Although the popularity of training for the SSE Airtricity Dublin marathon increasing, completing it in a fairly quick time is still quite a challenge. Statistics show that only 5% of female runners and 18% of male runners finish in under 3.5 hours. However, a lot can be done in the approach to the race to enable your best performance ever. Alongside your training regimen, you’ll need to take a hard look at your diet to ensure you’re at your best. By following a few simple food tips you can tap into a faster gear on the day with improved endurance, for your best marathon achievement.
Food choices approaching the special day
About a month prior to the marathon event you should probably be lowering your carbohydrate intake, especially if you’re still carrying a little too much weight despite your training programme. This will help you achieve a lean running build provided you are eating enough protein, especially following a training session and within the anabolic window. This will help support your muscles.
Protein sources to feed muscles
Best quality lean protein e.g. chicken is an excellent source but there are plenty of other vegetarian/vegan choices that are also beneficial choices. For example, sprouting vegetables contain an exceptionally high protein level along with an amazing nutritional profile which includes many beneficial elements on top of protein. Broccoli sprouts contain vitamins A, B, C E and K along with some especially powerful antioxidants to provide protection from illness. In addition, they contain the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. When you consider what you’re asking of your body to run a marathon, it makes sense to feed it the highest concentration of nutrition in the approach to this exertion. Whilst general advice is to exclude protein the day before a marathon, it is a good idea to include a small amount of a good vegan source e.g. sprouting seeds. This is because they are far more easily digested than meat protein. On the race morning, you do not want your body to be struggling to digest heavy proteins from the previous day.
Increase carbs two days before
Best advice is to increase your carbs slightly in the last two days before the event to give you that energy boost. However, do not seriously overdo this as it can make you sluggish and heavy for the day. So moderation is the key here. If you’ve been on a carb restricted diet to promote a lean physique, then even a small increase in carb intake will give you that boost in energy you need. Ensure you have a small high energy breakfast on the morning before the event, e.g. an energy bar or similar.
Enjoy your day
After all the hard training and careful diet plan leading to the event, make sure you enjoy your day. Feeling relaxed and happy in the knowledge that you’ve prepared properly can really help you have a great day. Your time will be one of your very best.