attributable to nerves your abdomen is a bit more fussy.
- Keep on with meals that you realize
- Strive one’s which can be straightforward on the abdomen like toast, crackers, bananas, pretzels
- Drink extra juices to get in some energy and carbs while not having to digest
What To not Eat Earlier than a Marathon
If you’re somebody who tends to have abdomen points or significantly if you’re touring for a race, just a few closing ideas:
- Don’t attempt new meals (says the one that had fried catfish and paid for it dearly in a race)
- Race morning I are inclined to keep away from a lot dairy, this may be a problem as you get sizzling for lots of people
- Keep away from a variety of heavy fried or fatty meals
- Keep away from a variety of excessive fiber meals (brussels, broccoli, and so forth)
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