Marathon Meals:

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2

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  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,445 Member
    edited February 2020
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    LoveyChar wrote: »
    lporter229 wrote: »
    i'm going to honestly say if you are just figuring this out now - you are a bit behind the game - what did you eat the nights before your long training runs? what did you eat the days of your long training runs? keep with what works

    I agree that it is wise to test out fueling and nutrition on your long training runs, but that is only part of the picture. There is only so much you can do during a training run to try and predict how your body is going to react in that uncharted territory of the final miles of a marathon. Personally, after about 18 miles of pushing my limits, my body pretty much rejects all fuel. I may be able to force down a few sips of Gatorade or Tailwind, but forget gels or chews. I have heard people say that they do not feel the need to carb load prior to a marathon because they fuel throughout the race. Maybe this works for some people, but not everyone and you may not realize this until it is too late. I fuel throughout the race but only for as long as my stomach allows. After that, I am relying on what I have stored to get me through the rest of the race, so having a plan for this is key for me.

    I guess my point in all this is that, yes, it is wise to be prepared ahead of time by experimenting with what type of fuel your body prefers, but you also need to be prepared to expect the unexpected because you will be pushing your limits harder than you ever have before. It helps to understand the physiology of what is happening with your body when you are "running on fumes" so to speak. It is always wise to ask questions and seek advice from experienced runners, as most of us have learned some lessons the hard way!

    You are so sweet... thank you. I appreciate this so much... I struggled through my 20 mile run and I know I can improve on it in the future but it's other peoples' experiences that help because it gives me a way of knowing how to try something different in the future. And I don't necessarily want to learn any more lessons the hard way, if I don't have to...

    I looked up juices, especially ones with high potassium levels. Carbs plus higher potassium, yes!!! I never would have considered juices without your response, so thank you again for this...!!! I

    For next time (or maybe even this time but not during the race) check out endurance specific drinks like Tailwind (one of my favorites) or Gatorade Endurance (not the junk you buy in the supermarket). It also can be helpful to drink things like NUUN (or similar drinks tabs from GU and others) leading up to the race. These are very low calorie but give you some added nutrients.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    dewd2 wrote: »
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    lporter229 wrote: »
    i'm going to honestly say if you are just figuring this out now - you are a bit behind the game - what did you eat the nights before your long training runs? what did you eat the days of your long training runs? keep with what works

    I agree that it is wise to test out fueling and nutrition on your long training runs, but that is only part of the picture. There is only so much you can do during a training run to try and predict how your body is going to react in that uncharted territory of the final miles of a marathon. Personally, after about 18 miles of pushing my limits, my body pretty much rejects all fuel. I may be able to force down a few sips of Gatorade or Tailwind, but forget gels or chews. I have heard people say that they do not feel the need to carb load prior to a marathon because they fuel throughout the race. Maybe this works for some people, but not everyone and you may not realize this until it is too late. I fuel throughout the race but only for as long as my stomach allows. After that, I am relying on what I have stored to get me through the rest of the race, so having a plan for this is key for me.

    I guess my point in all this is that, yes, it is wise to be prepared ahead of time by experimenting with what type of fuel your body prefers, but you also need to be prepared to expect the unexpected because you will be pushing your limits harder than you ever have before. It helps to understand the physiology of what is happening with your body when you are "running on fumes" so to speak. It is always wise to ask questions and seek advice from experienced runners, as most of us have learned some lessons the hard way!

    You are so sweet... thank you. I appreciate this so much... I struggled through my 20 mile run and I know I can improve on it in the future but it's other peoples' experiences that help because it gives me a way of knowing how to try something different in the future. And I don't necessarily want to learn any more lessons the hard way, if I don't have to...

    I looked up juices, especially ones with high potassium levels. Carbs plus higher potassium, yes!!! I never would have considered juices without your response, so thank you again for this...!!! I

    For next time (or maybe even this time but not during the race) check out endurance specific drinks like Tailwind (one of my favorites) or Gatorade Endurance (not the junk you buy in the supermarket). It also can be helpful to drink things like NUUN (or similar drinks tabs from GU and others) leading up to the race. These are very low calorie but give you some added nutrients.

    Thank you! I do use Gu gels and Jelly Belly Sports Beans while running, but I will try all of the drinks. I don't have a sensitive stomach, not usually anyway, so I'm not worried about drinking them during even the first race. Im hoping to get some free samples first at packet pickup, we'll see...
  • H_Ock12
    H_Ock12 Posts: 1,152 Member
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    Pizza the night before at my regular dinner time. Coffee, red bull, and muffins the morning of. Jelly beans, chips, coke, and water during.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    Pizza the night before at my regular dinner time. Coffee, red bull, and muffins the morning of. Jelly beans, chips, coke, and water during.

    Oh I love what you eat... thank you!
  • HCAs85
    HCAs85 Posts: 12 Member
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    I am still quite new to running. I like Parkrun, and I have done a few longer runs - my goal is primarily to just finish.

    I did my first half-marathon event in early September 2019, then a full marathon about a month later. And a half-marathon this month.

    Prior to the half-marathon, my nutrition and training really took a dive.
    I can't remember what I ate before the run, but during was an oat bar with chocolate chips, which really helped me for the last 3-4km.

    For the marathon, my nutrition was even worse than the half-marathon. Poor planning, poor state of mind.
    I packed what I knew worked for me- Rehidrat sachet, a Farbar, and an oat bar.
    They had plenty of food, Powerade and Coke on the run.
    About 10km in I grabbed a date ball and ate it without thinking.
    Bad idea.

    Stomach cramps from then.
    Around 35km my legs also started to cramp.
    The last food station had boiled potatoes with salt and I grabbed a handful which helped with both the stomach and leg cramps.

    For this half-marathon this month, my pre-race nutrition was much better. I wasn't sure if there were food stations, so I packed a 250ml water with Rehidrat, oat bar, and a GU gel.
    Not even 5km in the stomach cramps started. There were lots of water stations, but no food. And even worse, no toilets.

    Eventually at about 12km I was desperate and had to make a plan.

    After that, I felt much better and carried on. I ate my oat bar and had the GU- I was pushing quite hard, and the cramping for the first 12km took a lot out of me. Haha. Literally! (gross, sorry).

    What I have learnt so far:
    Oats the morning of.
    Weak cup of coffee.
    Banana if it is a bit of a wait between leaving home and the race start.

    Avoid fatty foods the night before.
    Avoid strong coffee the morning of.
    I think the chicken, rice and lentil dish I had the night before contributed to my cramps. I don't normally eat lentils.

    During the race:
    Avoid snacks like date bars.
    I don't normally grab sweets.
    I do grab bananas.
    If my muscles are cramping bad I will grab a cup of Powerade and have half, washed down with water. Too much Powerade doesn't agree with me.

    Happy running!
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
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    @HCAs85 - Interesting that your aid station had boiled potatoes! I could probably tolerate that...I love potatoes! Was this a trail race or is it customary for marathons outside of the US (assuming you are since you use km lol) to offer things such as Coke and potatoes at aid stations? Here you usually only find that on trail races that offer Ultra distances.

    Not sure where your race is OP, but in the US, most marathons offer water and Gatorade at aid stations every 1-2 miles and gels or chews at two or three stations along the route. In bigger races you will find spectators and support groups with orange slices, bananas, bagel pieces and candy, but at most races, especially smaller ones, you are largely responsible for your own nutrition during the race.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    HCAs85 wrote: »
    I am still quite new to running. I like Parkrun, and I have done a few longer runs - my goal is primarily to just finish.

    I did my first half-marathon event in early September 2019, then a full marathon about a month later. And a half-marathon this month.

    Prior to the half-marathon, my nutrition and training really took a dive.
    I can't remember what I ate before the run, but during was an oat bar with chocolate chips, which really helped me for the last 3-4km.

    For the marathon, my nutrition was even worse than the half-marathon. Poor planning, poor state of mind.
    I packed what I knew worked for me- Rehidrat sachet, a Farbar, and an oat bar.
    They had plenty of food, Powerade and Coke on the run.
    About 10km in I grabbed a date ball and ate it without thinking.
    Bad idea.

    Stomach cramps from then.
    Around 35km my legs also started to cramp.
    The last food station had boiled potatoes with salt and I grabbed a handful which helped with both the stomach and leg cramps.

    For this half-marathon this month, my pre-race nutrition was much better. I wasn't sure if there were food stations, so I packed a 250ml water with Rehidrat, oat bar, and a GU gel.
    Not even 5km in the stomach cramps started. There were lots of water stations, but no food. And even worse, no toilets.

    Eventually at about 12km I was desperate and had to make a plan.

    After that, I felt much better and carried on. I ate my oat bar and had the GU- I was pushing quite hard, and the cramping for the first 12km took a lot out of me. Haha. Literally! (gross, sorry).

    What I have learnt so far:
    Oats the morning of.
    Weak cup of coffee.
    Banana if it is a bit of a wait between leaving home and the race start.

    Avoid fatty foods the night before.
    Avoid strong coffee the morning of.
    I think the chicken, rice and lentil dish I had the night before contributed to my cramps. I don't normally eat lentils.

    During the race:
    Avoid snacks like date bars.
    I don't normally grab sweets.
    I do grab bananas.
    If my muscles are cramping bad I will grab a cup of Powerade and have half, washed down with water. Too much Powerade doesn't agree with me.

    Happy running!

    Thank you! There is alot of information here and I'm going to go back through all of it in this entire thread, reread and take notes and use most or much of this advice. I love oats and I love beans, but I did learn a lesson about beans after I ate them and had a huge gas bubble on the top of my stomach that a good burp would have fixed, but even running didn't help alleviate the problem. It made for quite an uncomfortable run. So beans are definitely out. I'm also avoiding high fibre like date bars during and before the run. I appreciate all of what you took the time to write, and I will definitely be very mindful of all of it...I love coffee but since it's a diuretic, I know how much it makes me urinate and I don't want to have to stop and pee at every opportunity when I can just drink coffee however I want to after the Marathon. Thank you so much...and happy running to you, also!
  • HCAs85
    HCAs85 Posts: 12 Member
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    @Iporter229
    You assume correct - I am in South Africa.
    The potatoes were amazing, and a lot of long distance runners I have chatted to swear by them- they pack them in their pockets for events like the Comrades!
    In my case, it was a road race - the Sanlam Marathon.

    I haven't done that many running events, but most will have water and Coke at the very least.
    And orange slices!

    Some 5km fun runs even boast glorious snack tables. Perhaps to lure more people! :smiley:
    Come do our run... we have candy :wink:
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    lporter229 wrote: »
    @HCAs85 - Interesting that your aid station had boiled potatoes! I could probably tolerate that...I love potatoes! Was this a trail race or is it customary for marathons outside of the US (assuming you are since you use km lol) to offer things such as Coke and potatoes at aid stations? Here you usually only find that on trail races that offer Ultra distances.

    Not sure where your race is OP, but in the US, most marathons offer water and Gatorade at aid stations every 1-2 miles and gels or chews at two or three stations along the route. In bigger races you will find spectators and support groups with orange slices, bananas, bagel pieces and candy, but at most races, especially smaller ones, you are largely responsible for your own nutrition during the race.

    I was offered boiled potatoes at my last marathon (a spectator, not an official aid station) and they were amazing. The starch and salt were exactly what I needed at that moment of the race.
  • angf0679
    angf0679 Posts: 1,120 Member
    edited February 2020
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    My traditional meal before any long run, including before my first marathon is spaghetti. I sometimes add garlic bread to it. If I remember right the day before my first marathon, I had chocolate ice cream as well.

    By the way - best of luck on your first marathon!! Crossing the finish line after your first is the most amazing feeling, one you will never forget.
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    @lporter229 It's Austin Marathon! I have never even been to a marathon in my life! So the "what to expect" is nice! Thank you!
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    angf0679 wrote: »
    My traditional meal before any long run, including before my first marathon is spaghetti. I sometimes add garlic bread to it. If I remember right the day before my first marathon, I had chocolate ice cream as well.

    By the way - best of luck on your first marathon!! Crossing the finish line after your first is the most amazing feeling, one you will never forget.

    Thank you so much, thank you!
  • This_far
    This_far Posts: 536 Member
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    I have a traditional meal of a subway 6 inch veggie Patty with cheese. Also have little pouch of banana mango baby food about a half an hour before race.
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 695 Member
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    I find it works best to have an early dinner of something fairly plain the night before, so lasagne or pizza for example.
    The morning of is always porridge, and herbal tea. It's the same as every other morning :smile:

    For prep, something I have learned is that if you can it's good to take along something to change into afterwards, and food. Especially if you have a long way to travel it's much more comfortable to be in nice clean dry trackies rather than sweaty run stuff. I am also ravenously hungry afterwards, and want things to eat while I decide what else to eat! I do understand that it doesn't fit in well with calorie counting, but personally I didn't care about it over that day or two.

    Don't panic, and be prepared to feel awesome afterwards.
  • firef1y72
    firef1y72 Posts: 1,579 Member
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    Either a big veggie pizza or big bowl of pasta.
    I actually have a meal plan I follow and it steadily increases carbs throughout the week prior to a race
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    This_far wrote: »
    I have a traditional meal of a subway 6 inch veggie Patty with cheese. Also have little pouch of banana mango baby food about a half an hour before race.

    Thank you!
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    I find it works best to have an early dinner of something fairly plain the night before, so lasagne or pizza for example.
    The morning of is always porridge, and herbal tea. It's the same as every other morning :smile:

    For prep, something I have learned is that if you can it's good to take along something to change into afterwards, and food. Especially if you have a long way to travel it's much more comfortable to be in nice clean dry trackies rather than sweaty run stuff. I am also ravenously hungry afterwards, and want things to eat while I decide what else to eat! I do understand that it doesn't fit in well with calorie counting, but personally I didn't care about it over that day or two.

    Don't panic, and be prepared to feel awesome afterwards.

    Thank you! I am planning to keep dinner simple. It's an hour travel away from my house! I will put my smile on before anything else :) the morning of. No calorie counting the day of! Or the day after, either! Thank you for your positivity! I'll be running with these little rays of love y'all are sending (I feel the vibes).
  • Joanna2012B
    Joanna2012B Posts: 1,448 Member
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    HCAs85 wrote: »
    @Iporter229
    You assume correct - I am in South Africa.
    The potatoes were amazing, and a lot of long distance runners I have chatted to swear by them- they pack them in their pockets for events like the Comrades!
    In my case, it was a road race - the Sanlam Marathon.

    I haven't done that many running events, but most will have water and Coke at the very least.
    And orange slices!

    Some 5km fun runs even boast glorious snack tables. Perhaps to lure more people! :smiley:
    Come do our run... we have candy :wink:

    I am soooo trying boiled potatoes. I can't stomach the gels!!!
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    firef1y72 wrote: »
    Either a big veggie pizza or big bowl of pasta.
    I actually have a meal plan I follow and it steadily increases carbs throughout the week prior to a race

    Thank you!
  • angmarie28
    angmarie28 Posts: 2,812 Member
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    I started carb loading 3 or 4 days before the marathon, I never eat right before bed but thats because if I do, I bloat really bad and have stomach issues the next day.