Marathon season is in FULL swing and it is time to talk about your nutrition and hydration plan to ensure you are meeting your needs for training and racing and ready to feel and perform your best.
Q. What should I take in before heading out for a long training run and on marathon day?
Nutritional Needs Pre Long Run/Marathon:
- Drink 12-16oz of water or sports drink to pre-hydrate
Always take in some carbohydrate
- Fuels your workout
- Helps body burn fat
- Spares muscle protein
Include some protein (an egg, 1-2 Tbs peanut butter) before long workouts/races
Great pre-exercise foods include: Cereal, Pancakes, Applesauce, Bagels with Peanut Butter, Noodles, Fig bars, Oatmeal, English Muffins, Energy bars, Bananas, Sports Drinks
NYC Marathon Morning!
The TCS NYC Marathon start times are LATE, thus you’ll want to eat at least 2x + final pre-race fuel!
- First breakfast should be ~ 3-4 hours pre race start
- High carb with a little protein or fat
- Ex: Bagel with peanut butter or egg
- Cereal with milk of choice + banana
- Second breakfast should be ~ 1-1.5 hrs pre start
- Easily digested carbohydrates
- Ex: Energy bar, graham crackers, bread w/jam
- Final Pre-race fuel should be
- Easily digested carbohydrate
- Taken 5-10 min pre start
- 8 oz Sports Drink or an energy gel will work great here.
Q. How do I fuel long workouts and races?
How do I get in sodium while training?
Why am I cramping…?
NUTRITION & HYDRATION NEEDS DURING EXERCISE:
Athletes cannot (and should not) attempt to completely replace losses during exercise. Your goal is to take in enough calories (from mostly carbohydrates) to keep you moving forward and feeling as good as possible, but not to overeat and cause more harm than good (GI distress, bloated stomach and dead legs).
Hydrate!!! Average athlete sweats at a rate of 32oz/hr. Aim to drink at least 24 oz of fluid per hour of activity (see and complete “sweat test sheet” for more accurate assessment tool).
- Choose sports drinks with 200-300mg sodium/8oz to help prevent muscle cramping and help you stay better hydrated
- Add salt (electrolyte) tablets for: salty sweaters, > 2 hr workout/race, high temp/humidity
Include carbohydrates during any workout > 1 hr
- May include sports drinks, gels, energy bars, fig bars.
Aim to start with 30 – 60 grams of CHO/hr during activity. If you find yourself HUNGRY while training, you are likely behind in your carbohydrate intake.
- Adjust goal intake based on: GI tolerance, environmental conditions, performance
What does 30-60 grams of carbohydrate look like?
- 1 Banana = 30 grams
- 2 Fig Bars = 21 grams
- 8 oz Gatorade = 15 grams
- 1 Gu packet = 20-25 grams
- 1 Energy Bar = 45 grams
Q: How do I optimize my recovery post long run/race?
POST EXERCISE NEEDS:
YOU DID IT – Time to recover!
• Drink adequate fluids to replace what you lost (20-24 fluid oz/pound lost to sweat during run)
• Consume carbohydrate within the first 30-60 minute “recovery window” to maximize recovery
• Include at least 20g of protein (30-40 grams for our 30-40+ year old runners) for maximum muscle recovery and strength gains
• Include salt/salty foods to replace what you lost to sweat (V8 juice, pickles soup…)
• Eat another meal or snack 2 hours later to fully optimize your recovery!
• Relax, put your feet up and relish in your great training efforts and optimal recovery from
great nutrition start to finish.
• Anti-inflammatory foods (fish oil, nuts, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, berries) help decrease inflammation and speed recovery
Fuel Well, Run Strong and HAVE FUN!!!