Marathon Training and Dieting

Hi hoping someone might have some advice.

I'm currently training for a marathon in August whilst also trying to lose weight. (I signed up for the marathon as a kick starter to the diet and to give me something to aim for)

1. I'm finding it hard to stick to calorie goals on day I do my long runs as im pretty hungry, any advice for post run nutrion on a diet?

2. any advice on carb loading and race nutrition which will help me with run but wont put to much a negative affect on the diet?


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11 Replies

  • Hi craxykitten.

    Very ambitious, and what a great motivator!

    On your long distance running days, I personally wouldn't worry too much about not being able to stick to your calorie goals, to be honest, I would probably not bother trying to create much of a deficit, as long as you don't eat more than you burn, you should be fine and as long as you create a deficit on the other days you will still lose weight.

    As you will probably need more muscle mass than you have now, make sure to include some protein in your diet. The recommended amount is about 0.8g of protein per 1kg of body weight.

    On carbs, I like to get them in in the form of whole wheat pasta, they come in all shapes so whether you need a quick pasta salad on the go using smaller shapes or some spaghetti for dinner, they work well. They're also a great source of fibre so in addition to providing the carbs you need, they should fill you up nicely.

    In addition to my hour on the cross trainer, I walk (not run!) about 15 miles every day and find whole wheat pasta is great for lunch and gives me the energy to go for a 6 mile walk in the evening. :)

    Best of luck with losing weight and your marathon!

  • It is tough - but to get through a marathon you do have to carb load to do it. My experience is that whilst weight loss might not happen - you become fantastically toned.

    I used SIS drinks pre and post funds and a slice of soren loaf and an apple. Milk and a banana would also work. I tried to stay off bread - but ate good carbs - such as oat bran with a full fat yogurt. concentrating on trying put goodness into myself.

    Good luck

  • Tim Noakes explains that carbohydrates have been overemphasised in recent history. As a World class endurance athlete he used to follow the high carb 'healthy eating' advice and ended up having type 2 diabetes as a result (as did Steve Redgrave).

    Realise that when we burn fat (triglyceride) we release a carbohydrate backbone that bound three fatty acids together. That doesn't mean we should deplete our glycogen reserves, but neither do we benefit from eating more carbohydrate than we use.

    Also, three mile runners tend to be healthier than marathon runners; doing too much is as bad as doing too little, the first thing we have to do following exercise is recover.

    Good luck!

  • OMG - training for a marathon is amazing! I have no idea about the nutrition aspect, but I do know I am so hungry now I am doing the C25K!

    Well done on such a great goal, I wish you every success and will watch this thread with interest to see the replies you get.

  • How far are you running at the moment I run 10 to 20 k 4 times a week and am also a postman who walks around 10 k a day I still try and stick to my calories with loads of fruit and veg but nothing special

  • Currently up to 14 miles on a sunday, but tend to keep my runs alot shorter in the week only 4miles ish.

    Ive done okay so far at sticking to the calorie goal or just over, but can see it getting harder now im starting to run for 3 hours and more!

  • I was at goal by the time I 'did' mine, but to do the long runs you do need to be fuelled up and maybe have a stinger around 10-12 miles then a Banana at the end of the run good luck!

  • Thank you, Well done on completing yours :)

    What's a stinger?

  • Try using a running ap like runtastic so you can see how many calories you have burned.You can then consume extra without feeling guilty.I'm training for a long bike ride and the advice we are given is the body can only store 400g of carbohydrate so large carb loading doesn't work.I have a large bowl of porridge before a ride and an energy source drink such as high 5 (always hydrate yourself before your run) then immediately after I have a whey protein recovery drink mixed with milk followed by a small bowl of wholewheat pasta.During a ride I carry energy bars and gels which are light to carry and keep carb levels up.A marathon running friend swears jellybabies work well.Very best of luck in both your run and weight loss x

  • Nothing to add on the nutrition side, it's as others have said, protien and complex carbs are you best friends for any intense sport. I think a stinger is a quick food pick me up such as a protien snack bar. Hydration, yes you don't want your stomach sloshing while you run, but a lack of salt and water will see cramps and fatigue. My first husband was a marathon runner, I used to cycle along side him. He used to eat about 3200 cals a day and was underweight. Do a Google search for a running club in your area, the organiser tends to be ex army or pts, they will have loads of advice from nutrition to goal setting as well as a buddy up system if you want it. That's useful for help with your running technic. It's amazing how a little thing like where your arms rest or how your hips tilt can make a big difference to how far you can run. Also search face book, there are bound to be support groups and if they are anything like the groups I belong to there will be lots of recipes. Like banana pancakes etc.

    Best of luck, the most I aspire to is a 5k mud run lol

  • There's a marathon group on HealthUnlocked, maybe ask there?

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