If you commit to training and running for a marathon, sign up to make a number of changes to your lifestyle. The largest of these is much more than before, which also affects other things – you'll probably sleep more and find that you really only want to talk about social causes, which, strangely enough, not everyone loves.
Your diet will change as well. We know what you think. Carbohydrates every day all day long. Pasta for breakfast. Wear clothes with more pockets and fill with bread so that there is always a roll at hand. Well, we have some bad news – you will not be shoveling bowls of linguine every few hours. There will certainly be some carbohydrate-rich days, and nothing tastes as good as the huge pizza you lay down after a long time, but in general, you should concentrate on healthy food stuff and drink less alcohol. Your body is already pressed quite hard by running, so you need to treat it well with meals.
For all the advice you need to know what to eat during marathon training, we talked to an expert in the field ̵
What are the main changes to a diet someone should train for a marathon?
There are some nutritional recommendations that will not change regardless of the situation
"The general advice is not different from what is recommended for a normal healthy diet," says Lawson. "Less alcohol, greenery, greasy fish and high-quality protein feeds that are evenly distributed throughout the day and contain enough liquid."
Carbs are also the key, but do not go overboard.
"High-carbohydrate foods such as pasta rice and oats should be considered fuel for exercise sessions," Lawson says.
"One mistake amateur athletes often make is having the same high-carbohydrate breakfast every day, Whether you're sitting in the office for a strenuous workout throughout the day or sitting in the office.
"Carbohydrates that are not used as fuel for training are quickly stored as fat, so if you're not exercising, think more a boiled egg as a big pot of porridge, just because you're a marathon runner does not mean that every meal needs to be filled with pasta. "
Maybe you're angry now – maybe you've been wooed by the promise of endless carbohydrates, when you sign up for a marathon, a positive way of not going out about carbohydrates or junk food in general is that it is easier to get better while running than to collect more kilometers.
"The biggest performance gains can be made by increasing the power ratio by losing mass rather than driving more kilometers," says Lawson.
"Reducing the consumption of junk calories is an obvious starting point. For example, every 13 liters of beer you do not drink in advance of a marathon (which you would normally do) will likely result in a 1 kg reduction in race weight. This will have a significant impact on performance.
Should you increase your calorie intake during the entire exercise plan according to your mileage?
Based on this, Lawson recommends determining the calorie intake as well as the total weight you are exercising.
"Increasing your calories accordingly Training is something you only have to do when you have your optimal weight, "says Lawson.
" In practice, people are rare, even top athletes will try to reduce their body fat for certain events. As the training sessions get tougher and longer, they need to be refilled accordingly. Apart from the training, however, the largest gains can be achieved by the portion control. "
So if you're not already at your ideal weight, adding extra calories to your diet while exercising could be counterproductive. Of course there are limits.
"When weight loss becomes severe or your workouts suffer, your calorie intake needs to be increased," says Lawson.
How fast do you have to eat after workouts?
"There are studies showing that enzyme activity is most active within 20 minutes of completing exercise, and this has resulted in more replenishment needed within this 20-minute window to maximize recovery," says Lawson.
"Other studies show that with sufficient carbohydrate supply, it is possible to replace the carbohydrate stores within 24 hours if this window is missing."
When deciding when and what to eat, it is important to not only consider the training you need. & # 39; I have just done, but also what you intend to do next.
"If your next session is a recovery run, you need to consume fewer carbohydrates faster than at successive intervals with a short recovery period. says Lawson.
And it's not just carbs you need to pay attention to.
"You should also consume protein as soon as possible should support recovery after exercise," says Lawson. "It's also important to remember to rehydrate and replace sodium and potassium. Many runners use an electrolyte drink.
How should people use supplements to support their training?
Even if you've never used supplements to support your workout, the demands of marathon training can be invaluable just for your convenience.
"Supplements have their uses. For example, it is much easier to consume a protein gel containing antioxidant from cherry anthocyanin immediately after a workout than a can of tuna and 40 cherries, "Lawson
says." Before exercise, a carbohydrate drink or gel or even a caffeine energy gel provides the energy to complete a session when life is in the way of optimal preparation, "Lawson says.
"During your sessions, carbohydrate gels and drinks may be the best way to maintain energy levels. Their use during some training sessions serves as an exercise for the event and can improve the quality of these sessions.
"After protein-based training, drinks and gels can be a convenient way to recharge your batteries. "
It's important Plan what you will eat and drink, especially with regard to refueling after training, because the right supplements can help you recover faster.
"Do not leave it in the vending machine or fridge in the home refrigerator," says Lawson.
"There is increasing evidence that anthocyanin based phytonutrients from berries, cherries and the like can reduce inflammation and improve regeneration. Similar effects were observed with turmeric and its extract curcumin.
Tim Lawson has a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science and an MSc in Sports and Exercise Physiology as well as over 30 years experience in sports nutrition