Since my training for a 1/2 marathon is quickly coming to an end, I've really started thinking more about my food intake. In the beginning and for the majority of my training, it's been about logging in the miles, but miles are only a percentage of how to properly train for a marathon or 1/2 marathon.
In conducting my own personal research, I found That’s Fit article asking, “Is Marathon Training Making You Fat” here and it helped put some things in perspective for me! The marathon training article uses Nancy Clark, sports nutritionist, as a source. When it comes to how you should fuel the day of a training run (and those days leading up to your race), Clark advises:
- You’ll need about 300 to 500 calories for breakfast before the run. Think granola bar, English muffin, whole wheat toast or whatever you can tolerate before activity.
- You need another 200 or so calories for every hour of exercise, depending on your size. This is where sports drinks and energy gels factor in. Though Clark says ‘real food’ is a good alternative to engineered foods which are essentially ‘sugar by another name.’ She offers dried pineapple, Starburst, Twizzlers and hard candies as alternatives.
- You should re-fuel after your run with a mix of protein and carbs. She suggests chocolate milk as a good post-run drink.
- Lunch should be hearty. She also recommends a second lunch, which is essentially a more substantial snack.
- Cut back on calories the rest of the evening.
I know that I'm the type who thinks if I just ran 13.1 miles that I can eat whatever I want, but really that shouldn't be the case. Everything in moderation. Do you eat more on the days you exercise a lot? Do you have any tips for eating before, during and after the 1/2 marathon?
Just a FYI....I will be Bib Number 7242 at the St. Jude 1/2 Marathon!