As part of our Marathon Nutrition Series, Run SMART coach, Alicia Shay, has put together some tips and suggestions for the Day Before the race, Race Day, During the Race and the Day After. If anyone is interested in signing up for a nutrition consultation with Alicia please check out the Run SMART Nutrition page. Today we bring you the first part of our series:
1. Only eat foods that you are used to eating.
2. Pace your calories throughout the day. Eat three meals and 2-4 snacks (peanut butter and jelly sandwich, muffin and an apple, etc.) Preferably, front load the beginning of the day with a hearty breakfast, moderate lunch, small dinner and snacks mixed in between.
3. Add extra carbohydrates throughout the day. This can easily be done by adding an extra serving of carbohydrates to every meal and having a couple of snacks that are mostly carbohydrates. Focus on rice, pasta, bread, bagels, oatmeal, cereal, potatoes, and yams…not high sugar snack foods.
4. Don’t eat a huge serving of pasta and bread right before you head to bed!!
- Eat an early dinner, somewhere between 4-6 pm.
- Eat a dinner that similar to what you would normally eat the night before a hard long run or workout.
- While pasta is a good form of pre-race carbohydrates, you could also have rice, pizza (with little to no cheese), sweet potatoes, potatoes, tortillas, etc.
- In addition to carbohydrates, include in your meal moderate protein (3-4 oz. fish, meat or a vegetarian form or protein), moderate amounts of unsaturated fat (1/2 avocado, 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Salmon is also a source of unsaturated fat, 2 Tablespoons salad dressing, nuts, seeds, etc.) and a small salad.
- Eat a moderate sized dinner and then a moderate sized snack before bed (this could be leftovers from dinner) rather than one large meal. If you eat too much food right before bed you will have trouble digesting in before your early morning race.
- PRACTICE! Try eating your preferred pre-race meal a few times leading up to your marathon to make sure that the your stomach does not get upset on your run the next morning.
5. Drink a little extra water throughout the day (around 1 liter) to accommodate for the extra carbohydrates that you are consuming. Don’t drink sports drinks or other high sugar beverages to hydrate, save these drinks for the race!