Marathon meal plan - Saturday

Be sure to eat lots of easily digestible carbohydrates the day before your event, says sports nutritionist James Collins...

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 last 48 hours. 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.


Saturday training:Marathon training plan

* Beginner's guidelines as recommended by the London Marathon.


Saturday nutrition:

The second day of carb-loading offers an alternative high carbohydrate breakfast option, designed to be a higher GI, and easily digested. The evening snack is liquid based, for those who find it difficult to load the carbs before the big day. Options today should be easily digestible, which means not too much spice!


BreakfastTropical breakfast smoothie

Tropical breakfast smoothie
Start your day the super healthy way.


Morning snackFruit, oat & seed bars

Fruit, oat & seed bars
A tasty twist on flapjacks with a luscious layer of apricots inside.


LunchRice & bean enchiladas

Rice & bean enchiladas
Filling and great value for money, try these Mexican-inspired vegetarian wraps for a speedy and spicy supper.


Afternoon snackSpanish tomato bread with jamon serrano

Spanish tomato bread with jamon serrano
These tasty tapas snacks are ready in just 5 minutes, the perfect accompaniment for a drinks party.


Dinner and dessertBacon & mushroom pasta

Bacon & mushroom pasta
A simple one-pan pasta dish with bacon, mushrooms and pesto - ready in under 30 minutes.
Pear & blackberry crumbles
Use pear instead of apple in these individual versions of the classic pud with a crunchy pistachio topping.

Evening snack (optional)Peppermint hot chocolate

Peppermint hot chocolate
Everyone's favourite quick winter treat gets a facelift.



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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