How to Eat While Training for a Marathon

To support the rigors of marathon training, you need to eat well, and scientifically. But don't forget a dose of good, sound common sense.

Things You'll Need
  • Running Clothes
  • Running Shoes
  • Bottled Water
  • Healthful Foods
Choose a carbohydrate-rich diet every day as the foundation for every meal. A 60 to 70 percent diet of foods such as whole-grain breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables is the best fuel for the muscles.

Eat 200 to 400 calories of carbohydrates (for example, potatoes or rice) within 2 hours of hard exercise to optimize recovery, then repeat this 2 hours later. If exercise kills your appetite, drink the carbohydrates while quenching your thirst.

Remember fluids. Make sure to drink plenty before, during and after training. Go for water, sports drinks or juice, but avoid alcohol, as it has a dehydrating effect.

Practice trying sports foods and fluids while training. Especially if you intend to consume them during the race, try a sports drink, sports gel or other performance-enhancing food in training.

Go easy on fats. Marathon training requires consuming extra food, but watch fat consumption. For example, instead of having one roll with butter, have two plain rolls, and eat pasta with tomato or other low-fat sauces rather than cheese-based sauces.

Learn how much food you can eat and still run comfortably.

Be consistent. Eat familiar foods, and foods that you like. Don't change your diet for the sake of some magic formula.

Eat moderately. While making sure to get enough, don't stuff yourself.