On heavy training days you'll need to pay close attention to hydration levels and up your carbohydrate intake. Make sure you're eating the right kind of carbs with our recipe suggestions...
On heavy training days, getting your nutrition right is especially important in order to meet the increased demands of training and ensure rapid recovery. Hydration is a key element too as you will be sweating more and losing water.
Nutrition plan for heavy training days (two or more training sessions or a long, endurance-based session)
Increase the carbs
Carbohydrate intake is raised on these days, and a serving should be included at all main meals. Snacks can also be used to support high training needs. A low-GI breakfast will provide sustained energy during the morning and for a longer run. Higher-GI carbohydrate snacks may be useful pre-training, depending on timings. The need for an increased carbohydrate intake means you should aim to limit fat, but protein intake should be maintained with each meal. Be sure to include an evening snack containing protein, as this is vital to help your body recover from a heavy training day and assist muscle growth overnight, as this is when a large amount of growth and repair (adaptation) will occur in the muscles.
Up your fluid intake to compensate for sweat losses during training and stick to tried and tested foods before setting out on a long run. Avoid foods that may cause gastrointestinal issues, such as spices, fatty or very high fibre foods.
Afternoon snack suggestion:
Instant frozen berry yogurt
More training & nutrition tips for runners
- Now you've perfected your training nutrition, make sure you eat right in race week with our marathon meal plans and top race day foods.
- Get to grips with eating before, during and after running with our guides.
- Our marathon nutrition hub will teach you how to hydrate properly, carb-load and even how Mo Farah fuels for training.
This article was last reviewed on 6 March 2017 by sports nutritionist James Collins.
James Collins is head of nutrition at Arsenal Football Club. He’s worked with some of the world’s best athletes over the last decade within Olympic and professional sport. His Performance Nutrition principles are now helping everyone to look, feel and perform better each day. Find out more at: www.jamescollinsnutrition.com.
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