Marathon meal plan - Friday

48 hours of carb-loading begins on Friday. Get ready for your big race with our expert's week of meal plans...

Overall dietary guidelines:

Runners should try to get into the habit of eating 5-6 smaller meals earlier in the week before a marathon, to train the body for the 'carb-loading' over the 2-3 days pre-race. Evening snacks are optional earlier in the week. Runners should look to use fluids and light snacks if finding it difficult to tolerate the increased quantities of food.


Friday training:Friday training

Walk for 15minutes
* Beginner's guidelines as recommended by the London Marathon.


Friday nutrition:

48 hours of carb-loading begins here! This means the focus is on carbohydrate at each meal and snack, but as you can see from the options, it can actually be pretty enjoyable! Both days now include a dessert option. Don't worry if bodyweight increases by 1-2kg at this time as the body stores water alongside the carbohydrate.


BreakfastCrunchy granola with berries & cherries

Crunchy granola with berries & cherries
Make your breakfast a fruity feast - this recipe is full of crunchy goodness.


Morning snackFeel-good muffins

Feel-good muffins
This muffin recipe contain fibre-packed prunes and oats - enjoy them without guilt!


LunchTuna sweet potato jackets

Tuna sweet potato jackets
If your standby lunch is baked potatoes with tuna, switch to sweet potatoes and a fresh, spicy topping - budget-friendly and low-fat too.


Afternoon snackPeach Melba smoothie

Peach Melba smoothie
Blend peaches, raspberries, orange juice and fresh custard into a fruity, creamy shake that's low in fat.


Dinner and dessertFive-spice beef & sugar snap noodles

Five-spice beef & sugar snap noodles
Tear up the takeaway menu and make this low-fat, spiced supper instead.
Orange sorbet
A refreshing and simple way to round off a rich meal, using only three ingredients.


Evening snack (optional)Chocolate & banana cake

Chocolate & banana cake
Just one look at this chocolate and banana treat is enough to know it won't stay in the cake tin for long.


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


As a sport and exercise nutritionist, James Collins regularly provides comment and consultation within the media and maintains a role of governance within Health & Nutrition in the UK, where he sits on The Royal Society of Medicine's (RSM) 'Food and Health' Council. He was heavily involved in advising Team GB in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic games, and now towards Rio 2016.

All health content on 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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