Marathon meal plan - Monday

It's the final countdown! Get your pre-race diet right with a meal plan to take you through the week leading up to a marathon, from sports nutritionist James Collins...

A group of runners training near the coast

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 needs 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.

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 race. 

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 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 vanilla, almond and chia breakfast bowl with fresh fruit

Vanilla-almond chia breakfast bowl
This tasty breakfast is similar to a bircher, with porridge oats, blueberries, chia seeds and nuts.

Morning snack

Forest fruit & banana smoothie
For a smooth start to your day, try this ultra-easy breakfast drink.

Lunch

Paprika chicken ciabattas
Turn an open sandwich into a filling and easy meal, with this fast and flavoursome recipe.

Afternoon snack

Lemon & coriander hummus
Hummus is so easy to make and beats shop-bought varieties every time. Try it with vegetable crudités in your packed lunch.

Dinner

A tuna steak topped with cucumber relish

Tuna steaks with cucumber relish
A good source of heart-healthy, omega-3 fatty acids.

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


This article was last updated on 20 February 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.

 

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.