I am planning to do a marathon in 6 months. Should I change the way I eat?

I am planning to do a marathon in 6 months. Should I change the way I eat?

You should be consuming ~60-70% of your total daily calories from carbohydrates (CHO) such as pastas, rice, breads, cereals, etc. The longer your cardiovascular (CV) activity the greater the percentage of CHO. Meaning as marathoner you may want to consume 70% CHO, especially as you get closer to your event. Depending on how many total daily calories you are allowed, your protein intake should be 15-20% and fat 10-20%.

Your meal timing around activity is also key. Your largest meal should be ~2-3hrs before your event followed by a small CHO & protein snack/shake 30mins before and immediately after. Also CHO loading during the week before competition can dramatically increase your performance (see CHO loading protocol below). Using the dotFIT program, you can design ideal athletic menus individualized for you including proper CHO and protein requirements, meal timing and complete endurance performance food plans. Simply fill in your personal statistics, set your goal and your program is created.

Carbohydrate Loading Method

The most popular carbohydrate-loading technique requires that you first deplete your muscle glycogen stores by reducing your carbohydrate intake and exercise intensity for a few days. This is followed by a reloading phase over the next few days when you increase your carbohydrate intake and taper off exercise.  By following this protocol, the body will “super compensate” and store as much as two to three times the amount of glycogen (potential energy) than normal.  The result is extended/maximal muscle energy stores on the day of competition, allowing for optimal performance.  This loading method normally begins seven days prior to prolonged endurance events and tournaments with multiple games/matches lasting several hours. This technique is illustrated in the table below.                 

Table 1: Sherman/Costill Carbohydrate Loading Regime

 

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