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Preparing for the marathon: food

General recommendations for nutrition in preparation for the marathon

Protein: 2 grams per 1 kg of weight.

The source of protein is fish, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, eggs, protein shakes, protein bars.
Saturated Fat: 20 grams per day.

The source is butter, lard.

It is better to use in equal portions twice a day — in the morning and in the evening.
Unsaturated fats: 50 grams per day.

Source — vegetable oil and fish oil.
Carbohydrates (mostly unrefined): up to 800 grams per day.

Source — porridge, cereals, potatoes, beans, pasta from coarse flour.


1-2 soft-boiled eggs, 100 g of low-fat cottage cheese, oatmeal with jam, a glass of milk, 1 slice of multi-grain bread toasted in a toaster.

Vegetable soup, 100 g of turkey or fish, baked potatoes, vegetable salad with vegetable oil, 1 slice of bread.
Afternoon tea.

Toasted bread with jam, fruit, tea, protein bar.

Oatmeal or buckwheat, pearl-barley, millet porridge with butter, toasted multigrain bread with jam and butter (10 g), a glass of protein shake on milk of one percent fat.

For half an hour before bedtime, 1-2 cups of kefir or yogurt of one percent fat.

There is a standard scheme of carbohydrate saturation of the body, when 3 days before the competition carbohydrate intake is reduced, and on the eve of the marathon, the athlete actively uses products with high carbohydrate content.

Dinner and breakfast before the competition, in accordance with this scheme, consists only of carbohydrates.

The last time you need to eat will be no later than 3 hours before the start of the competition. It is desirable that it was a portion of pasta wholemeal. For breakfast, you can drink sweet tea, but not more than 1 cup, otherwise the body will begin to emit excess fluid and the marathon will start from the toilet.

During the race, you must observe the drinking regime — use an isotonic drink (with the addition of carbohydrates) at each point of supply.

It is important not to drink one time more than 250 ml, otherwise there will be discomfort in the stomach.

During intense loads, there is an active loss not only of energy, but also of water, and vital electrolytes (sodium salts, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine).

On average, when practicing light fitness (including during jogging), an untrained person loses 0.5 liters of sweat in 1 hour.

Therefore, so-called isotonic drinks were developed specifically for athletes, which help to restore energy and water-salt balance in a timely manner. Isotonic drinks compensate for the loss of electrolytes, as they contain sodium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and calcium. In addition, they supply the substances necessary for the production of energy, which is actively consumed during exercise.

In this respect, they differ in composition. For example, some drinks contain sugars (carbohydrates) that are quickly absorbed.

The most optimal if the drink contains carbohydrate in the form of a polymer.

It slowly releases energy, and thus provides the needs of the body for a long time.

Isotonic drink is recommended to drink at 0.5 liters per hour, preferably in 100 ml portions (4 small sips every 10 minutes of training).

Also, the drink is needed after exercise to improve the recovery processes in the body.

The universal supplier of energy for all types of living cells in the body is the ATP molecule, adenosine triphosphate. This is a kind of battery that is constantly recharged and discharged, supplying energy to every cell in the body.

For the reproduction of ATP, there are three biochemical systems that, if necessary, are automatically activated by the body.

The choice of system depends on the duration of the load.

With a very short but high-intensity load (for example, running 100 meters), the phosphogenic system (creatine phosphate) is used, which provides the body with energy for about 10 seconds.

With a longer load (for example, running for 400 meters), the system of glycogen and lactic acid is involved, it provides the body with energy, which is enough for about one and a half minutes of intense load.

With all the longer loads, including running for a marathon distance, the body uses the aerobic system, in which muscles receive ATP and use the energy contained in them from carbohydrates and from fats.

If these nutrients are not enough, then proteins are used to get energy (this is typical for situations in which the body is experiencing severe hunger and all other sources of energy have already been exhausted).

Glucose, necessary for the reproduction of ATP, comes along with food, splits in the gastrointestinal tract and enters the circulatory system, from which it enters the muscles.

Excess glucose is stored as glycogen or fat.

If this glucose ceases to be enough, then it is taken from the muscles and liver, where it is stored as glycogen.

How to start running: a program for beginners

Start running for a reason, but with the goal: to one day run a marathon in London or Paris.

Gastronom.ru gives a training program for beginners, tips and motivation.

See below.

Running for weight loss

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