Nutrition & Pre Race Food

5 watchers
Apr 2013
11:44am, 24 Apr 2013
27 posts
  • 0

I always seem to struggle on my long runs and marathons in the later stages, nutrition has always been something I'm not very good with and i struggle to eat prior to running, instead i tend to load up with sports drinks or carb rich drinks instead.
I'm wondering what other folk do?
1) Pre training (LSR) food and how long before?
2) Pre marathon food and how long before?
3) Best foods in general to stock up prior to racing?

I'm also looking at Beetroot juice and a option to supplement my diet, thoughts on this would also be welcome.

Many Thanks.
Apr 2013
12:12pm, 24 Apr 2013
584 posts
  • 0
These are all very sensible questions.

Over the years I have learnt that there are as many answers to them as people that yu ask.

I know people than can race an ultra on an empty stomach and others who can't get out of bed without a bowl of porridge.

My advice would be

1) look at the standard advice from people like Matt Fitzgerald
2) talk to people with experience of the kind of event you want to prepare for to get an idea of the possible options
3) try out different options and see what works bests for you.

Personally I'm a big supporter of beetroot juice as an aid to speed. I don't really like the taste so I dilute it with water. I drink about 250ml per day in the week before target races. For me the effects kick in pretty quick and there's no evidence that they persist once I stop. I don't use it when I'm doing training because otherwise it makes the training easier and that defeats the reason for doing it.
Apr 2013
10:07am, 25 Apr 2013
4,696 posts
  • 0
I've been thinking about beetroot juice as an option, I'd be interested to see how this helps.
Apr 2013
10:14am, 25 Apr 2013
12,653 posts
  • 0
I read some interesting stuff a few weeks before I did Bath Half. When you run hard, your body goes into 'gimme glycogen' mode for an hour or so afterwards. I tried doing a few miles at race pace on the Tuesday before the race, then upping my carb intake for the rest of the week. Purely anecdotally, I felt like it went better on race day.
Feb 2014
10:11am, 28 Feb 2014
2,499 posts
  • 0
Boing - am thinking about having some beetroot juice every day over the next few weeks for a 'boost' - anybody got any experience or feedback other than the above. Never read anything detrimental (apart from taste!), but not sure there are scientific benefits (or just placebo?).
Feb 2014
11:29am, 28 Feb 2014
5,460 posts
  • 0
I have been consuming quite a lot of beetroot for the last couple of years - normally roasted beets rather than juice but I drank a lot of beetroot juice in the days leading up to Seville Marathon. I do think that I get a boost from it that is not just placebo. Fortunately I do like the stuff.
Feb 2014
12:54pm, 28 Feb 2014
323 posts
  • 0
I *think* beetroot juice helps but cant put my hand on my heart and say for certain. It doesn't help much if you get the rest of your prep wrong. I had a fairly small and overly sugary breakfast before i did Florence and i crashed and burned. I now know i need a pretty decently sized breakfast. At Loch Ness last year i followed some of the guidance in "The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition" by Matt Fitzgerald. That set out times and amounts to eat and drink and when to stop before the race. it also recommended caffeine. The result for me was not hitting the wall and a massively more enjoyable race.

As far as training goes i will eat relatively normally a couple of hours or more before i go out. I will also sometimes run on an empty stomach. I dont think you *need* to be as careful as you arent stressing your body quite as much and there are also posisble benefits from getting your body used to 'running on empty' as it were.
Feb 2014
1:42pm, 28 Feb 2014
2,329 posts
  • 0
Just started having beetroot juice - too early to say if there are any benefits but it's definitely like drinking a glass of blood (I would imagine!)
May 2020
2:25pm, 11 May 2020
77 posts
  • 0
I like a bowl of musli soaked the previous night to be consumed no later than 2 hours before a long run or race. If it is a fruity one you get a nice mix of carbos.
Oct 2020
11:04am, 1 Oct 2020
First-time poster!!
  • 0
There is no doubt nutrition is very important if your goals are longs runs and marathons. Keeping the level of essential nutrients in the body is vital for preventing injuries and an increase in stamina. While selecting sports food, I mostly prefer the one which strengthens muscles, like this one . Beetroot juice is also best for muscle power as it is a good source of potassium and minerals.

Got something to say?

To join the discussion, sign in or join us.

About This Thread

Maintained by Harrier_PED

I always seem to struggle on my long runs and marathons in the later stages, nutrition has alw...

Related Threads

  • food
  • nutrition

Buy a Fetch buff

Order now for immediate dispatch!

F'Laps 2024

Join us in 2024 for a part-virtual, part-gathering endurance event to celebrate 20 years of Fetcheveryone!

Training Heatmap

See all your training overlaid on one interactive map. A great way to remember everywhere you've been

Race Listings League

Which Fetchies have done the most to make our race listings as awesome as they are?

Back To Top

Free training & racing tools for runners, cyclists, swimmers & walkers.

Fetcheveryone lets you analyse your training, find races, plot routes, chat in our forum, get advice, play games - and more! Nothing is behind a paywall, and it'll stay that way thanks to our awesome community!
Get Started
Click here to join 111,101 Fetchies!
Already a Fetchie? Sign in here