3. Recover with Protein and Complex Carbs
You may wonder, with the emphasis on carbs before a run, when do protein, complex carbs and other forms of fuel come into play? The answer, according to Featherstun, is in your post-run recovery meal.
Within the hour after your run, have a balanced meal with protein, complex carbs and healthy fats to both aid in recovery and help prepare you for your next training run. Proteins, especially, can help speed up muscle recovery, and can't be overlooked in the training process.
If your schedule doesn’t allow you to spend time cooking a balanced meal in the hours after your run, Featherstun recommends a protein-rich snack (like our Ensure Complete protein drinks or our Zone Perfect bars) to jumpstart the recovery process until you can get a balanced meal.
As Featherstun puts it, "you have to look at the big picture. The better you recover and replenish your nutrition, the more prepared you’ll be for your next run."
4. Ensure that Your Overall Nutrition Supports Your Training
Like Featherstun said, look at the big picture.
Regardless of your training schedule, you likely need three full, balanced meals each day to uphold general health and nutrition. Take a page out of Featherstun's book and do your best to incorporate carbs (bread, potatoes, rice and fruit), protein (chicken, eggs, meats, seafood, lentils and beans), healthy fats (avocadoes, nuts and seeds) and some color (fruits and veggies) into your daily routine.
Upholding that baseline of nutrition is crucial, even when it may not directly contribute to a long run.
5. Never Underestimate Your Hydration Needs
Even without a marathon training regimen, the truth is, many people aren’t staying hydrated enough day-to-day to begin with.
And, Featherstun warns, "if you go into a run already dehydrated, that run will feel much harder. It can impact your heart rate, your muscles and your recovery."
And considering that for most of us running means sweating, we're only losing more sodium and water as we go.
For runs of >70 minutes, Featherstun recommends an electrolyte drink. Our Pedialyte Sport includes five essential electrolytes to replenish sodium, muscle function and muscle repair, making it your best friend before and during your runs.
And overall, don't underestimate the importance of hydration. Keeping hydrated regardless of your training schedule is critical for everything from proper organ function to getting a quality night of sleep.
While marathon training nutrition, and marathon training in general, can look a little different for every runner, keeping Featherstun's golden rules handy can help ensure that you're putting the thought and care behind your nutrition that your body deserves.
So, while runners know that marathon training is much more than running (read: sacrifices, early nights, early mornings, lost toenails, aching muscles, etc.), fueling, including proper hydration, is a major way to get the most out of your runs, all the way up to race day.