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What I Eat in a Day While Training for the Boston Marathon

I run 50-60 miles a week on top of a full time job (and then some!) and focusing on nutrition is key to having the energy to do so. I shared a few example days of what my diet looks like during marathon training on a higher mileage and low mileage day.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions on Instagram lately about what I eat each day while training for the Boston Marathon. To be honest, I eat pretty simple for a few reasons:

  • Convenience – I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over because it’s less thinking. 🙂
  • Time – it’s faster to eat simple things! Tossing things with olive oil, salt and pepper — which is how I serve basically everything — is faster than following a recipe.
  • Dietary restrictions – I have lots of food sensitivities; gluten and dairy, in particular, wreck me. As a result I tend to eat the same things that I know work for me.

A typical day of meals + snacks

  • Breakfast: It’s never anything really glamorous – just some kind of eggs with coffee + collagen. However, on Sundays I make gluten-free waffles or some sort (these are a favorite!). 🙂
  • Lunch: I make lunch at home most days, and it’s usually a salad with protein, like chicken or tuna. On Sundays, Tommy and I tend to hit the same restaurant after church where I get a salad with seared tuna and a giant side of house made chips. 🙂
  • Dinner: We eat out or pick up food 1-2x a week, but otherwise I make a simple dinner at home. It’s sort of protein (beef, chicken or salmon) + roasted sweet potatoes + roasted veggies.
  • Snacks: I have a snack between breakfast and lunch, and 2-3 snacks between lunch and dinner. We eat dinner pretty late (between 8:15 – 8:30 most nights) so I either have multiple snacks between lunch and dinner, or I have another small meal. Go-to’s are leftovers from dinner, trail mix, dried fruit, apples, hard boiled eggs, RX Bars, spoonfuls of nut butters (usually with dark chocolate!), toast and/or homemade energy balls (see below for a few recipes).

Food sensitivities while marathon training

During high periods of stress — physical and/or emotional, my sensitivity to certain foods gets worse and I have more severe GI issues. So, while sometimes I have a little bit of gluten or dairy here and there, it’s REALLY not worth it during intense periods. On top of marathon training, work stress is extra high right now. So physical + emotional stress = no gluten or dairy, if I can avoid it.

I tried to note in my food logs where I ran into gut issues while fueling since it’s not all sunshine and roses. 🙂 One of the biggest things to figure out in marathon training is what foods work for you and what doesn’t. In the last few weeks leading up to race day, your marathon training diet/nutrition plan should be pretty honed in! (I’ve blogged about fueling for a marathon on a gluten-free diet here.)

Okay, onto specifics! Here are two sample days.

What I ate on a 4 mile run day

  • pre-run snack: banana + spoonful of almond butter + water + black coffee
  • post run breakfast: water bottle with nuun while driving home from run + coffee with 2 scoops vital proteins collagen  + 2 eggs + avocado + tomatoes + slice of gluten-free bread (this was delicious but really upset my stomach 🙁 )
  • AM snack: plain forager dairy-free yogurt + chia seeds + sliced almonds + blueberries
  • lunch: salad with arugula + sweet potato + chicken breast + walnuts + tomatoes + apple + dried cherries + homemade tahini dressing + gluten free toast with Earth Balance + kombucha
  • afternoon snack: apple with almonds + coconut butter + a few pieces dark chocolate
  • dinner: pan seared halibut + avocado/orange/lime salsa + fried plantains over a bed of greens
  • post dinner: handful of trail mix + dried apricots (I’m weirdly obsessed)

marathon training diet

What I ate on a 11-mile run day

  • pre-run snack: 1 piece Trader Joe’s gluten-free toast + honey + banana + spoonful of peanut butter + water + black coffee
  • post run breakfast: water bottle with nuun while driving home from run + coffee with 2 scoops vital proteins collagen  + 2 eggs scrambled with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, leftover sweet potato + homemade fig bar
  • Lunch: 2 rolls sushi + 2 avocado lettuce rolls (I got these from the grocery store but it wrecked my stomach since I forgot there was soy sauce in the rice )
  • afternoon snacks: dark chocolate dipped in almond butter x 3 (ha! I always go back for more!), siete chips with cashew queso
  • dinner: beef burger with homemade hummus + simple arugula & tomato salad + more Siete chips (no bun)
  • 9pm snack: fruit leather + chamomile tea

harris teeter sushi

I tried to remember everything but there are probably handfuls of trail mix and many squares dark chocolate that I forgot! 🙂 If you guys are interested, I’ll continue to share example days throughout training, including long-run days and rest days. And if you have any specific questions about what I eat, let me know.

healthiest dark chocolate


Looking for some of my favorites recipes? Try these!

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  • Katherine

    This is so helpful! I am curious about alcohol … is that something you cut out completely while training?

  • Mina

    Curious about how long after a long run you eat (10 miles +)? I’m never hungry right away and usually end up just grazing I’m thinking of trying more of a snack and then waiting an hour os so after before really eating.

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run

    Even though I’m not training for a marathon, or any race for that matter, I really enjoyed reading about what you eat in a day. Would love to see more posts like these – great ideas! I don’t often see you talk about your eats/nutrition on a daily basis (since you do 362 other important things!), so I was curious how you fuel your busy life. xx Hill

  • Linda

    Your link to Oatmeal Apple breakfast bake actually goes to the tahini energy balls. Can you fix it – I really like baked oatmeal and might be able to get my teenage boys to eat something like this! Thank you.

  • Lindsay

    I appreciate you sharing your daily eats while training. It would be awesome to continue to see these recaps in the future. Do you think that you have added other non-gluten foods into your diet in order to compensate for the gluten filled foods you don’t eat? I honestly don’t think I could survive without bread … but that’s just me! 🙂

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      Gosh, I’ve been eating gluten-free for so long that I don’t feel like I’ve really increased other foods to compensate. But, I do eat potatoes at nearly every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day (not joking) – I LOVE THEM. I also use gluten-free toast to fuel for my long runs. Sometimes I eat rice & oats but I just prefer potatoes! I also eat plantains a few days a week (another favorite!). I also get carbs from fruit and dried fruit!

  • Rachel

    This is super helpful! I struggle with tummy troubles a lot too and need alllll the suggestions I can find. Please post more recaps 🙂 especially rest days and long run days! Thanks for the inspiration! Hope you have a wonderful week of training!

  • Mary

    On the day you had the post run nuun and breakfast, do you think it could have been the nuun that contributed to the upset stomach? I love nuun but I discovered it really made my stomach wonky so I had to stop using it…food for thought that maybe a homemade sports drink with salt and citrus might help if that’s the case!

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      hmmm I don’t think so since I have nuun almost every day but I’m going to start paying attention to it more!!! Never even crossed my mind it could be that. THANK YOU!!!

  • Paige

    I’m curious to know what the difference is between energy balls and protein bars/balls? I’ve struggled with my sleep for years (just finished reading your blog post about how your sleeping is,etc…) unfortunately, I only get 1.5-2 hours of sleep a night, and workout 6; sometimes 7 days a week. I feel like I’m always exhausted, starving, but also just feeling blah… I always seem to hit an afternoon slump and crave a protein bar and tea. I’ve been looking for low calorie high protein bars but not many are available with clean ingredients. I love the recipes you’ve linked… I will give them a try! 🙂