Are you running the Auckland Marathon? Eat right leading up to your big event

It’s really important when training for a big event, such as the Auckland Marathon you’re aware of the type of fuel you’re putting into your body. We all know the food we eat impacts the way our body functions so consuming a consistent diet of good quality food is really important to improve efficiency and recovery.

Leading up to your event, we have put together our tips on how to boost your performance through food.


1-2 months leading up to the marathon

It’s important to first achieve a healthy and consistent diet. Make sure you eat regularly (nutritionists suggest every 3-4 hours) to replenish your fuel and nutrient stores. Make sure your diet consists of a lot of green vegetables including starchy, low GI veggies such as sweet potato and wholegrains such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats. Low GI vegetables see you releasing your energy slowly over a period of time. It’s important to have a good dose of healthy fats such as good quality olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds as well as lean proteins like chicken, turkey and red meat. There is absolutely no need to consider restrictive or fad diets, as you are doing a lot of training your body needs a lot of fuel!


1-2 weeks leading up to the marathon

This is where you can start thinking like an athlete and your diet should reflect that too. Make sure you’re eating enough and ensuring you’re having healthy nutritious pre and post workout snacks. We recommend having a light snack before training like a banana with a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt to ensure you have some complex carbs to support your muscles. It’s important to have a meal shortly after training that contains complex carbs like oats or wholegrain bread to replenish the fuel stores your muscles have just used up. Add some lean protein, such as an egg or mix up a natural protein shake to assist your muscles with repairing. This helps with replenishing your glycogen stores to give you more energy so you can train harder.


24 hours leading up to the marathon

The day before the race, have a lunch and dinner that is mostly low GI carbohydrates, load up on green veggies and some protein. Many refer to this period as the ‘carb loading’ phase, however, make sure you make wise carb decisions such a quinoa and sweet protein that are easy for the body to digest. Head to bed early for a good night’s sleep!


Race day

Despite last night’s dinner providing you with a good dose of carbs, overnight your glycogen stores will have depleted a little so it’s important to replenish them with a moderate sized breakfast around two hours before the race, giving your body enough time to digest food and store energy. Make sure you do not rely on a quick source of carbohydrates like quick oats or fruit juice as they’ll only provide you fuel for a short period of time. An ideal breakfast would be porridge or muesli with banana and nuts or wholegrain toast with banana and a natural nut spread. Continue to sip water through the morning.

Ensure you continue to sip on water throughout the race and we also recommend electrolyte drinks to provide you with energy to get you through if you’re running a long distance.


Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Embrace and enjoy the run- good luck!