marathon training series: nutrition
Today is my THIRD post in the LKS marathon training series! In case you missed it, I’ve shared my go-to running clothes + shoes, and my training plan + current workout routine! Today I want to answer a question I get almost daily which has to do with nutrition while training for a marathon! I’m not going to get into specifics about what I eat all day everyday – because that could be another post for another time. Rather, I want to focus in on what I eat before, during, and after a run [especially long runs]. As well as talk about overall nutrition while training for a marathon. Granted, please keep in mind, I am not a doctor or a dietician. These are just tips + tricks i’ve picked up along the way from doing my own research and talking to some experts.
What I eat before a run
Before I go for a run – long or short – I ALWAYS have half a banana and almond butter [about 10-15mins before the run]. I LOVE rxbar nut butters! I know everyone is different but I absolutely cannot workout or go for a run on an empty stomach. I don’t like to have a big meal right before a long run but definitely need something in my stomach! Bananas have potassium in them which can help prevent cramping, and almond butter is a great source of fat + protein which can fuel you for the miles ahead.
Prior to having Shiloh, I was very depending on advocare products for pre-workout fuel! I stopped taking all Advocare products during pregnancy and am just now starting to re-introduce some of them into my marathon training routine. Sometimes I will drink Spark or Rehydrate before a long run (Spark is for energy, rehydrate is electrolytes!). I do think Advocare products are super helpful for long runs…I’m just trying not to become too dependent on them like I was before pregnancy!
The night before a LONG run (13 miles or longer)…I try to fill up on good carbs and protein. Salmon with sweet potatoes and a veggie…or something of that nature. I like sweet potatoes and quinoa as my carb loading choice. Let me know though if you guys have other faves for carb loading! The day before a long run, in general, I’m just more conscious about my carb intake! Avocado toast is a great snack (I love Dave’s Killer bread)…or I’ll add a few eggs on top of that for a good lunch!
The day before a long run I also make sure I drink a ton of water to stay really hydrated. I try and not have alcohol or dessert the day before a long run but TBH I don’t always stick with that lol…just means my run the next day might be more challenging! [#worthit]
What I eat during a long run
I don’t typically eat anything during a run unless I’m going 10 miles or longer. Every body is different, so learn to listen to what your body needs and thrives off of. If I’m going 10 miles or longer though, I try and have nutrition with me for every 6 miles (ish). Recently, I tried quantum energy squares and really liked those. Quantum energy squares are a plant-based energy bar, created to provide natural, long-lasting energy without the sugar or caffeine crash that you get from a lot of other popular energy drinks and bars! [More info about the squares if you are interested: The “magic” of Quantum is in the form of the combination of organic green (unroasted) coffee combined with nourishing macronutrients which slow the absorption of natural caffeine (equal to one espresso shot), giving athletes the fuel to power through the day with a long-lasting no-crash boost of energy]. So, I will put one of these squares in the pocket of my running shorts! I also like these energy beans on a long run because they have caffeine and electrolytes.
On long runs, I’ll try and pick a route that has a water fountain or two along the way. If it doesn’t, then I will bring this handheld water bottle with me.
That’s pretty much it for my nutrition must-haves when it comes to a long run! I’ve heard from a lot of running experts to keep your nutrition around long runs SIMPLE. Good carbs, good proteins, good fats, lots of water. After a long run I pretty much eat everything in sight lol. TBH after a long run I’m not super conscious about what I eat because I’m so hungry and want to eat everything! I’m conscious about rehydrating myself – I drink a ton of water. I also like basis drinks and nuun tablets for electrolytes + clean hydration. After a long run I also make sure I get lots of protein in – a burger always hits the spot for me! Or a big brunch that involves a lot of eggs for protein!
Again, I am by no means an expert in this area…just wanted to share some things I’ve really liked while training for races, and that have been helpful for me. If you have any must-haves when it comes to running / training nutrition, share with us in the comments below! I would love your feedback and ideas!