Nutrition for marathon runners 6 top diet tips to support your training

If you're running a marathon, you need to give yoMarathon nutritionur body the fuel it needs to run 26.2 miles.

There is all sorts of weird and wonderful diet advice out there. From low-carb to hi-fat, it can be confusing and contradictory at times.

At Full Potential, we've got six golden rules on marathon training and nutrition. Follow these and you'll be a healthier, happier marathon runner.


6 top nutrition tips for runners

1. Carbs are king

This advice still stands. Quality carbohydrates are still your fuel of choice. Good sources of carbohydrate are bananas, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and isotonic drinks.                

2. Protein power

Protein helps your muscles recover and adapt to the hard miles you put in during training. Good sources of protein are meat, fish, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, nuts, beans and pulses.

3. Eat your greens

We gain most of our micronutrients from plants. Eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables over the course of the day will keep you healthy - and away from the biscuit tin too!

4. Vitamins are overhyped

Avoid high doses of multivitamins as they can lower your adaptation to training. The only exception is if you have a cold. If so, vitamin C and Zinc will boost your immune system.

5. Fuel appropriately

If it's an easy jog over a couple of miles, keep your food intake light. For long runs, eat more beforehand but leave enough time so you’re not running with an uncomfortable stomach.

6. Practice makes perfect

Try nothing new on race day. Use your long run to practice your fuelling strategies for racing. Stick to no more than 240kcal from carbohydrates or 2-3 gels per hour. That’s all your body can absorb.

Quick tip: warm-up stretches

Stretching is essential for all marathon runners. Watch this video to see the perfect pre-run stretching you should incorporate into your warm-up routine.

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