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Marathon Training Diet

Nicks J May 4, 2019
Diet for people wanting to participate in marathon events need to have high carbohydrate foods as they provide plenty of energy. The diet plan is explained here:
Ask any professional marathon runner the secret of winning gold medals at national and international events. He would definitely say that a marathon training diet plays a crucial role in getting success at these events.
While preparing for a marathon race, it is very important to eat the right food in order to get that much-needed energy to successfully complete the event.

Marathon Training Diet

Foods that provide long-lasting energy, necessary to build stamina for the long race, need to be included in this diet. It is explained here:


Any physical activity requires energy, which the body gets from breakdown of carbohydrates. As a car requires fuel (gasoline) to run on the road, similarly the body needs carbohydrates to perform any physical activity.
A person participating in a marathon has to run for a long duration, so choosing carbohydrates that provide energy at a steady rate is necessary for optimal performance. That is why, instead of simple carbohydrates, go for complex carbohydrates as they supply energy at a constant pace.
People who have a low-carbohydrate intake in their diet, feel extremely tired during marathon training. A low carb diet will certainly not work if one is serious about giving a good performance in the marathon. The body loses plenty of energy during the entire duration of the marathon race.
That is the reason why one should essentially focus on intake of foods rich in carbohydrates. No wonder, diet for marathon runners is made up of more than 60% of carbohydrates and includes just 20-25% proteins and around 10% fats.
Besides being the best source of energy production, foods high in complex carbohydrates fulfill the body's daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients also assist to produce energy, necessary to perform day-to-day activities.
Here are the foods that are considered to be excellent sources of complex carbohydrates:
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Bran
  • Cornmeal
  • Corn
Other foodstuffs that can boost complex carbohydrate intake and act as fuel for the body, should also be included in the diet. Here are the good sources of complex carbohydrates:
  • Spaghetti
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Brown bread
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Lentils
  • Beans


Marathon runners are expected to consume proteins in moderate amounts. Although people planning to take part in marathon need to have more protein than normally required, consuming it excessively is not recommended. As we all know, the muscles of our body are primarily made up of proteins.
Now, marathon training program involves performing a set of exercises daily that allow a person to prepare for the final event. This may lead to wear and tear of muscles. So, in order to repair the damaged muscle groups and promote muscle growth, adequate protein intake is very important.
To derive the benefits of healthy proteins one can include foods such as lean meat (skinless chicken), fish, eggs, nuts, and dairy products (skimmed milk, butter).


It is obvious that a person during marathon training would sweat excessively. In order to compensate for fluid loss, drinking plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses) is important. One can also have sports energy drinks to keep the body well-hydrated.

Avoid Fats

As only 10% of marathon training diet constitute fats, restricting intake of fatty foods is recommended. Occasionally, one can eat fried foods, chocolate, and ice cream in small amounts.

Say No to Junk Foods

Junk foods certainly need to be avoided by people who are planning to run a marathon. Eating junk foods will only contribute to increase in body fat, thus making the person overweight.
Excessive body weight will put undue pressure on the legs and make it more difficult to run for prolonged amounts of time. Keep in mind that one has to maintain a healthy weight before taking part in this event, which cannot be achieved by consuming these foods.

Diet Schedule

The diet plan recommends that oatmeal for breakfast is a good option as calories in oatmeal provide energy that can last all day long. To increase intake of carbohydrates, one can include a large bowl of vegetable salad at lunch.
Fish and vegetables such as baked potatoes can be eaten during the afternoon lunch. When it comes to snacks, one can eat almonds, sunflower seeds, and fruits like bananas.
For dinner, one can have fresh fruits, wheat bread slices, and some chicken. Eat a variety of vegetables such as beans and legumes as well as fruits like apples as they are rich in vitamins.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.