Eat Well: Best Nutrition When Training For a Marathon

Eat Well: Best Nutrition When Training For a Marathon

Whether you are a novice runner or a keen marathon enthusiast, training for a 26,2-mile run is extremely physically demanding. You need to be both mentally and physically prepared. According to the Copenhagen marathon results, men seem to be winning the lead in participation against women and many wonder is it merely due to stamina and endurance, or is it due to something else?

Eat Well, Best Nutrition When Training For a Marathon, Health, Food, Running, Marathon Training
Eat Well: Best Nutrition When Training For a Marathon

No matter the age, gender or skills, it all falls down to food and proper nutrition. That's right, food is your fuel when preparing for any type of demanding physical activity, especially for the marathon. 

The key is to eat well, keep a balanced diet, stay persistent not to eat junk food that would slow you down. Here is everything you need to know about quality nutrition when preparing for a marathon.

Start your day strong

When you aim to cross the finish line with the best time possible, you need to start training at least six months beforehand. Training five to six days per week is a usual thing, but that can also be quite exhausting for many runners. Food can help you get your groove on and recharge you with the necessary fuel to keep you going distances.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you are a morning person and like to train early with the dawn, you might want to grab a banana or make an energetic smoothie with spinach, yogurt, and raspberries. 

Bear in mind that after the run you will feel completely drained, then eat a regular protein-rich breakfast. In all other cases, consider oatmeal or whole-grain peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. 

Eat Well, Best Nutrition When Training For a Marathon, Health, Food, Running, Marathon Training
Eat Well: Best Nutrition When Training For a Marathon

Recharge with protein

For a quality marathon prep, you should upgrade your organism with protein. Protein is crucial for building muscles and repairing them. Plus, protein keeps your legs strong (literally) and helps you avoid injuries.

Basically, by eating around 200 grams of lean chicken meat per day, you fuel your system by essential selenium and niacin, vitamins that protect muscles from free-radical damage and which regulate fat burning while running. Healthy proteins, except in meat, can be found in cashews, potatoes, broccoli, chickpeas, and lentils, and they will boost your performance and give you the much-needed energy.

Opt for smart recovery options

After active 45 minutes of training, you will feel drained and in need of a good energy uplift. No matter if you have been training with breaks, in slow or fast tempo, you need to intake quality foods that would help your muscles recover. A combination of healthy carbs and proteins is recommended. 

Turkey, eggs, fish, natural yogurt will all help you maintain muscle mass and strength and keep you fuller for a long time. Your body simply needs good and healthy recovery, and if you were to eat immediately after you have finished a long run, the body will quickly use up any nutrients to rebuild and repair muscles. In this way, you won't have aches or strains.

Snack diligently

It is normal to have sugar cravings or to want to grab for a bag of crisps. Once you finish your training session, even though you have eaten a solid meal, the body will want more. Instead of reaching for processed foods and too sugary and salty snacks, go for smarter versions. Dried fruits like raisins are welcomed, raw fruit and vegetable sticks, nuts and almonds.

Stay hydrated

You need fluids to keep you going just like food. Don’t let dehydration when running impede you from reaching your goal and make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during and after your run. Actually, it is more important to hydrate when you aren’t training than when you are running. 

Water flushes out the negative toxins out of your system, kicks out the dead cells, and keeps the joints lubricated. Never wait until you get thirsty, but always have a bottle of water by your side.

Training for a marathon requires a lot of determination and persistence. With proper food regime, you will be able to reach all your goals and even succeed them.

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