Marathon Training 101: Adjusting your Eating Frame of Mind

Marathon Training 101: Adjusting your Eating Frame of Mind

A new marathon training week brings us a new marathon training mantra:

Quality over quantity!

The goal when running a marathon should not be to set a personal record (PR), lose weight or increase muscle mass, the most important goal should be to keep your body healthy! In the context of training, we will look at ways to listen to our bodies, avoid over-training and not push ourselves beyond our limits. The same mentality can be applied to our diet.

With an increased running regimen, your appetite will increase; this is called the compensation effect. With the added energy burn, your body will start to compensate by increasing its appetite. So get ready, you are going to notice a big shift in your hunger and satiety cues. Understanding your body and arming yourself with the right foods will help prevent unnecessary “train gain,” which can ultimately hinder your running progress.

It's very important to think about what you are putting in your body; just because you ran 10 miles doesn’t mean you can eat 5 donuts and half a pizza! Appetite is not regulated soley by the number of calories you have eaten, it's effected by volume and quality of food, as well. Making the right food choices can be the deciding factor between a strong or a simply average race.

This graphic gives us some insight into food choices and how healthier options, like foods full of fiber, protein and water, can allow you to fuel up and reach satiety faster. A NutriBlast can be a crucial snack or meal for this process, filling your body with wholesome veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and protein.

True hunger should NOT be ignored. It is essential that you fuel appropriately. However, always take a moment to check in with yourself before you eat. Are you really hungry? Bored? Thirsty? Remember, no mindless eating! If hunger strikes, take a moment to assess, drink some water, walk away from what you are doing and see if you are still hungry.

Arming yourself with healthy snacks, can help fuel your running and keep your body at a healthy weight. Instead of thinking of snacks as a reward or treat, think of them as an opportunity to get in more of the food categories you are not getting enough of in your meals.

Here are my top snack options!

  • Back to the Basics NutriBlast
  • Celery and 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • Carrots with hummus or Greek yogurt dip
  • Half a sweet potato with hummus or cottage cheese
  • Apple with 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • Trail Mix (include nuts, seeds, dried fruit)
  • Whole fruit
  • Greek yogurt (choose a low-fat, but NOT fat-free option, unless you need quick fuel prior to a run)
  • Snack bars (most are full of junk, but my favorites include Go Raw bars, Lara Bars, and Health Warrior bars)

In the end, don't forget: always pick quality over quantity!

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics

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