Running a marathon is an incredible achievement for which you must train for months. Most of that training is about the running itself, but a lot hinges on your pre-race diet, as well.
The wrong food could cause you great gastrointestinal distress, even forcing multiple pit stops. Eating too much or too little can also lead to fatigue and make it hard to cross the finish line.
To avoid food-related issues, the number one rule to observe for your marathon is “nothing new on race day.”
That means that you should incorporate carb-loading and meal choice experiments right into your training regime. It is important know exactly what meal works best for you before hitting the starting line on your big day.
Your morning meal provides fuel not just your body, but also your brain, which helps to sustain motivation and concentration during the long race. After weeks of training, you know that endurance is just as much mental as physical.
Carbohydrates are the best source of easily used fuel to sustain your body and mind throughout those 26.2 miles.
Traditionally, pasta is a favorite carbohydrate choice among marathon runners. Other smart options for ready fuel include bread, potatoes, oatmeal, cereal, quinoa, rice, bagels, and sweet potatoes.
When it comes to fruit, you’ll find that many of them are high in carbs, but also fiber. Too much of that will have you running for the bathroom, not the finish line, so stick with lower fiber choices like bananas. You can also peel fruit like apples, peaches, and pears to reduce the fiber.
Be sure to finish your breakfast at least 90 minutes before the marathon starts to give your body adequate time for digestion. Don’t overeat, don’t experiment, and don’t forget the water. If it is going to be a hot day, a sports drink like G2, Nuun, or Propel can help bolster your stores of the electrolytes sodium and potassium – but again, drink these only if you have done so during your training.