Learn what to eat before a marathon because what you eat on the days leading up to an event or on event day itself can impact directly on how you perform. ASICS PRO Team dietician Ruth McKean talks us through techniques for competition day eating.
What To Eat The Week Before A Marathon
If you’re taking part in an event such as a marathon, your decision to carbohydrate-load should consider your circumstances, such as:
your current diet
your motivation level
any medical reason for it to be problematic for you to consume a very high carbohydrate diet
There are several strategies which can be used to super-compensate muscle glycogen stores, many which vary in duration, extent of dietary changes and the amount and type of any exercise that is taken during this loading period.
What To Eat The Day Of A Race
Your pre-event meal should consider issues such as:
time of the event or events
if you’re prone to stomach discomfort
tried and tested foods
the psychological value of the food
You should start well hydrated by drinking extra fluid in the days leading up to the events. Effective rehydration during exercise can be enhanced by priming the stomach with a water leading up to the event so you start with high hydration levels.
While water is adequate for shorter events, the use of CHO-electrolyte drinks prior to exercise and during a longer event can assist in meeting fluid levels, CHO and electrolytes and help retain this fluid better than water alone.
During the race
If you have eaten well in the days leading up to an event lasting 90 minutes or less, you might not need any additional energy during the event.
However, in events lasting longer than this it is advised to take some energy in the form of CHO as well as fluid throughout the event. The race eating strategies do not need to be complicated but the foods or fluid must be tried and tested prior to event and should be suitable to get the best optimal strategy for any individual.
In sprint events the above advice would differ, in fact, it may be useful to be slightly dehydrated for sprinters before an event or those events that require lifting your body weight such as high jump or long jump. In addition the eating before an event may be different for sprint/explosive type athletes in the carbohydrate content of the diet compared to a sprinter winter training diet.
In addition to your diet, take your running to the next performance with new running gear from ASICS: