Building your strength to carry your body 26.2 miles takes months of training. To successfully cross the finish line, you must fuel accordingly every step of the way. So, if you’re new to marathon training, the structure of your diet will look different than the recommendations you initially received when you started your MealMD journey. 

Generally, a runner’s diet requires more protein than the average adult’s. To increase your protein intake, select reliable sources of protein that offer versatility (like our grilled pesto chicken or chicken teriyaki). A runner’s diet should also include more complex carbohydrates and healthy fats than we usually recommend, but these food groups are essential to building stamina while running long distances. Your designated MealMD health coach can offer well-balanced recommendations within our rotating weekly menu to satisfy your body’s training needs and other health issues. 

Proper hydration is essential to your success when you’re in the middle of a rigid training regimen. The amount of water or electrolyte fluid you drink – and when you drink it – help you avoid the extremes: feeling parched or too full of fluids. Here’s what the experts recommend for everyday training: 

Pre-run: Drink to thirst, or drink 4-8 ounces of water or an electrolyte drink for every 15-20 minutes you plan to be on the move. We’re advocates of sports drinks like LMNT and Thorne Catalyte

Mid-run: If you prefer taking your fluids on your run, you can apply the recommendation above in real time. 

Recovery: After finishing a run, treat yourself to a hearty chocolate milk. A serving has the perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs to repair your muscles after a long run. 

When training for a marathon, you are exerting copious amounts of energy for several hours a day. We recommend scheduling three designated snack times to keep you fueled and energized during your race. 

Pre-race: Fuel with protein and carbohydrate combinations 30-60 minutes before you begin your run. To avoid an upset stomach on race day, stay true to the same pre-run snacks that helped you feel energized throughout your training.

Mid-race: Now that you’ve been on the move for hours, your body needs constant nourishment. Stay ahead of the exhaustion by fueling with carbohydrates (like dried fruits or energy chews) every 30-45 minutes you’re on the route. 

Recovery: Bite into your well-deserved snack within an hour of crossing the finish line to replenish your carbohydrate stores and repair your muscles. We recommend high-potassium snacks or another trusty protein-and-carb combination like our yogurt bowl with almonds and berries. 

When preparing for something as physically demanding as a marathon, your diet structure will cater to your body’s needs. In addition to healthy fats and proteins, your meals may include more carbohydrate-packed options than we typically recommend at MealMD, so that you receive proper nourishment. When your training needs to shift, we offer the flexibility to change menu items every week, and our team is available to help you select what’s best for your body. 

MealMD is designed to cater to your lifestyle, too. As you continue to build stamina and increase the length of your runs, less time is available to prepare meals. MealMD gives you that time back by delivering meals right to your door. Simply heat and eat a fresh, flavorful plate of healthy food within 10 minutes.