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Maintaining During Marathon Training

asochableasochable Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member

I started training for Chicago this week! I want to track my food and be at a very slight deficit or at maintenance during training so that I fuel my runs but don’t overdo it. This will be my 3rd marathon so I know runger is real!

What is your go-to snack or meal during marathon training to keep runger at bay without overeating? Or, what nutritional strategy has worked best for you to feel your best during training?


  • RunnerGirl238RunnerGirl238 Posts: 356Member Member Posts: 356Member Member
    I'm training for my first marathon- MCM in DC area. I've done several halfs, so, teah... ringer.

    I'm thinking of adding protein powder to my daily menu. Never didn't before. Dont even know what kind to try.

    Yay training season!
  • T1DCarnivoreRunnerT1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 9,600Member Member Posts: 9,600Member Member
    I'm running Chicago as well!

    But I can't help you too much on nutrition. I normally try to lose weight quickly in the off season and eat at maintenance during racing season. I get rungry as well, but I find that I don't gain too quickly when logging lots of miles with a carnivore diet. I've maintained or gained slowly during race season at anywhere from 20 mpw to 70 mpw, but only because my appetite is smaller when I don't eat plants.

    I've done 5 marathons and a 50K this year thus far (started race season this year in April) and will probably sign up for another marathon or 3 before Chicago. For now, I've backed off a bit on mileage since my last race (6/2) in order to focus on moving (next week).

    Maybe we'll see each other in Chicago? Either way, best of luck to you!
  • slbbwslbbw Posts: 245Member Member Posts: 245Member Member
    Timing of my food has been critical to maintaining my calories at slight deficit while I increase my mileage. My current next race is only a half, so volume is less, but i think the same principles apply. I am not super hungry on run day, so I try and pre load a few hundred calories the day before. Make sure I have suitable nutrition on my long runs and then full rest day after my long run. My usually daily calorie burn is about 500 per day between runs and cross training. A 15 mile run I would eat a 300 calorie surplus the day before, have about a 300 calorie deficit the day of the long run and the 300 surplus the day after.
  • lporter229lporter229 Posts: 4,822Member Member Posts: 4,822Member Member
    I am also running Chicago!

    My approach to maintaining my weight during marathon training is to eat at my TDEE until my weekly mileage exceeds 40 miles and then I add 70 additional calories per mile over the course of the week. I try to spread my calories out so that I am at my average for the week, but that usually means eating more the day after my long run and a little less at the beginning of the week.

    I also try to keep my protein higher and my carbs lower (not low carb, but probably less than most runners). I know this goes against conventional wisdom for runners, but I have found that if I eat too many carbs, then the runger is worse. I ramp my carbs up about three weeks before my race and then fully carb load a few days out. Chicago will be marathon number 9 for me and I have found that this approach has helped my body adapt to burning fat for fuel more efficiently. It may not work for everyone, but it seems to work for me.
  • asochableasochable Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
    @RunnerGirl238 MCM is so fun! I did it last year and actually liked it more than my first marathon which was Disney!

    @midwesterner85 I’ve never been to Chicago so I’m certainly looking forward to it!

    @slbbw that makes a lot of sense of adding a few extra calories around the long run day. I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

    @lporter229 I am a big fan of protein shake right after my long run. I get what you mean about less carbs. Days I eat a lot of carbs, I end up still hungry.

    Thanks all for the insight and tips!
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Posts: 5,089Member, Premium Member Posts: 5,089Member, Premium Member
    I make sure to have something within an hour of a long run - normally chocolate milk or protein shake - even if I don’t feel hungry - otherwise the rungry’s hit me huge the next day

    I may be at MCM this year - I have an entry but may need to transfer my current Ironman entry and IM Florida is the week after MCM so not sure yet
  • jan110144jan110144 Posts: 987Member, Premium Member Posts: 987Member, Premium Member
    I am so not a runner, let alone a marathon runner. Just wanted to say that I am totally in awe of all of you who are. Very impressive!!
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Posts: 2,329Member Member Posts: 2,329Member Member
    For me the hard part is late at night when I am starving after a hard run that day. Sometimes a piece of cheese will ease the hunger. When it doesn't, I eat a slice of logan bread my husband makes which is basically a small square of fruitcake without alcohol or nuts in it. The dried fruit fills me up enough that I can sleep.
  • GregInORLGregInORL Posts: 103Member Member Posts: 103Member Member
    I'm training for my first marathon- MCM in DC area. I've done several halfs, so, teah... ringer.

    I'm thinking of adding protein powder to my daily menu. Never didn't before. Dont even know what kind to try.

    Yay training season!

    I need to shift to maintenance mode soon (down from 220 to around 165 at the moment). July might be my first test and adjust month. I think protein powder might be a good thing to bring my calories up without going back to "triggering" food that's easy to runaway with.
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