Eat what suits you! Large doses of supplementary vitamins and minerals (such as iron) are not essential and produce no benefit if you are on a good mixed diet, but additional vitamin C in small doses is reasonable when fresh fruit and vegetables are in short supply.
Training helps you to sustain a high level of muscle glycogen if you eat a lot of carbohydrate. If you can, eat within two hours of your long runs and the marathon. This helps replace the muscle glycogen quickly and speeds recovery.
Do not change your normal diet drastically in the last week before the marathon, but decrease your intake of protein (meat) and increase your intake of carbohydrate (pasta, bread, potatoes, cereals, rice and sweet things), especially for the last three days when you should also be markedly reducing your training. This loads the muscle with glycogen. Unless you reduce your protein intake you will not eat enough carbohydrate. (Not all runners are helped by first depleting carbohydrate with a long run and low carbo diet and then loading – this can make your muscles very heavy).
Enjoy these handy hydration tips from our energy gel sponsor #GUEnergy
• Hydrate Early and Often! Don’t wait until the morning of your race to start your hydration plan. Not only does dehydration make it harder for your heart to pump blood to working muscles, but it also makes you feel like you’re working harder due to its effects on the central nervous system.
• Before the race, drink 2-4 litres daily in the 48-72 hours leading up to the event.
• On race morning, drink 1/10th your body weight in ounces 4 hours prior to the start to give yourself plenty of time to flush any excess fluids.
• During the race, take advantage of aid stations so you don’t have to carry extra weight: aim for 16-30 oz of fluids-either water or sports drink-per hour starting after the first few miles.