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.

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 2020 by James Collins.

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 England and France national football teams and Team GB. He has a private practice in Harley Street where he sees business executives, performing artists and clients from all walks of life. He is the author of the new book The Energy Plan, which focuses on the key principles of fuelling for fitness.

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