Marathon Eating Plan

Proper food choices and eating patterns are essential components of your marathon training program. They can also have a big influence on your race results. To prevent Weight Loss and build your energy, endurance and stamina, the three most important things to remember when creating your marathon eating plan for training and event day are:

1. Carbohydrate Loading: train with your carbohydrate loading plan at least three times with one of your longer training runs, before race day

-Dinner the night before your event: choose a meal rich in carbohydrate like pasta or whole grains. Ex: 1.5-2cups whole grain pasta, 5 oz chicken, 2/3 cup marinara sauce OR 1.5-2 cups brown rice, 1 cup stir fried vegetables, 5 oz chicken or fish.

-You will notice that there is some protein present. You should not eat carbohydrates exclusively. The presence of protein will slow down the digestion and absorption of the meal and offer a longer energy burn.

-Snack before bed (at least 2 hours before bedtime): have an additional 1-2 cups of pasta, rice, or other whole grain.

-Morning of the event (Finish eating by 6AM. 7AM Marathon start)
ex. ¾ cup oatmeal with 1 scoop protein powder and banana
OR 2 eggs & toast with nut butter OR banana and Raw Organic bar or Lara Bar
OR banana and a bagel with 1-2 T nut butter

2. Hydration: It is not necessary to use sports drinks (electrolyte replacements) during lighter training. You can add an electrolyte replacement tablet to your water or use 20% real fruit juice to 80% water for more intense workouts and practice runs.

-You need to sip water consistently throughout the evening and morning leading up to the race. You do not need to overdo this. Sip an additional glass through the evening and one in the morning. Do not drink a glass of water all at once within an hour of your race.

-No food or drink by mouth for one full hour before race time.

3. Train with Event Sponsored Food and Beverages: You need to train for at least three weeks leading up to the event using the event sponsored beverages and food that will be offered on race day.

The Rock N Roll Marathon, Seattle is being sponsored by Cytomax (makes Muscle Milk) and Gu Energy.

-If you train with water (or any Sports Drink), for example, and on race day you drink the event sponsored drink there is a very good chance that you will get a stomach ache, side ache or have your race affected in some other negative way. Every sports nutritionist will tell you that even if this is a switch from Powerade to Gatorade, this affect will occur.

Seattle nutritionist Angela Pifer has been writing professionally since 2005, with her work published on MSN Health and Pifer creates custom Seattle Weight Loss programs in her private practice with offices in Bellevue and Seattle, WA. Pifer holds Masters of Science in nutrition from Bastyr University, where she is also adjunct faculty.