Why You Really Need A Marathon Training Diet

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Ever thought about the importance of a marathon training diet plan?

When you are getting prepared for a marathon running event you need to follow some diet guidelines in order to succeed.

A long distance run is going to place demands on your body that are extremely intense. This means that a regular meal plan is just not going to give you the healthy nutrition that you will need in order to perform at your maximum ability.

Not to speak about possible downside effects if you don’t get the right nutrition during your marathon preparation.

What to Include

Complex carbohydrates are still going to be the foundation of your marathon training diet. Loading up on these types of carbs will help you fuel your body with the kind of energy that is going to be required to complete a long distance marathon.

Whole grain bread and pasta are definitely some of the foods that should be on your training table.

Remember that your actual metabolic needs are going to be based on age, sex and weight in addition to your training routine.
Marathon Training Diet

Percentages Count

Check and see how intense your training schedule is going to be and you can calculate your marathon training diet menu accordingly.

The higher your weekly mileage the more serious you must be about making sure you are getting the right amounts of carbs, fats and proteins.

A few guidelines:

  • 60-65% of your daily calories should be in the form of complex carbohydrates
  • 20-25% of your daily calories should be from high quality proteins
  • 15-25% of your daily calories should be from unsaturated fats (minimal use of other fats

**If weight training and body building are part of your exercise schedule you should increase the protein percentage to as much as 25-30%.

A normal runners diet could well be constructed as 30% protein, 25-30% unsaturated fats and 40-45% carbohydrates.

Fundamental Features Of A Marathon Training Diet

There are some fundamental features that a marathon diet should include. If you want to be successful in your distance running events then your training meals should be based on:

  • Eliminating those unhealthy sweets and processed foods
  • Staying hydrated with an adequate supply of water
  • Avoiding alcohol and nicotine
  • Moderating your caloric consumption
  • Gradually ‘upping’ the amount of complex carbs in your diet according to the intensity of your training schedule.
  • Making sure that you are balancing the percentages of fats, carbs and proteins in your preferred diet for marathon training.

Foods And Beverages That Should Be On Your Training Table

Before the Run

Load up on healthy veggies, fruits, proteins and water. Make sure that you include fresh fruits and vegetables as part of your daily choices. Bananas, berries, apples, nuts, pastas, whole grain cereal, whole grain bread, rice, leafy greens and root veggies are some of the foods for you to eat on a marathon training diet.

Always drink 8-12 full glasses of water every 12-24 hours. You should keep your body hydrated with additional water during your training runs and gym workout sessions.

Healthy proteins come in many forms. You can include eggs, fortified cereals, poultry, lean beef and seafood.

During the Run

Nuts, trail-mix and raisins are some of the foods that people include on their marathon diet. These are foods that they can enjoy while they are participating in a long distance run.

Do not neglect your body’s need for hydration; always keep that water bottle handy.

No matter whether you are a beginning marathon runner, or a seasoned marathoner, you will definitely reap the benefits of reading my 70 marathon training tips post.


A banana, some honey, a handful of berries, an orange or a fresh pear will help you instantly give your body some rehydrating energy.

It will take a little time for your body to re-group after a marathon event which means you need to replenish with an energy drink such as Gatorade as well as some refreshing water.

You will also need to make sure that your post-marathon training diet includes extra amounts of protein, fats and carbs.

Lighter food choices during the first few hours will be your best bet.

How Your Body Benefits From A Marathon Training Diet

When an athlete is preparing his body with endurance training your metabolism will begin to transfer its focus onto that stored body fat. This means that as the easier energy fuel is consumed from those dietary carbs the next choice for fuel will be your available ‘fat’.

Most dedicated athletes and runners already realize that this change occurs during a long marathon. It is simply going to be easier for you if your body has already begun to become accustomed to this type of transformation.

In addition a quality marathon training diet plan is going to improve your overall health, boost your alertness and help you shed any unwanted fat. This means that you will be able to run a strong, powerful event because you made the correct dietary choices.

Are you interested in reading more about this topic? I would definitely recommend to give Matt Fitzgerald’s book Runner’s World Performance Nutrition for Runners a try.

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