Marathon Training Nutrition Time
Tip #9

Now that it is marathon training nutrition time, relax! Well, maybe not totally relax, but don’t get over-anxious about your nutrition intake…yet. Albert Einstein once said,

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

You are not going to run 26.2 miles on your first training run, so build up your nutrition just like you’re building up your mileage. A good place to start would be to take time to consider food portions.

You want to fuel your body with carbs, but you only need extra carb fuel for extra miles, on average 100 calories per mile. This doesn’t equate to a mountain of pasta or an entire loaf of bread. Instead 100 calories is about

  • one half cup of pasta
  • one good size slice of bread
  • a large apple
  • three handfuls of unbuttered popcorn
  • ten ounces of nonfat milk
  • half cup of sugar-free chocolate pudding
  • <
  • 16 ounces of Gatorade


  • So, marathon training nutrition time is a good time to learn more about portions .

    You can also check the nutrition facts on the packaged food labels. Be sure to look at the serving size listed, as it is likely their serving size and your idea of a serving differ (just look at one of those little 100 calorie snack packs…there is not much in there). You can figure out the calories based on the package “serving” and adjust the number for how much you are actually going to eat.

    Marathon training nutrition time is also a good time to find a balance between whole foods and fast fuel. Whole foods are naturally full of the vitamins, minerals and calories your body needs to build strength and keep you healthy. In contrast, fast fuel choices used during marathon training nutrition time are usually more on the processed side (like gels and sports drinks ). These fast fuel carb supplements are not high nutrition, but that’s okay. Their sole purpose is fuel and they are not intended to be your constant diet. Just like Al said about everything not happening at once, you don’t have to get all your nutrition in at once. However, you do need to make effort to get the nutrition in when you can for balance. Eat a nutrition-packed (whole food containing) meal as a follow-up to a long run and early on rest days (since you’re not going to be running right away). Also choose your snacks wisely…even snacks can contribute to your nutrition. Steer clear of the high fructose corn syrup and trans fat-containing foods.

    Marathon training nutrition time starts now and is a constant process of trying new fuel sources. So eat portions to match your mileage and make whole food choices to keep the nutrients in balance. I think Al had the right idea.

    Check out more marathon nutrition training blogs.

    Contact me with your marathon training nutrition time questions.

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