Nutrition for marathon running – Do I really need to eat that much?
Marathon & endurance sport nutrition
The New Year is well underway and for many of us, that means endurance events such as marathons, Ride London and various triathlons are fast approaching. Training will be ramping up along with the increased demand for rest and nutrition that your body requires in the build-up.
Regardless of your individual goals (whether a PB, a podium finish, or simply getting over that finishing line), endurance sports require significant levels of training and well-informed strategies for fuelling & recovery.
The bits you want to avoid…
Failure to take on board the right nutrition, (type, timing and amount) leaves you exposed to potential setbacks such as:
• Illness & burnout – common with endurance sport when failing to take on board enough nutrients to meet your bodies needs.
• Slower recovery rates due to inadequate energy & protein intakes.
• Early fatigue from inadequate carbohydrate intake & poor strategies around exercise.
• Loss of lean muscle mass due to inadequate protein intakes.
• Reduced performance output & stunted progress/ gains from training.
Many endurance athletes fail to implement good nutrition strategies and as a result suffer the above consequences. This highlights how important nutrition is and how it can negatively impact your training and recovery when you get it wrong. But you don’t want to know this, you want to know how you can get it right…
The bits you want to include…
Ultimately, nutrition can help you make the months of hard work that little bit easier, and help you to achieve better outcomes. The way you can achieve this is by tailoring & periodising your diet to meet your own individual needs.
There are a number of common questions that you may ask; How much, what & when do I eat to optimise my diet for performance?
There are well-informed recommendations available to us all that promote good health for the general public, but nutrition in sport often demands considerably more individualised requirements, which the more generic advice may not cater for.
Your requirements are dependent on a range of variables such as your height, weight, training volume, work, lifestyle and much more. To give you an insight into just how much your body demands when undertaking a marathon (for example), the table below shows a recent clients requirements (78Kg male), who was training for a marathon.
If you’d like to find out what your nutritional requirements look like (similar to the above table), you can book here through February for just £10.
Nutrition is a science
These values come from evidence-based sports nutrition guidelines and are values/ ratios that you need to be achieving if you are to fuel yourself efficiently for endurance sport. It is what your body needs to perform. The table shows not only the high requirements that you can require, but also the huge range that is imposed between resting & training hard. Balancing these ranges throughout the week & around your busy lifestyle can be challenging, but get it right, and you will recover quicker, perform better, and feel more energised during your training and competition.
Ultimately, the take home message is that nutrition in endurance sport is just as key as training and recovery – they go hand-in-hand. When you consume a healthy balance, get the proportions right and strategize timings, you will notice a big difference in how well you perform during training, how much quicker you recover and how much better you feel from a health & energy level perspective.
Here at The Altitude Centre we can help you to personalise your nutrition around your training, lifestyle & dietary preferences with in-depth assessments, consultations & meal plans to meet your goals.
If you have any questions – just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7193 1626.