Marathon meal plan

Worried about what to eat and when to run the week before a marathon? Sports nutritionist James Collins has advised Team GB on their Olympic nutrition and here provides advice and recipes for the seven days before your big race.

Whether you're running your very first marathon or you're trying to improve your personal best, getting your nutrition right is key to maximising performance on the day.

We've worked with James Collins, elite performance nutritionist, to bring you a marathon meal plan aimed at the seven days leading up to race day.

Below you'll find links to each of the days explaining suggested nutrition strategies, as well as meal and snack recipes and ideas to help you stay on top of your nutrition all week.

We've also included some training suggestions from the Virgin Money London Marathon beginner's training plan, which gives you an idea of how much running and rest you should be getting in the week leading up to the marathon.

Try our other marathon meal plans:

Vegetarian marathon meal plan
Vegan marathon meal plan
Gluten-free marathon meal plan

Marathon meal plan - Monday

A ground of runners training by the coast

It's the final countdown! Get your pre-race nutrition right with our week of meal plans from sports nutritionist James Collins...
Monday's meal plan



Marathon meal plan - Tuesday

A crab and asparagus omelette

It's the week before the marathon and getting your nutrition right is key to peak performance. Sports nutritionist James Collins shares his pre-race meal plan for Tuesday...
Tuesday's meal plan


Marathon meal plan - Wednesday

A woman training for a marathon

Make sure you're giving your body all it needs in the week leading up to an endurance event. Sports nutritionist, James Collins explains why by Wednesday your carbohydrate intake should be on the rise...
Wednesday's meal plan
 

Marathon meal plan - Thursday

A Mexican chicken stew served with quinoa

Sports nutritionist, James Collins shares his meal plan for the week before a big race - Thursday is all about high quality protein and increasing your carbohydrate intake...
Thursday's meal plan
 

Marathon meal plan - Friday

Beans on toast with avocado

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

 

Marathon meal plan - Saturday

A woman stretching after a run

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


Marathon meal plan - Sunday

An event organiser holding out a cup of water to marathon runners

Race day is here and it's time to put all that training to the test. Stick to your nutrition strategy before and during your run then replace fluid, carbs and protein once you cross the line...
Sunday's meal plan

Now try...

More marathon training & nutrition guides
What should I eat when training for a marathon?
Carb-loading explained


These meal plans were 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

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juleswilliams96
18th Apr, 2017
Everything on this meal plan is delicious. It requires a lot of time and effort, but so worth it!!! Recipes easy to follow
247viz's picture
247viz
12th Jul, 2016
The meal plan are great, looks delicious!
ScottMethven
17th Jun, 2015
These meal plans are a great idea, however, i'd have liked an alternative option for each day for vegetarians.
jessmcelduff
9th Apr, 2014
I'm following the intermediate training guide advised by London Marathon Official and have not been advised to to a 70minute run this week. I have checked the beginners guide too and mine doesn't advise that. Is this incorrect information or should I be doing a 70,impute run today?
Jmccjcr
12th Jan, 2014
I am doing a marathon in June and want to start eatting healthier and excersice more before then; would this meal plan be good to use every week till then or would thins only work for the week prior to the run? Thank you
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
14th Jan, 2014
Hi there,Some of the meals from the plan will work well at any point of training, but first go to the marathon hub to look at the key principles of structuring your diet to support training: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/marathon-training-and-nutrition
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