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Home » What to eat before, during and after a run when Marathon training.

What to eat before, during and after a run when Marathon training.

Marathon season is in full swing, and thousands of runners across the globe are kicking their training plans into action – for this year and future races to come. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or you’re taking part for the first time, making sure you’re getting the right nutrients to support your marathon training is essential. 

Wondering what to eat and when? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know.

Marathon Training: What to Eat Before, During and After a Run

What to Eat Before a Run

Let’s start our meal plan by busting a common running myth: eating on an empty stomach is NOT the best way to diet when training for a marathon. No matter who you are or what level you’re at, your body needs fuel to move – especially before a long session.

With that being said, you’ll feel your best while out and about if you’re not super full. Filling up on a big meal right before a run can make you feel lethargic or even nauseous, so here’s our best advice. 

3-4 hours before your run, fuel up with a carb-heavy pre-run meal, such as:

  • Wholemeal bagel with turkey, chicken or salmon, salad and a piece of fruit 
  • Scrambled egg whites on wholemeal toast
  • Tomato pasta, topped with a sprinkle of cheese

MEAL PREP TIP: If you tend to run in the mornings, The Good Prep’s delicious overnight oats could make the perfect breakfast before running. They’re filling and release energy slowly – great for a long day of training. Check out our menu for more meal prep ideas!

If you plan to run an hour or longer, a pre-run healthy snack will provide extra fuel:

  • Opt for something small and light, like a banana or citrus fruit
  • For something a little more substantial, you can also eat some dry granola or half a cereal bar to keep you going
  • Meal prep snacks in advance to make sure you’re always ready to head out

What to Eat During a Run

During your marathon training, you’ll likely be heading out for runs that last hours at a time. This level of intensive exercise is bound to make you hungry, so it’s important to keep a snack or carb-enriched drink to hand should you need it.

Most marathon runners opt for:

  • Fruit – sliced up in a sandwich bag or tub for easy access
  • Carbohydrate gels, readily available on race day
  • High-carb cereal bars (eaten in small, slow bites)
  • Small, chewy sweets for a quick burst of sugar

What to Eat After a Run

Congratulations – you’ve completed your run! Now comes the hardest challenge of the day – deciding which meal is the best option to refuel your body. Meal prep is one of the best ways to ensure you always have something delicious to eat, without exerting too much extra energy. 

Use a meal prep service like The Good Prep to stock up your fridge with foods that are high in carbs, protein and all the nutrients you need for effective recovery. 

Post-run meals should include:

  • Protein-rich ingredients like salmon, turkey or tofu for muscle repair
  • Salt-rich foods like nut butters or salted peanuts to restore normal levels
  • Plenty of carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, such as rice or pasta
  • Vitamins, usually found in leafy green vegetables

Need a Meal Prep Service to Aid Your Marathon Training? 

At The Good Prep, we specialise in creating tailored, healthy meal plans that are perfectly suited to athletes of all abilities. Each meal is freshly prepared and delivered to your doorstep, saving you time and energy when you need it most.

Start building your own marathon training meal plan at The Good Prep today!