Marathon Fuel

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When I trained and ran the Chicago Marathon several years ago, it was a life changing experience with lots of nice perks. Not only did I clear a huge mental hurdle, I lost a few pounds with practically no change in my diet. And while I could eat junk food without much change in the scale, I found that junk food didn’t help my training. There were a few training runs, where my energy just wasn’t where is should have been (too much happy hour fun the night before, maybe?). While training for a marathon, you may also have to re-train your diet to get the fuel you need to get through the training in preparation for your big day. Here are some snack and drink tips to help fuel your marathon training.

Drink Lots of Water – It is important to stay hydrated during your training runs, and throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you during your day to help remind you to drink your water.

Limit Alcoholic Beverages – Too many alcoholic beverages can counteract your efforts in drinking lots of water. One good rule during your training is to have no alcohol 24 hours before your long run each week. This may be hard especially if your long run is on the weekend, but the run will be more productive without alcohol in your system.

Choose Smart Snacks – As your mileage increases each week, you will need more and more calories to fuel your runs. Fruit, carrot sticks, string cheese and 100-calories packs of nuts are great choices and easy to carry around on the go.

Of course, the occasional burger and fries is not going to kill your training, but try to practice moderation in your choices, and your body will thank you. Have you experienced any diet mishaps that created a less than ideal marathon training run?Written by Joanna Vili

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