For most of you it the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon won’t be the first competition of the year. So today, we’ll lay the focus of this article on race day nutrition. Before we get into details, you should bear in mind that the best food strategy for a competition is the one you’ve already successfully implemented. Therefore, we recommend that you consider testing your food strategy in a competition before your race in Frankfurt.
On race day it’s not your goal to eat wholesome and high-fibre meals but rather something easily digestible that is easy on your stomach and provides fast energy. This means: forget about vegetables, whole grain foods and anything with high fat content.
Breakfast on Race Day
Only eat easily digestible food for breakfast. Provide your body with carbohydrates in order to prevent early glycogen depletion. (see part 2 of this article series about „About Good and Bad Carbohydrates“). Particularly suitable are white breads with marmalade or honey. Be careful with dairy products they may cause nausea and belching during the race. Definitely stay away from wholemeal bread, nuts, fatty sausages, cheese or seeds. The problem with them is that they tend to stay in your digestive tract for a relatively long time causing problems during a multiple hour race. After all, you want to run for the finish line and not for the next portable toilet.
Eating During The Race
As already explained in the article „About Good and Bad Carbohydrates“ consuming carbohydrates during the race can help you run for a longer time. The recommendation is about 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour (glucose/maltodextrin and fructose).
After The Race – Recovery Tips
A marathon strains your body a lot. It’s therefore important to replenish lost nutrients. Replace lost fluids by drinking enough water. If you have a craving for salt then you should drink or eat something containing sodium which you have lost by sweating. Additionally, proteins can help repair muscle fibres. After all, you have given you body quite a beating. And, of course, eat carbohydrates – though you should stay away from the simple carbs. How much of all this you should eat and drink after the race is the subject of our next article in this series, so stay tuned.