Discover What To Eat The Week Before Marathon

What To Eat The Week Before Marathon

What To Eat The Week Before Marathon

Successfully running a marathon for most people means months of training, better than average nutrition, and a lot of dedication.

You put in a lot of time and effort to be able to achieve your goal. Running 26.2 miles is a huge feat and you want to do everything possible to be ready for race day.

Along with this concern for doing well and going the distance, some people try crazy things to try and get an edge for race day.

Sometimes that means trying different foods or exercises, but when it comes to race week, you need to stick to a good plan and knowing What To Eat The Week Before a Marathon is crucial.

What To Eat The Week Before Marathon

People frequently wonder what to eat the week before marathon.

The taper is easy and mapped out on any training plan, but the nutrition aspect is a little trickier.

How early should you start increasing carbs? How much protein is necessary? Luckily for marathoners, there is a lot of good advice available with suggestions on how to eat the week before marathon. Check out some of these ideas and get ready for race day!

First, carboloading is a staple for distance running, but there is a right way and a wrong way. For instance, you don’t want to eat fistfulls of white bread every day for a week before you run a marathon.

Too many runners pass up good proteins and necessary fats in their meals while training and while tapering because they think carbs are the most important thing to consume.

Your glycogen stores can only hold so much carbohydrate, however, so the extra carbs you’re taking in during the taper aren’t doing you any favors.

You really don’t need a lot of “extra” carbs the week before your run. You should stick to a normal diet as much as you can, getting the recommended amount of carbohydrates.

You may in fact gain a little weight because you aren’t burning your normal amount of training-schedule calories, but this is good because your muscles will have the chance to absorb what they need to be fresh for your run.

Speaking of repairing your muscles, make sure you’re getting enough protein.

Most runners get enough (or even too much) carbs, but frequently don’t get enough protein. Christopher Percy Collier at Runner’s World notes that “Adequate protein intake accelerates muscle growth and speeds recovery by helping rebuild muscle fibers stressed during a run.

Since protein helps muscles heal faster, runners who consume the right amount are less likely to get injured.” So how much is enough? The USDA recommends .36 grams per pound for the average person, but athletes need more than that. Runners need .45 to .72 grams per pound.

Definitely work enough protein into your race week meal plan, and don’t worry about getting too much. For the majority of endurance athletes, you can’t get too much (especially if you’re just getting protein through your food and not supplements).

running diet

Staying hydrated is generally pretty easy for runners. We can frequently be seen carrying water bottles and drinking sports drinks, and are often spotted on our way to the bathroom.

That’s a good thing (you can overdo it, but sticking to eight glasses of water a day is a good guideline). Don’t skimp on water during your taper.

And now for the topic that runners love and hate: digestive health. Running helps keep you regular.

If you’re finding during recovery that your bathroom habits have changed and you need to get back to feeling normal, make sure to get good fiber, stay hydrated, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

On the other hand, if nervousness and pre-race anxiety is causing the opposite problem—diarrhea—then avoid these fiber-rich foods (and do some relaxation techniques to quell the anxiety).

The day before your race, you can go ahead and have a lunch with some more carbs than you may normally have. Stick to whole grains and healthy carbs that will fill you up. Then you can have a normal dinner and a nighttime snack—maybe a substantial snack if you can’t stomach much for breakfast before a run.

Once you are in the last 24-hour stretch before your run, you should also think about sports drinks and electrolytes instead of just drinking water.

It’s not necessary to bulk up on electrolytes much before the race, but there is one thing to consider.

During your run, it will take a long time for electrolytes to pass your stomach, enter your intestines, and actually make it to your muscles (which desperately need them while you run), so you should actually have a good drink the morning of the race instead of water. suggests that “the most-important quaffing of sports drink actually takes place 10 minutes before the race begins, when eight to ten ounces should be consumed. After that, five to six ounces should be imbibed every two miles or so during the race.”

Hyponatremia is a real threat to your health and safety during a marathon, so make sure you include a sports drink with your breakfast before the run, and drink the electrolyte drinks that are available on the route.

Lastly, don’t try anything new. The time before your marathon isn’t when you should consider a new diet, a vitamin supplement, or anything else that you’re not already used to. Everyone’s body reacts to different types of nutrition and ingredients in a unique way, and you don’t want to risk the possibility of fatigue, digestive upset, or something that will set you back for your marathon. Even just feeling a little off could mean that you don’t have a great run.

Final Thoughts On What To Eat The Week Before a Marathon

It’s an anxious time, especially if you’re used to fighting stress with running.

Since you can’t get in your normal miles, it’s not uncommon to stress out and question your training and your overall ability to complete the race.

Don’t let your anxiety get the best of you and convince you that you should be using those last few days to get an edge by doing something new. It’s risky, and your best bet is to stick to what you know, follow basic dietary guidelines, and get ready for a good run!