What to Eat Leading Up to a Half or Full Marathon

What to Eat Leading Up to a Half or Full Marathon

April 17, 2019

I am now in taper week leading up to the Gold Coast Half Marathon and my focus has now switched to a lighter training load and a clear focus on diet. A week out from the race I increase my intake of carbohydrates and decrease my intake of protein. This can be a little more rice or pasta than usual and a little less meat.

48 hours before the race I continue to focus on eating more carbs and start decreasing fiber intake and also dropping protein from two meals a day. For example, you can switch from eggs on multigrain bread to avocado and cheese on sourdough. Approximately 70% of the calories should come from carbohydrates, from things like bread, pasta and rice, including fruit and vegetables.

The night before the race I take in extra fluid and to prevent discomfort and indigestion during the half-marathon I stick with carbs that I’ve been eating all along. Additionally, your meal for dinner should be low in fat and fiber to prevent any unwanted abdominal issues during the race. Definitely skip high-fiber foods, such as beans, salads and certain crackers, cereals and bread. Stick with white bread, rice or pasta, because these are more easily digested, the last thing you want it to be doing is running for the porta loo.

On race morning, carbs are king. If you’re running a half marathon, you want to get about 300 calories, I eat toast with honey and a banana. For a marathon, you may need up to 500 calories. Eat what has worked for you on your long run days.

If you’re running the half marathon most of you will be running for at least 90 - 120 minutes or longer and should aim to take in 30 – 60 grams of carbs per hour (one gel is approximately 30g) and as a rule of thumb, 300 - 500ml of fluid, depending on the individual it may even be less, I only have around 150ml of fluid during the half marathon.

The marathon presents a greater challenge; try to increase your carb intake up to 60 – 90 grams per hour, since the event will last more than 3 hours for most people. A combination of a sports drink and gels or chews will work well for this distance.

Now that we have that covered, get out and take care of business people, get the show on the road. When it comes to world class sporting apparel we have you covered, no matter what your sport of choice.

Cheers,

Steve




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