Training for a marathon isn’t an overnight project. Instead, it’s a long and enduring process that isn’t just about running, it also incorporates the food you eat. Although the London Marathon has moved again this year from April to October, we thought it’s a good idea to start thinking about your diet if you’re hoping to tackle 26.2 miles.
The foods you choose to fuel your body with, will not only have an impact on your overall race time but also on your energy levels, your recovery time after training, and your susceptibility to injury.
Here are some of our top tips for a marathon training diet.
Foods that are rich in protein are important when you’re training for a marathon. That’s because protein is important for building up your muscles which, in turn, helps to prevent injury and allows you to recover from your training quickly.
Foods that are high in protein include:
- Chicken, turkey, duck
- Lean beef, lamb, & pork
- Get some ginger
Ginger packs a punch when it comes to flavour. If you love oriental foods, you’ll know that it is found in many of your favourite dishes, but ginger is also used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of many ailments.
Adding ginger to some of your meals like stir fries and soups can naturally help to relieve muscle soreness as well as lower your risk of injury which is increased when you are training to go the distance in a marathon.
- Don’t overdo the carbs
Although carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel, there’s no point in overloading on them. Any carbohydrates your body doesn’t use when training is stored as fat, and you don’t want that.
You don’t need to eat a heavy carb-loaded breakfast every day. If you’re not training or having a light day, consider swapping your porridge for a boiled egg, for example. Remember carb-rich foods like pasta, oats, and rice are fuel for your training sessions.
- Eat 30 minutes before a run
If you’re heading out for a run, the best time to eat is 30-60 minutes before. The best snacks are those which incorporate both carbohydrates and proteins such as a wholemeal bagel topped with a banana or peanut butter.
You should wait 30 minutes before you run because you don’t want to get a stitch while you’re out.
- Stay Hydrated!
This really goes without saying but whether you’re out on your run, at your desk, or recovering at home, optimising your water intake is key. In everyday life, water is important for health but when you’re training for a marathon, water helps to flush out your system, regulate your body temperature, keep your joints lubricated, and stops you feeling sluggish and run down. You can keep yourself hydrated and monitor your water intake with a Hydratem8 hydration tracker bottle.
Training for a marathon is no mean feat and requires both dedication and determination. Although most people think marathon training is all about running, it’s also about the food you eat. That’s why we’ve put together these tips to consider if you’re thinking about conquering 26.2 miles later in the year, or just want to get back to training again.
Disclaimer: This blog article is intended for informational purposes only.