Just like your car needs fuel for a long trip, the same goes for your body.
In order to train for a successful marathon, runners have to add certain factors to their pre- race diet and eliminate what is going to slow them down
Here is some diet DO's and DON'Ts to remember when fueling up for a great marathon:
- Begin adding extra calories to your meals in the days leading up to your big run. Make sure the additional calories are a mix of carbs and proteins. As for the carbs, focus on whole grains, starchy veggies and fruits. In other words, make the extra calories count — think whole wheat bagels for a snack rather than cookies.
- Don't eat anything new the day before your race and eat lots of carbs. Stick to tried-and-true basics — you don't want to throw off your digestive system. As for the dinner the night before the race, focus on carbs like whole wheat pasta — they'll provide you with the energy you need.
- Eat a balanced breakfast the day of the race. Include a mix of complex carbs, like a bagel, with protein, such as peanut butter. Yogurt with fruit is another good option. The two — protein and carbs — working together will give you the energy you need. On race morning, the key is not to overeat. Your body has stored what you need for the race. Eat only enough to settle that feeling of hunger.
- Drink plenty of water in the hour or two before you start running. We all wake up in the morning a little dehydrated after a night of sleeping so it's important to replace any lost fluids and build a reserve to use during the race.
Experience has also shown that endurance athletes that include a regiment of daily nutrients, will show benefits to their endurance training and race day performance
Leading up to race day, nutrients stored in the body will be utilized by the body to convert food into energy. A lack of nutrients stored in the body may negatively impact a number of the body's critical processes.
Endurance athletes that include a steady regimen of vitamins and minerals to their pre race diet, will likely see improved performance as the body processes are pushed into overdrive over the long day's run, and you can see benefits to your recovery time as well.
These little tips can get you the most out of your marathon experience.