Gluten-free marathon meal plan – Monday

Get your marathon nutrition right with our gluten-free meal plan for the week before the race. Monday's focus is on quality protein, healthy fats and carbs.

A group of runners training for the marathon

Overall dietary guidelines:

Contrary to previous beliefs, the week before the marathon isn't all about piling on the pasta. In fact, to maximise carbohydrate (fuel) stores before the race, runners only need to start 'fuelling up' or 'carb-loading' two or three days before the race (three days if you prefer slower increase in your daily intake). Read more in our guide to carb-loading.

Runners who have coeliac disease, are intolerant to gluten or simply following a gluten-free diet need to plan their meals carefully around the appropriate carbohydrate options to prepare for the race. We have adapted our week-long marathon meal plan to provide options for the week leading up to the event, as well as examples that can be used as part of your wider training or day-to-day routine.

Earlier in the week, it may be useful to start including snacks to train the gut in preparation for increased carbohydrate intake in the days leading up to the marathon.

As a general rule, what you eat should be different depending on the training demands for that day (or when you are preparing for the race itself) to promote sufficient fuelling and recovery. Discover what to eat on different training days with our training meal plans for runners.

We’ve included examples of the race training programme from London Marathon to plan your nutrition for this day.

Monday training:

10 mins marathon pace, 20 mins half-marathon pace, 10 mins marathon pace.
* Beginner's guidelines as recommended by the London Marathon.

Monday nutrition:

Carbohydrate intake is maintained at breakfast and lunch to support training volume for today. Protein and healthy fat intakes are also important for the ongoing growth and repair of the muscles. Options are nutrient-rich and provide sufficient fibre for healthy gut function. Snacks are included as optional depending on your preferences.

Breakfast

A plate of courgette and broccoli fritters

Green fritters
A quick, easy and healthy breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunch, with eggs and green vegetables such as broccoli and courgettes.

Morning snack

Avocado & strawberry smoothie
This creamy breakfast-friendly blend is high in calcium and provides protein from the milk and yogurt.

Lunch

Roast chicken with sweet potato gremolata salad
You can use leftovers from your Sunday lunch to make this colourful salad, or buy some pre-cooked chicken instead.

Afternoon snack

Spiced almonds
Sprinkle almonds with a little smoked paprika for a quick and easy snack.

Dinner

A fillet of cod on top of a mango, cucumber and tomato salad

Cod with cucumber, avocado & mango salsa salad
This healthy dinner is bursting with fresh flavours and textures.

Go back to the week-long gluten-free marathon meal plan.

Don't need to eat a gluten-free diet? Try our basic, vegetarian and vegan marathon meal plans.

Find more expert advice and answers to your training questions in our marathon hub.


This article was published on 15th March 2018.

James Collins is recognised as a leading Performance Nutritionist through his work with Olympic and professional sport. Over the last decade he has worked with Arsenal FC, The English Institute of Sport and England Football. He works with elite and recreational athletes at his Harley Street practice, The Centre for Health & Human Performance: www.jamescollinsnutrition.com.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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