Food before the marathon

This is what a marathon runner eats

If your goal is the finishing line of the Zurich Malaga Marathon, you need specific training to reach it. And that includes how you eat.

The 42 kilometres and 195 metres of the Zurich Malaga Marathon and preparing for it increase your calorie needs, but you can’t just get that extra energy in any old way. You have to reorganise carbohydrates so you can replace the muscle glycogen you lose during training, mainly during training sessions that are longer than an hour and a half. Medical research recommends that we replace between 3 and 5 g of carbohydrates per half a kilo of our weight every 24 hours after distance training, to recover our glycogen reserves. Latest research also retrieves the value of proteins after physical effort because the muscle needs amino acids to reorganise the fibre and become more resistant.

If you recover with a good supper and a good breakfast, you can continue to train, fully recovered, every day. Because you are using up more calories, you must also make sure you ingest more vitamins and minerals that a normal runner. You especially need vitamins B, involved in metabolism, antioxidant vitamins such as A, C and E, to avoid damage caused by the increase in free radicals during training.

Minerals such as iron, responsible for supplying oxygen to the muscles and necessary for avoiding iron-deficiency anaemia, zinc and selenium, which are included in a large number of enzymes and antioxidant reactions. It is also good to take protection for joints, such as sulphur, MSM, omega-3 fatty acids, with anti-inflammatory effects and vitamin C, which helps form collagen. To make sure you are well nourished, eat fresh, seasonal food (richer in vitamins and minerals), nutritional supplements such as brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, alfalfa or barley grass, royal jelly and pollen. You can also choose a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement every day.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE MARATHON

Kilometres a week          48 to 80 km

Calories                               2,700 to 3,300 cal

Carbohydrates                 440 to 600 g

Protein                                90 to 110 g

Fats                                      60 to 95 g

BREAKFAST

  • A large bowl of cereal of the muesli type with two plain yoghurts, a spoonful of fruit of the forest jam and dried fruits (raisins, plums and apricots) and chopped fresh seasonal fruit (bananas, kiwis, strawberries, peaches, etc.).
  • Freshly-squeezed orange juice.
  • A slice of wholewheat bread with olive oil.

MID-MORNING SNACK

  • Fresh tomato juice.
  • A slice of wholewheat bread with olive oil.

LUNCH

  • A dish of pasta with garlic, onion and Parmesan cheese.
  • Baked tuna with tomato.
  • Jelly and fresh fruit.

AFTERNOON SNACK

  • A cup/glass of Pu-erh tea (before training).
  • Two wholewheat biscuits with dried fruits and/or nuts.

SUPPER

  • Potato salad with corn, red peppers and yoghurt-and-mustard sauce.
  • Chicken breast with endives and melted soft cheese.
  • An Actimel-type yoghurt (L. casei inmunitas).