|Sadly, a bag of marshmallows won’t fuel your next run|
Think that because you’re marathon training you can go hog wild with eating? Think again.
While your calorie intake needs will increase with the extra mileage, it doesn’t mean you can take your focus off your nutrition. In fact, I’d argue that it’s more important than ever to focus on your nutrition during marathon training than at other times. Now is the time that quality really matters because your food will help you get through the miles without bonking and help you recover from the stresses you’re placing on your body.
It’s easy, however, when you’re tired and hungry to just reach for the nearest food. I will admit that I have actually gained weight during prior marathon training cycles, which sounds crazy. I learned, however, how to do it right.
Pay attention in particular to the food you’re eating before and after runs. Each person is an experiment of one, of course, but in general you want to fuel up with a mixture of about 60 percent good quality carbs. After training, you want to seek out a 4 to 1 ration of carbs to protein. You’ve probably heard it by now, but if not, chocolate milk comes with that perfect ratio. Other good choices are yogurt, fruit smoothies, and whole-grain bagels with peanut butter. Make sure to get these calories in within an hour of finishing a long run–within the first 15 minutes is even better.
Finally, if you’re curious about how many calories you burn during running or other forms of exercise, here’s a great calculator to try. With a little bit of effort, you can make the most out of your calories in/calories out. Good luck!