Diet for Marathon Runner

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Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby Bounce » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:31 pm

I'm training for a half marathon in September and then a marathon the following May (and maybe some half in between). I joined the gym April 2010 to get active for the first time and I've shed about 36lbs.

My diet for the past year has been fairly low calorie (around 1400 - 1600 calories a day), but now I'd like to focus on running performance and health. It's not that I'm putting weight loss on the back burner, it's just that being fit and enjoying myself is my priority right now (I'm not overweight, but am 7lb from my target weight).

My last run was about 8 miles and this is doing fine. However, I'm a bit baffled about my diet... I'd like to be as healthy as possible, but I'm reading different things and I'm confused as to what diet is best for me and also, what I should eat immediately after a run.

Any advice, recipes, or personal experiences would be great. Also, samples of what you eat on a typical day?

Was anybody else a bit baffled about what to eat for their first marathon, or am I being dopey? :oops:

Thanks so much
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby KjKranz » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:28 am

No worries about if the diet will let you perform to your best ability. One of the greatest ultra marathoners in history is a vegan, Scott Jurek. Also Rich Roll is a very good vegan ultra triathlete. And then there is myself :p jk

Just FYI you may notice a weight gain from increased training. I know if I take a long break from running (for finals at school, for example) I'll lose weight from reduced training, and gain it back when I resume again. Muscle I'm assuming.

Really, what you eat after a run makes little difference, as long as you eat. I generally have a fruit smoothie with chia seeds in it. Whatever you eat is going to go to glycogen replenishment first and foremost. Having a little something immediately after the workout and then eating a larger meal an hour or two later is a good plan.

As for during the event. Because you are a new running I'm going to assume a slower pace. Running a 3:19 marathon or a very very slow 70 mile ultra marathon requires very different paces and different eating strategies for that pace. For slower paces I like to carry an Amphipod brand waterbottle with just agua, chia, and some type of sugar drink. Find out during your training what works for you.

Any more questions, please ask :)
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby Bounce » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:53 pm

How fast should a marathon be run in? I have dyspraxia, so know I won't be as fast as most people (it affects coordination, plus other things and part of why I am doing a marathon is because I know it will be super challenging and I'll feel I've beat something I used to think hold me back), but I don't wanna be back of the race.

I know Brendan Brazier has a diet book, but from the sample diets I've seen, many need his Vega products which look really pricey...

Shall I just eat how I am and eat more carbs? Don't you have to be really strict with your diet for this, or does it depend on if you're racing to come first?

Re weight: I tend to measure around my waist, so am less worried about what the scales say... Or will I put on fat as well?
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby MikayP » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:44 pm

however fast your marathon should be will depend on your fitness and preparation. some people take 3 hours, others take 7. either way its still an honorable distance, no shame in going slower than others. id say brendans book is a good start. dont worry about affording vega. just get some hemp seeds, or hemp powder, and use that in your post workout.

in terms of food i wouldnt suggest calorie restricting. just eat real food and stay away from most stuff that comes out of packages. stay in the produce aisle. eat lots of fruit, leafy greens, and veggies. if your currently not eating those things as your main sources your weight will automatically fall. overtime your fat, weight, and waist will drop.

have you ran a 1/2 marathon yet? would be a good start rather than just doing the 26.2
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby Bounce » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:37 pm

1/2 marathon planned for September!

Though I'm not as far in to training as I'd like (I had a mega busy month and for 2 weeks, couldn't have time to run... never realised how far back 2 weeks puts you), but I'm running back up to around 11K at the moment.

I'll probably do another later in the year.
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby Konstantin » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:23 pm

Eat plenty of carbs because you need the fuel. If you're losing too much weight, eat more. By carbs I'm mainly talking grains - ruce, pasta, buckwheat, quinoa, etc. I take your view about measurement not weight, but weighing yourself will tell you kmore about what's happening there, more quickly.

Brendan Brazier's book is good, but you don't have to go the whole way. I use a few of his recipies, not a whole meal plan.

How many miles per week are you running?
You can see my training log if you're really bored: [url]www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16086&start=360[/url]
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby KjKranz » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:39 pm

As for diet. I try to limit my grain intake and I simply eat when I'm hungry. Most of my meals are fruit and vegetables, very little grain. You need the fuel, but there are better sources then others. And there's no need to go over board, however too much bread, rice, and pasta is a good way to do that.
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby Bounce » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:27 pm

[quote="Konstantin"]Eat plenty of carbs because you need the fuel. If you're losing too much weight, eat more. By carbs I'm mainly talking grains - ruce, pasta, buckwheat, quinoa, etc. I take your view about measurement not weight, but weighing yourself will tell you kmore about what's happening there, more quickly.

Brendan Brazier's book is good, but you don't have to go the whole way. I use a few of his recipies, not a whole meal plan.

How many miles per week are you running?

Last week was around 38 km last week... I run every other day. How many should I be running?
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby KjKranz » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:40 pm

[quote="Bounce"][quote="Konstantin"]Eat plenty of carbs because you need the fuel. If you're losing too much weight, eat more. By carbs I'm mainly talking grains - ruce, pasta, buckwheat, quinoa, etc. I take your view about measurement not weight, but weighing yourself will tell you kmore about what's happening there, more quickly.

Brendan Brazier's book is good, but you don't have to go the whole way. I use a few of his recipies, not a whole meal plan.

How many miles per week are you running?

Last week was around 38 km last week... I run every other day. How many should I be running?


Weekly distance matters little. It's all about making yourself feel confident enough to do the target event. That is the real purpose of training, giving yourself confidence. There are those who do 100 mile races off of less then 40 miles a week. It depends on your goals. The faster you want to run, the more miles and better quality of miles you need to incorporate.
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby DC Runner » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:11 pm

I 100% disagree with the last comment about weekly mileage not making a difference. I think it more depends on what your goals are. If you just want to finish the race, then yes, it's more about confidence. However, if you don't want to be completely miserable during or if you want to aim for a specific time, then mileage matters. Your legs don't care if you are confident - they need to get used to the pounding. The number of miles depends largely on the person. I don't race well unless I peak at over 100 miles per week - but that's me and I certainly wouldn't expect that of others. I'd say that a good rule of thumb for a first marathon is to peak at between 40 and 45 miles per week, with an average in the low-mid 30s. After you run your half marathon in September, then you can come up with a goal for the full marathon. Greg McMillan has a great calculator (http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillan ... ulator.htm) that uses past performances to predict times in other distances.

As far as diet goes, I don't think it's very important to use all the supplements if you eat a good variety of real foods. If you feel you're doing fine with what you're eating now, maybe it's a good idea to stick with that (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). However, your calorie counts are very low and I think you'll notice pretty quickly after adding mileage that you are hungry more often, so naturally, you'll eat more. I would argue that the quality of food you eat won't have a huge impact on your performance at this level. Not that I support eating junk food, because I don't. But if you're dramatically changing your running and eating habits at the same time, it's more difficult to determine what happened if there's a problem. I find it's also more difficult to keep two new things going for a length of time. I hope that helps.
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Re: Diet for Marathon Runner

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:23 am

^^ What DC says. good post
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