We all know food is the body’s “gas” so if you are running a marathon, I recommend “premium.”
There are plenty of online plans and tips for what to eat while training for a marathon, including the week before the race — but I’m just gonna tell you what I’ve done. It seems to have boded well for me this year!
Starting 6 days before the marathon, I begin focusing hardcore on veggies and protein. Normally, My Monday- Wednesdays look like this:
Breakfast: 2 large glasses of water
2 cups of coffee
1 LARGE glass of freshly squeezed veggie juice (cucumber, kale, spinach, carrots, pear, broccoli)
Snack: 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 banana
Lunch: Spinach/kale salad with grilled chicken, carrots, low-fat dressing
Snack: Apple, almonds
Pre-Dinner: A second large glass of veggie juice if possible
Dinner: Turkey Burger (or Chicken) w/ 100% whole wheat rice with sweet potato or broccoli.
Shot of Wheat Grass
Dessert: Granola Bar (if hungry)
I don’t really worry about calories and try to just eat to where I am comfortable. Two to three days before the marathon, I start paying more attention to water and good carbs. I continue drinking the juices twice a day and love thinking about how amazingly good that pure veggie juice is for my body.
Also, wheat grass. It’s gross but…it’s supposed to be amazing for your body. If you can chug it, sign me up!
I also start focusing on drinkings lots of water. I up my water intake majorly. I try to drink more than normal on Thursday and Friday, and then triple it on Saturday if the marathon is Sunday. I do this so that my body is fully hydrated Sunday morning and I don’t need to drink hardly anything. The goal here is not to have to stop and pee during the marathon for any reason.
Thursday through Saturday, my meals include more carbs but I still maintain the premium fuel of double veggie juices each day. I also start drinking Emergen-C packets a couple times a day. Here’s a peak at those days:
Breakfast: 1 100% whole wheat bagel with butter/honey
1 LARGE glass of freshly squeezed veggie juice.
Snack: 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 banana, 1 glass of Emergen-C
Lunch: Almond butter & honey sandwich in 100% whole wheat bread
Snack Apple, almonds
1 glass of Emergen-C
Pre-dinner: Veggie juice
Dinner: Chicken or Steak fajitas with avocado, salsa, sour cream, etc.
Dessert: Usually eat so much I’m not hungry for that!
For dinner, the night before the Marathon: I always always order plain pasta marinara. Anytime I’ve veered from that I’ve run into trouble. Some garlic bread and pasta (no cheese!) are a must! I usually slurp down three large glasses of water with dinner as well. My body is always out of whack the night before because I’ve been drinking so much water plus I’m just in so much anticipation for the race.
For breakfast, the morning of the Marathon: I always get up at least 3 hours before the start of the marathon. I immediately start drinking the 1/2 cup coffee I allow myself. Within 30-45 minutes, I eat a 100% whole wheat bagel with almond butter and honey. It usually seems like it’s going to be too much, but I know that is’ just perfect. I then drink maybe 1/2 cup of water to wash it down. That’s all the liquid I get!
By the start of the marathon, I usually feel like I need a little something — and my go-to “snack” at that point is 2 shot blocks.
During the Marathon: I do not eat any solid food during the marathon. It is too heavy for me and slows me down. I used to think taking more than 2 Gus was not possible. Not the case these days. I nearly always take 1 Gu every 6 miles or so. I always end up eating 4 total. I often don’t feel the physical “need” for it just yet but I know it’s coming and I want to get a head start on myself. They always give me a burst of energy and keep me going.
After the Marathon: I always feel kind of sick right after the marathon. My appetite never really comes back for a couple of days to be honest. But…that doesn’t stop me from enjoying tasty food. I make a point to keep drinking lots of water and Gatorade throughout the day. Usually, I’ll eat something I love like pizza or a cheese burger but I never fully enjoy it due to my body being so out of whack. Even yesterday, three days post-marathon, my really appetite still wasn’t back.
So there ya have it — what I eat the week and day of the marathon. I’m sure improvements could be made and I am SO open to suggestions! However, I think this would be a good starter plan for someone looking for direction.