This week I asked Brandy from my “Inspired by the everyday woman” to share with us a little of what her current nutrition looks like leading up to race day. Often times when people start training for races they cut calories and nutrition the body needs to stay fuelled and progress efficiently. Ever what eating for full marathon training might look like? Check out Brandy’s current nutrition below.
Tell us a little about your current eating habits:
This week is probably the best week to be writing about my nutrition. I am tapering right now because my race is only two and a half weeks away. Tapering is one of the hardest things for a runner to do. It reduces your mileage and allows for your body to recover, while eating a surplus amount of carbs. How many carbs am I talking about? Roughly 300-400g/day closer to race day. Thank god I love spaghetti. When you’re two weeks away from race day there isn’t anything you can do to improve your fitness. The miles are either in the bank or they aren’t and all you can do now is sabotage your chances by doing too much and succumbing to injury or fatigue.
What I’m focusing on now is treating my body well with optimal nutrition and hydration to help me perform well on race day, and recover during my taper.
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
Because I am a broke student, I unfortunately can’t afford many of the foods I would love to eat while I’m training, but with my budget I do what I can and what works best for me.
On a typical day, I eat steel cut oats with almond milk, mixed frozen berries, with peanut butter, almond butter, or Nutella. (Or sometimes all three) haha. I honestly eat every 2 hours at least. I’ll always grab a banana, apple slices, boiled eggs, oranges, grapes or any fruit option I can find!
For lunch, it varies every day. Some days it’s quinoa with black beans and veggies, or sweet potato with eggs, cut veggies with hummus, or if I’m running late I’ll grab a couple handfuls of cereal. Don’t judge me, cereal is eaten frequently in my diet. Usually out of a giant mixing bowl whilst watching How I Met Your Mother.
Again, my body can’t go more than two hours without eating so I’ll have some air popped popcorn with coconut oil and sea salt, or a smoothie, granola bar, pretzels, basically anything that will keep me satisfied until dinner.
I hate to say it, but my dinner is almost always stirfry. But… It’s variations of stirfry! BBQ chicken and roasted veggies with brown rice is my definite go-to, along with quinoa pasta and ground turkey before long runs.
For dessert? I eat it everyday. The last couple days have been handfuls of carob chips. Most days it’s a few squares of dark chocolate with natural peanut butter. Dessert is a must.
Running this type of distance takes a lot out of the body. What types supplements do you typically add to help make up for all the calories and sugar being burned?
While I’m running I stick to GU energy gels. Chocolate peanut butter is my favourite because it provides the most amount of sodium for the lowest serving size. Here’s the deal:
The electrolytes sodium and potassium play a critical role in regulating your body’s water balance during exercise: the levels of these electrolytes allow your muscle cells (and every other cell in your body, for that matter) to retain the right amount of water. But when we exercise, we lose electrolytes via sweating.
The benefits of consuming electrolytes, especially sodium during a marathon ( and all of my long training runs) include: maintenance of cardiovascular function, enhanced carbohydrate oxidation, blunted decline in plasma sodium concentration and improved performance. The consumption of approximately 1g of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight per hour appears sufficient to improve performance in prolonged exercise. Research also indicates that approximately 450mg of sodium per hour is the minimum amount required to maintain plasma volume and slow the decline in plasma sodium concentration that can accompany prolonged exercise in some runners. I consume one GU per 45 minutes ( or 11 km of running ).
Now, this was just a brief overview of my “typical day”. As a marathoner, it’s crucial that I consume enough carbohydrates to give my body the energy it needs to fuel my runs during the week. The amount of carbohydrate a runner needs to handle his or her training is tied to the amount of training he or she does. I would go on and talk about the breakdown of how much protein, carbs and fats that you need… but I’m truthfully not educated enough in that department to go into detail.
If you could leave us with one piece of advice what would it be?
The most important thing I’ve learned during my training how to listen to my body. I know when I am carb depleted, or when I crave red meat I’m usually low on iron. I’m pretty in tune with what my body needs. I eat foods in order to fuel my body. I choose fresh, wholesome foods to make me a better runner. Of course I’m a sucker for Burger55, frozen yogurt, and pancakes. If I really want it, I’ll have it. My nutrition is based solely on what I need for fuel, performance and ultimately my end goal of qualifying for Boston.
Thank you so much for sharing with us Brandy! You truly are an inspiration and I can’t wait to see you take on Boston.