Marathon Training Nutrition
Marathon Training Nutrition
Pat Connelly (Running Coach for LA Roadrunners and Valencia High School) gives expert video advice on: Should I increase my food intake when I start marathon training?; What kinds of foods should I eat while I'm training?; What foods can I eat before a training run? and more...
Should I increase my food intake when I start marathon training?
Well, let's look at if you are going to drive your car four hundred miles, would you fill up your tank? Yes you would, otherwise you are going to run out of gas. If you do not take in enough electrolytic carbohydrates into your system, which are the burning energies which are fed by the blood stream into the muscles, you are not going to have the fuel to get the training done. Yes, it is important that you do increase your intake to supply the nutrients for the additional physical exercise you are bringing on yourself.
What kinds of foods should I eat while I'm training?
The kinds of foods that you should eat when you're training are those fuels that will give you strength and give you distance-running energy. What are we talking about there? Obviously, strength is going to come in the form of red meat, steak, and protein in beans; the carbohydrates come from baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice, different types of pasta, breads, and they give you the energy levels to run a distance. You want to work on strength and distance, and that will supply you with the ingredients necessary for a rigorous training schedule.
What foods can I eat before a training run?
Well, the foods that you should eat before a training run are very important. You should eat something before a training run. Obviously, you cannot eat bulk food, which will fill up your stomach and make it heavy. However, you should put some nourishment in your stomach before you run. You don't want enzymes wall-to-wall rubbing on your stomach lining because it's hungry. So, in the mornings that you're going to run, have a little oatmeal or some wheat toast, and maybe some hot tea or coffee. Just something in your stomach to get started.
How long should I wait after a meal to take a run?
Well, it depends upon the individual. Certainly if it's a big meal, you probably want to wait an hour, or an hour and a half. Some people can step away from the table and just go out and run. But usually, understanding that the liver fills with blood, and blood works to secrete and digest food, and you want that blood to work for you, to fuel the muscle tissue to run. So there's a little conflict there. So I think it's best to wait an hour or so, and let that food digest slightly, before you go out for a run.
Is it necessary to eat during a run?
For a longer race, yes, for a shorter race, no, but, for a marathon, especially you need more than just that evening before and morning meal to get you through 26 miles. So, yes, on your long training days you should experiment with foods that will supply you with ingredients and additional energies to complete the race.
When should I use 'energy gels'?
Using an energy gel for marathon training and the race is really profitable for the athlete to do. The energy gel is just a high-sugar high-carbonate ingredient that forces itself into the content of your blood to give you extra energy. Energy gels can be used, for instance, in a marathon - five miles, 10 miles, 18 miles - something along the way that will feed steadily into the digestive system to work into the muscles for your training.
Are 'energy bars' helpful for running?
They are helpful. You need more than just a regular diet. The special electrolyte ingredients and substance in energy bars will give you that extra octane into the fuel tank to make your running more profitable.
Are there other forms of energy products that can be useful in training?
Well, the energy products that are useful in training are pretty well stated in about every running book that you can purchase. Take a look prior to your training and racing. But I think the most important thing you do is replace what you diminish the most. And that would be a liquid carbohydrate to support your system, that come in the form of a gel, energy bar or a drink.
How much water do I need to drink during training?
Proper hydration for training is a very important subject, one that is many times overlooked and caused many a runner not to perform well. Every athlete in training should drink 8 to 12 eight ounce glasses of water per day, whether you are training or not. You need to keep that hydration intake to keep all your organs lubricated for the task ahead. For training, hydration is of paramount importance.
Are sports drinks useful in training for a marathon?
A sports drink is important because it has fluid carbohydrate that you can replace in your system that will move very quickly into the blood stream to feed your muscles.