Fuel your marathon training

Fuel your marathon training

Everyone who’s ever run a marathon has advice to give about what you should and shouldn’t be eating. Nutritionist Sheila Boyde tells you what you really should be eating if you are planning to run 26.2 miles anytime soon.

Fuelling for your workload is important; equally so is refuelling post exercise.

Establish a good eating pattern where you have protein and carbohydrates at every meal, so an example of this may be:

  • Breakfast: Porridge and mixed seeds/nuts, berries, milk, either oat, soya, cows or almond.
  • Lunch: Sweet jacket potato with green vegetables and avocado; omelette; tinned sardines; chicken or beans. Any of these served with wholegrain bread makes an ideal lunch.
  • Dinner: Lean meat, fish or pulses, with at least 3 different types of vegetables, one being green, with wholegrain rice, quinoa or potatoes.
  • Snacks: If you’re training twice a day, you will need snacks to help keep your energy levels up. This could be banana and some nuts, or oat cake with your choice of nut butter. You may find a protein/carb bar more convenient or you could try a small pot of live yoghurt with some seeds or nuts or chop up a small banana and mix.

Training hard isn’t a licence to eat as much sugary food as you like – keep it to treats.

Too much sugar can lead to increased inflammation, disrupted blood sugar levels, and consequently a roller coaster of energy and moods can arise.

Research shows that there is an increased demand for up to 24 hours after exercise for recovery and repair, so it is important to ensure that adequate protein is supplied throughout the following day as well as immediately after exercise.

Aim to have your protein with a variety of carbohydrates to avoid food intolerance, and increased diversity of food types means more nutrients.  Look at using, quinoa, buckwheat pasta, corn pasta, wholewheat pasta, rice, sweet potatoes, for a healthy slow-release energy.

Turmeric has been widely researched for its anti-inflammatory activity and studies show it can reduce muscle damage after exercise.  It can be consumed every day for exercise related pain or inflammation. Add it to foods or drinks, it is an amazing spice to use in cooking but alternatively can also be bought as a supplement.

Image of Sheila Boyde
Sheila Boyde
(Bsc (Hons) Dip I.O.N., mBANT, mCNHC )
Sheila Boyde is a former international athlete who trained at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition, which is regarded as the leader in its field, and at Leeds Beckett Park in Health and Fitness. Sheila has worked with many top international and club athletes to improve their performance, has worked as a Nutritional Advisor on television and in schools and colleges, as well as her own personal clients. If you would like to find out more about one-to-one consultations, contact sheila.boyde@gmail.com
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