Marathon Diet on the Race Day. First Up : the Important Last Meal.
"Pre-Race-Diet - an Important Part of the Marathon Diet "
So you have prepared well. Done all the right kid of marathon training...Plus, have a proper pacing strategy. Also, you have followed a carbohydrate pre-race plan and practiced ingesting fluid in your daily training. Last thing up is what marathon diet to follow close to the marathon.
Race day has arrived..
You have now woken up for the big day. What is the first thing to focus on ?
Yes, is getting the pre-race breakfast right.
Pre Race Breakfast - a Marathon Runners Morning Focus.
During the night of sleeping one of your main storage sources of super-fast-acting carbohydrates, the liver, has depleted its storage of glycogen with about 50 grams.
Your first task that day is of course :
To fill that up again.
See, for a race with duration of half marathon and below you usually do not need to focus much on the pre-race breakfast. You have enough fuel anyway's.
This is not the case with the marathon.
Actually, with a well-planned pre-race breakfast you can expect to "run out of fuel" about 5 km later during the race as oppose to barely eating that morning meal.
Those 5 km/3 miles "extra" energy can mean the difference between finishing with style or not !
You get the idea.
So what should the pre-race breakfast consist of ?
Two things are important :
- Avoid what can cause stomach cramps
- Ingest food containing easily digestible carbohydrates.
Let me explain the those two main points below :
First, Avoid Foods That Can Cause Stomach Cramps/Side Stitch.
I will write a piece on stomach cramps and running later. I promise.
As it is something many struggle with, can be extremely frustrating, though with a few tips can be quite easily solved in most cases.
But for now, these are the major things to be aware of.
The reason you get it in races, if you do not have it on "normal" runs are usually one of two things in your "pre-diet"
- Either too much milky products.
- Or ingestion of hard fruits such as apples and pears.
Many are unaware of the hard fruits thing. Actually this is important. They contain small amounts of pectin. That does not digest. This is no problem in daily life.
Not at all.
But in the marathon you want to respect this as stomach cramps are a quite common problem.
Same with products with milk in them. When we are young, we have no problem with breaking down the lactose in the milk.
However, as we grow older this capacity goes down in all of us.
I actually quite often see this in runners. They test out less milk/no milk before runs.
The results ? Much, much less stomach cramps.
Go For Easily Digestible Carbohydrates
You want to focus on easily digestible carbo's as they "store" very easily
Those foods are (type),
- oatmeal with water,
- maybe some light pasta salads
Keep it simple-stupid for this last meal.
Goal is : to fill the stomach up without taking any risks at all for the race !
You may even want to prepare this the day before. In case the hotel your are staying at does not have the "right" marathon diet for your race day.
If there is one day of your life to bring your own food to the table it is on this particular day.
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