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Marathon Runners, Wise Food Choices

Updated on November 7, 2014
Marathon training requires the right foods and exercise.
Marathon training requires the right foods and exercise.

Wise Food Choices for a Marathon Runner

I have been a nurse for over 40-years and newly retired from that profession. I have no certificates or degrees in nutrition and diet, but I was fortunate to work alongside many dietary consultants and nutritionists throughout those 40-years of nursing. I was able to do hundreds of assessments on patients trying to decide, along with the dietary consultants what the best diet would be for a patient. I honed into blood level values daily of patients and found many patients lacked specific vitamins and minerals and then only suggested to the consultants what I found and what I thought we should do. It was an ongoing learning process for me and this process continues to this day, as my freelance niche is health, nutrition, diet, and much more.

Therefore, when my daughter and her friends decided to run a marathon this last summer I researched some helpful tips for marathon runners and wise food choices. The following is what I found.

Running or walking in marathons requires some prep work involving an exercise routine for at least six months before the marathon. Portions of this health and wellness plan are to begin to eat the correct food in the correct quantities and avoid fast foods, snack foods.

No male or female can participate in a marathon if he or she is not fully dedicated to feeding their body and preparing their muscles and joints during training for the marathon. Exercises need to consist of strength training, calisthenics, and weights, treadmills, Pilates, ball exercises and much more. Exercise like crazy then during the week of the marathon take it easy with the exercise.

When preparing meals for an upcoming marathon avoid canned fruits and vegetables, and most prepared foods such as boxed and processed sauces. Plan to prepare all foods naturally. It does not consume any more time and the products will benefit the body more.

Do not over eat and chose snacks wisely, such as fresh fruits and veggies. Some meals can be prepared or prepped the night ahead. The object in eating healthier is to avoid anything white as white is not right. Such as, white flour, white or brown sugar, and sodium.

Sodium is one of those condiments that are good for the body and bad for the body so use sodium or salt in pinches or not at all. He or she can opt for alternative sodium such as Mrs. Dash. Factors such as enough sleep, adequate hydration and a diet rich in complex sugars is very important. Complex carbohydrates service the body with glycogen that energizes the body. If he or she is a diabetic, they should never overload their body with complex carbohydrates until they speak with their physician.

Keeping the body well hydrated is another essential for marathon running or walking, drinking at least 64-ounces of water per day normally and more when exercising and during the marathon.

Feeding the inside of the body with the correct food choices is an important as feeding the muscles and joints with the correct exercise and strength training. Listed below are at least three recipes that add an abundance of nutrients to help feed the body naturally during workouts and stressful exercise routines.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to drink at least 64-ounces of water per day and more added to this when exercising and working out. Everyone should take a bottle of water with him or she when running or walking as this water helps to replace what the body perspires. A state of dehydration can creep up on someone very quickly and cause some problems. Eliminate this problem by simply drinking more water.

Beverage Ideas

  • Whey protein shakes
  • Protein Shakes
  • No coffee, black tea, sodas, no sports drinks
  • Drink plenty of plain water
  • Avoid fruit juices in large quantities

Protein Bars (snacks)

1-Cup Olive Oil
1/2-Cup natural honey
2-3-Cups raw oatmeal
3-4-Scoops of Whey Protein Powder
1-Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter

Mix together in a well-oiled pan and bake at 350-degrees for 35-minutes

Breakfast Ideas

1-2 cups of steel cut oatmeal topped with dices of apple, pineapple and raisins
4-ounces of freshly pressed orange juice
8-ounces of water

Spinach and Feta or Gouda Frittata

Use a cooking spray to coat a shallow fry pan and heat on high heat, then turn down on medium heat and add 1/4 Cup of green pepper and 1/4 Cup of sweet onion. Sautee until the vegetables is tender.


1 1/2 to 2 Cups fresh spinach, (sound like a lot but spinach cooks down) While the spinach is simmering

Combine in a bowl

One Whole egg and three egg whites (I use Eggland's Best) and whisk until mixed together

Combine with the eggs 2 Tablespoons of crumbled Feta or diced Gouda cheese. Add a dash of salt and pepper. I avoid salt, but if one must use sodium, try Mrs. Dash.

Pour contents of the bowl over the vegetables in the pan and cook on medium or low until the eggs are set and look down, but do not overcook the eggs. Transfer to a plate and enjoy

Serve with

1-Slice of Whole Wheat Toast
1-Fresh orange, apple or 1/2 Cup of fresh berries
8-Ounces water

Dinner Idea

Homemade Spaghetti

Fill a large pan 3/4 full of cold water and 2-Tablespoons of Olive Oil and bring to a boil, add 8-16 ounces of whole-wheat spaghetti and cook until tender then drain. Do not rinse with water.

While the water is boiling, make the sauce as follows,

In a large pan, add and simmer on low for 30-minutes. When done pour over Whole-Wheat spaghetti

5-Large fresh tomatoes, peeled
4-Garlic cloves presses and dice fine
1-Pinch of Mrs. Dash
1-Teaspoon of fresh pepper
7-Fresh Basil leaves
1/2-Cup crumbled Feta cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4-Cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Serve with

Fresh lettuce salad
1-Whole Wheat dinner roll
Fresh fruit as desired
8-Ounces water

Reference Only:
www.askmen.comHEALTH & SPORTSDiet & Eating


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