Fuel Your Performance

January 16, 2018 | By | Reply

Balanced meal

The most awaited Marathon of the year is here where we see huge number of participants which makes the run even more challenging and exciting. The practices are regular, the gear will be ready by now but have you taken care of the most important thing which is essential for any sport! Yes you are right  “Diet”.

Running a marathon requires a great deal of preparation you have to ensure that you not only eat a good meal pre-run but also post run and throughout the day.

Weeks before Run

  • Practise : Train with your race nutrition plan , with the drinks on course, with the gels that will be available during the day of the run.
  • Increase your carbohydrates intake (eg.rotis, brown rice, potatoes, sago, poha, oats etc) .Avoid doughnuts, cookies, candy, breads which will give you boost but leave you feeling tired as soon as they are used up.
  • Reduce fibre intake 1-2 days before the event if you suffer from gastrointestinal problems. Eg: sprouts, whole grains, fruits which are eaten wiith skin and seeds
  • Choose high carbohydrate breakfast foods with a protein source and a small amount of fat . Examples of Breakfast options for a 75Kgs Male Runner.
    • 2 bowls Oats cooked in 1 cup low fat milk . Handful of nuts(almonds and walnuts) + 1 banana.
    • 2 Eggs omelette + 2 plain paratha + 1 banana
    • 1 bowl Poha/ Upma+ 1 boil potato + handful of nuts + 1 cup milk.
  • Examples of Lunch options for a 75Kgs Male Runner.
    • 4-5 Wheat rotis or 2-3  jowar Rotis / Brown Rice + 100gms lean nonveg/ paneer/ 1 bowl thick Dal /curds + 1 bowl leafy veggies or salad with freshly squeezed lime.
  • Examples of Dinner  options for a 75Kgs Male Runner.
    • 3-4 Wheat or 2jowar Rotis / Brown Rice + 100gms lean nonveg/ paneer/ 1 bowl thick Dal + 1 bowl salad carrot ,broccoli,cabbage and lime
  • Ensure your mid meals include fruits, sweet potato, boiled potato, sweet corn, peanuts , coconut water. Avoid biscuits and bakery foods.

Five to seven days before the race

During most weeks of marathon training, your muscles never have a chance to fully reload with glycogen. .  Make sure you’re consuming at least three grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight during this time period to meet your needs.

Eg: if your weight is 75kg then you need 495 gms of carbohydrate daily ,which involves consuming 12-14 servings of main meal food which is : rotis, brown rice, poha, sago.   2-3 servings of fruits and 4 servings of veggies and 2 servings of potatoes or sweet potatoes in the entire day.

24 hours before: Cut out bulk

  • Limiting high-fiber foods such as bran cereals, whole grains, and large amounts of vegetables for the few days prior to a race has multiple benefits for the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Up the fluid intake:/Eat normal balanced meals like you would normally do on any training day. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids all day long, especially electrolyte fluids.
  • Start eating small meals every 2-3 hours , but after lunch ,cut out on red meat, fried foods, dairy products ,fats ,nuts and fibre. Keep drinking water and electrolyte beverages and avoid salty foods.
  • Avoid eating at a restaurant .
  • Avoid alcohol

The Race Day: Two to four hours before..

Wake up early to start a small breakfast with enough time for digestion. Drink small regular sized amount of water. Room temperature water is absorbed quicker than warm or cold water. Consume 175 to 250 ml water every hour on hot days.

A pre-race meal supplies extra carbs to top off glycogen stores, particularly in the liver, which will help steady blood sugar levels during the race. Don’t experiment with anything new today. Avoid high fiber and high fat and high protein food.


  • 60gms( 2 cooked bowls)  Oatmeal with 2% fat Milk + 2small bananas or 2 boiled eggs.
  • 2  Alu paratha with little olive oil and 1 cup curds.

The Hour before your start , make sure you sip water and take a gel 15mins before the race starts. Practice this several times in training .

During the race

  • Don’t experiment with anything new
  • You should aim to take in 180- 300ml of fluid every 2 to 3 miles. Remember you don’t have to gulp everything down in 5 seconds; you can take your time and carry the cup with you.  Begin by taking fluids at the first aid station available. Usually the first station comes right around the 5k mark. Ingest an electrolyte drink with sugar so you can keep your fuel levels topped off .
  • Carry raisins in your pouch for instant energy, salt pouches.
  • Consume a Gel every 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Avoid high fiber , fat and protein intake during the run.

Post Race

  • Running depletes your bodys electrolytes and antioxidants replenish with vitamin rich berries, bananas, kiwi, oranges .
  • Eat a small snack containing protein and carbohydrates . Examples :  peanut butter on a banana, brown bread with Peanut butter, sweet potato and nuts, chicken /paneer with brown bread or roti.
  • Consume small frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol (if possible :-) )

All the best Runners , enjoy it !

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