Eating Right is Key To Finishing Your Race

Published 05/02 2013 09:37AM

Updated 05/09 2013 08:40AM

Nutrition for a marathon or half marathon is just as important as your training.  Because if you don't have the right fuel, you're body may not be able to cross that finish line.

"What you want to do is not think about hydrating the day before, it's the whole week," says Prevea Health and Wellness Registered Dietician Deb Guenterberg.

She has done her fair share of marathons and says hydration is the first thing you need to concentrate on.

"I've done many marathons where I've hydrated the whole week before and I felt fantastic the day of the race and I've had some where I've only hydrated only a day or two before.  I did ok; I just didn't feel as good."

She says you want to start carbo-loading a day or two before the race.

"It's your number one energy source, so having more pasta and things of that nature."

Deb says the morning of the race you'll want to eat about two hours before you start running.  She will then alternate sipping on both water and sports drinks.

During the race, Deb will continue that alternating between water and electrolytes but she also use an energy gel.

"It'll tell you right on the Gu packet [to take it] about 30 to 45 minutes.  I kind of go by miles, I know every two miles I'm going to drink this much."

Once you cross that finish line, the nutrition doesn't end. 
She suggests you drink some chocolate milk.

"That's where protein comes in big after the race so that you can recover... you will certainly feel a whole lot better."

Deb adds that you should be practicing your nutrition now so that you know how your body will react to what you're putting into it during the race.

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