As you prepare for your big race day you may be wondering, what are the things to eat before a marathon? What you eat before a marathon can make or break your race but since there is such a vast array of knowledge on this topic, you may find yourself uncertain as what to do. As a 21 time marathoner and trainer, let me share with you what really works. If I can play just a small part in helping you to have a great marathon time, I would be thrilled. So here are the things to eat before a marathon so that you can run your best race:
1. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST
Before your marathon, you should always eat breakfast because you need fuel for such a long distance. Plus, prior to all your training runs leading up to your marathon race day, you should practice eating a breakfast. You can’t cross the finish line without some gas in the tank so make sure you have a healthy breakfast. Figure out the things to eat before a marathon by practicing on all your training runs.
2. NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW
I always feel bad when I see a newbie runner testing all the drinks and bars at the race expo, the day prior to a marathon. I often warn them against this because I don’t to want them to sabotage themselves unknowingly. Do not be foolish – think before you eat. Every meal you choose in the days leading up to your marathon can affect you.
3. BANANA ANYONE
A banana is great to have before your marathon and in the days leading up to the race. Bananas have loads of potassium and other vitamins which help regulate your hydration levels and reduce muscle cramps. This is ever so useful in a marathon since 26.2 miles is a long way to go.
4. EAT LIGHT ON THE MORNING OF THE RACE
When you awake, hopefully well rested and you are anxious for a great race, eat lightly, Belgium waffles, bacon and eggs will be way too heavy before a race. I prefer oatmeal and a banana or a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter on it and a banana. Whatever you do, just make sure you choose your food wisely.
5. PASTA ALWAYS WORKS
To store glycogen in the muscles so you do not run out of fuel in the days leading up to the race make sure you carb load by eating some breads and pasta. This will help you to fuel your body and have a great race day!
6. GO EASY THE NIGHT PRIOR
Carb loading should be done for 3-5 days prior to your marathon so that the night before, do not wolf down 3 plates of pasta – a small plate is enough if you’ve even wisely in the days previous., choose a small plate of pasta. Excessive eating the night before your race could give you digestive issues in the race, so go easy.
7. GO EASY ON THE FIBER
Even if you normally only eat all whole grains, in the days leading up to your marathon, switch to white as this will be much easier on your stomach. Too much fiber before the race can leave you with stomach cramps in your marathon. So be smart and choose your food wisely!
Hope you choose healthy foods that help you fuel a great marathon race day! So tell me, when is your marathon? Happy running and have a great race!