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)
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
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.