Marathon Week Eating Plan (Read 1904 times)

    I'm running my first marathon Sunday.  I'm a lucky man, reached my taper injury-free and feel good about my preparation.  My only concern is: what to eat this week - especially in the final 48 hours before the race?  I prefer to run in evenings and frequently interrupt morning training runs for pit-stops.  Have had a few morning 5K races ruined by this problem.  Have had many others that weren't.


    I'd appreciate as detailed a meal plan as anyone can suggest: specific foods (not just lean protein and complex carbs) and portion sizes.  If it helps, I'm 38, male, 5'10" & 160 lbs., peaked at a 50 mpw in training, and did a 1:34 half marathon in October.  And, I don't mind cooking.




    (Oh, and bonus points to anyone who can tell me how to export my stuff from the current iteration of MapMyRun.com to this site).


      I'm sure more experienced marathoners will chime in, but the advice that made sense to me for my 3 marathons was to be sure to eat anything that you planned to eat on the morning of the race at least 2 hours before you lose easy access to a comfortable bathroom.  So, for my last marathon, I planned to leave my hotel room at 5:30, so I set an alarm and ate something at 3:30.  That may seem crazy to others who are more laid back about these things, but I did not want to deal with a mid-race pit stop or the idea of sitting down pre-race in a porta-pottty.  Worked for me.

        Runners World had an article on this very subject last month or the month before.  Search the back issues.




          Don't think too hard.  Nothing magical about food is going to speed you up, but a mistake will slow you down.  Unless you went through some strange diet just before your race, the potential of a bonk ("hitting the wall") is really more about running too fast for your level of fitness.


          Remember, "nothing new on race day".  This applies to foods right before race day.


          Eat whatever you've been eating before your long runs.  Maybe a little more.  Not a lot more.


          It's what worked for you.  DO THAT.


          (me?  Pasta can kiss my ass.  Sushi is my go-to pre-race meal when I can.)


          No Talent Drips

            (me?  Pasta can kiss my ass.  Sushi is my go-to pre-race meal when I can.)


            +1 on the Sushi. Friday night for a Sunday race. Lots of sweet potato roll. Saturday is business as usual...a tad more sodium than usual and plenty of water.


            I drink a bottle of this on race morning (5:30/6:00am for an 8am start):

            Don't be alarmed by what the toilet looks like later.

             Dei Gratia


            Marathon Maniac #3309

              I find runners can agree - or disagree with this. But my recent experiences....


              1 -50K and 3 marathons recently...


              First 3 races I had to use the rest room (#2) all at around 13 miles....I have those same issues, and it can ruin races.


              Last marathon....I took 2 Imodium tabs about 30 minutes before the start, and another one at 6 miles. No potty issues what so ever, and I didn't notice any side affects that I could tell.


              I have runner Friends that do the same thing - for the same purpose - with no ill affects.


              You may ask, why I didn't do this my first 3 races..............well, I simply forgot, but my last marathon I wanted to do well at and not stop.


              Of course, this is after your race....hoping you didn't poop your pants Smile 

              Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way - Run often and run long, but never outrun your Joy of running!

                Thanks all for the replies.  I kept it simple and achieved my goal of not ruining the race, just started doing what I do before long runs a few days earlier.  A friend with a biochem background suggested the Imodium fix but I didn't want to try anything new.  Bland foods, less fiber - much peanut butter and bananas, got up at 3:45 for a 6:15 race and ate eggs and toast.


                The race director changed the start time twice in the final 20 minutes before the gun and I misunderstood the last of the instructions (and I wasn't the only one) so was using the facilities when the gun sounded.  Which was good, as I didn't need to use them again until two hours after my finish.  But, it was bad in that I started 30 seconds ahead of the half-marathoners and failed to moderate my pace until the routes separated even though I knew better.  I paid for that from Mile 16 onwards but finished with a time I liked.


                I guess I'll have to run another one of these.