The Colorado Marathon will be here before we know it! Taking place on May 3rd, there’s only a few more days now before the big race. Are you ready for it? The MenuTrinfo team is! That’s right, the MenuTrinfo staff will be running and walking the 10K, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
No matter how hard you’ve trained for this event, one key element to making sure you perform well on race day is your nutrition. What will you be eating on and before the big day? If you’re not sure, let MenuTrinfo help you prepare.
In order to train and perform at the highest level, the body requires a balance of nutrients, including; carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluids. So here are some tips for what you should be eating on the night before and on the day of the marathon in order to maintain this balance of nutrients.
Night before the marathon:
What you eat the night before race day can be just as important as what you consume on the day of.
What we suggest: A meal high in complex carbohydrates such as whole grain pasta, quinoa, or brown rice, accompanied with lean protein. However, be sure to keep a close eye on fat and fiber.
Here’s one idea: Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes
(picture courtesy of thedomesticgeek.com)
Morning of the marathon:
A problem people often encounter when racing in the morning is inadequate consumption of nutrients from a “full breakfast.” If you’re not able to tolerate eating before exercise, sports or protein drinks, gels, chews, or bars could be substituted to provide the required energy needs. According to Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, the ideal time to consume your pre-exercise nutrition is 1 – 3 hours before the event or workout, depending on your individual tolerance. Find what works for you and stick with it!
We suggest something powerful, yet simple, such as a bowl of oatmeal topped with 1 tsp of honey and ¼ cup of berries, or a plain bagel with a low-fat cream cheese.
During the marathon:
For getting the fuel you need during your race, the focus is on both energy and hydration. Sports drinks or electrolyte drinks can be a good option for combating fluid and electrolyte losses experienced during the race. Sports drinks contain sugar, which allows the carbohydrate to be used as fuel for the activity rather than be stored for later use. Sports gels, chews, or bars can also be good options for fueling during exercise. However, it is important to test your tolerance of fueling strategies and products before the day of your race or event.
How to maintain energy: For a 10k, plenty of water should be sufficient. However, if you feel like you need some extra fuel to give you a spike of energy, grab an electrolyte drink at the nearest aide station.
(picture courtesy of simplysugarandglutenfree.com)
After completing the marathon:
Post exercise nutrition and hydration are vital to your ability to recover after activity. Ideally, you should consume your post exercise meal 15 minutes to two hours after completion of the activity. This interval of time after exercise is when the body is going to be the most efficient at using nutrients. Meaning, each nutrient consumed will be directly used for its specific purpose rather than being stored for later use. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Christine Gerbstadt, MD, MPH, RD, CSSD, a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates and protein within 15 – 20 minutes after exercise is optimal for muscle repair and recovery.
What we recommend: Greek yogurt with granola and bananas or berries is a great post-run meal.
*Also, be sure to continue to drink lots of fluids the rest of the day to ensure you are properly re-hydrated.
And if you’re really craving something after the race— eat it! You deserve to treat yourself, and your body may be lacking something that it needs, hence the craving.
Hopefully, this will help prepare you for the invigorating day of exercise you have ahead of you! Whether you’re completing the 5K or the full marathon, eating right will play a crucial role in your race day at the Colorado Marathon. We hope to see you there!
Come Cheer Us On!