Good Question: What Should I Eat Pre-Marathon?

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My friends and I are running a marathon this weekend, and I've decided to cook a pre-marathon dinner the night before. Any tips on a perfect meal?

- Janice

We are a little late answering your question, Janice, but the New York Marathon is coming up November 3 and perhaps some of you are running that?

The classic pre-marathon meal involves lots and lots of carbs. In fact, this is the one time you can change up all the usual rules for eating well while training - healthy proteins and whole grains will be counter-productive the night before a race. You want digestible simple starches and carbohydrates that can be easily converted into glycogen stores to power you through the race. Avoid high fiber foods that will take longer to move through your digestive system and to get stored as energy.

About 2-3 hours before the race have another carbohydrate burst, like juice and a cereal bar.

Here are some suggestions for yummy, easily digestible pasta and carbs from our recipe archives:

Fettucini with Butternut Squash, Sage and Brown Butter
Lemon Pepper Pasta with Capers
Fettucine with Preserved Lemon and Roasted Garlic
Mezzi Rigatoni with Chorizo, Cockles, and Black Forest Ham

Any marathon runners out there who want to offer up pre-race menus?

(Image credit: NYC Marathon)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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