Your fuelling method is key to an excellent marathon performance. What and how much of what you eat before a marathon can make all the difference.
Here are several simple ideas of what to eat for breakfast before your marathon:
- Cereal with skimmed milk, fruits, toast and juice of your choice
- Muffins with fruit and a cup of yogurt
- Rolls and sandwiches with low-fat filling, yogurt, and nuts
- Fruit smoothies or fruit-flavored yogurts
Top Pre-run Meal
Start your day of marathon with a light meal or snack and allow three to four hours for it to digest. You may find it challenging to eat because of nervousness, in which case, drink a smoothie with fruits and yogurt. Ideally, your pre-marathon meal should contain about 300g of simple carbohydrates and should be low in fiber. Try the meal plan as part of your training so that you can know which works for you the best.
Eat something light an hour before the marathon for an extra boost of energy to help delay fatigue; try dried fruit, low-fat fruit yogurt, cereal or energy bar, a jam sandwich, or a sports drink. Drinking fluids, two hours before the race, allows you to hydrate. Avoid chugging a whole bottle of water and take small sips every now and then.
Best Meal While Running
Check on your carbohydrates levels as you run so that you don’t drain out as you go. Refuel carbs within 30 mins of the race if necessary. Aim for about 50g carbohydrate per hour, and continue at regular intervals. Try energy bars, nuts, sports drinks, etc., to gain energy.
Have a drink to ensure that you’re hydrated. Drinking in small portions will help to avoid gastric issues.
Ideas for carbohydrate during the race include:
- Sports drink
- Cereal bars
- One jam sandwich
- Two pieces of fruit
- Two handfuls of dried fruit
Right Meal After the Marathon
Celebrate and enjoy what you’ve achieved. It’s easy to forget, concentrating on recovery post a race. Don’t forget to eat within the hour to make sure that your body has the fuel to start the recovery process. Eat a carbohydrate-rich snack with some protein, like fruit yogurt and sandwich, banana and yogurt drink, or try a recovery bar and recovery sports beverages.
Start restoring lost fluids by drinking until urine appears pale in color. Eat a carb-rich meal following the marathon and continue to eat carb-rich meals for the next week to rejuvenate carb storage.