Friday, February 27, 2009

Marathon Training Diet - An Introduction.

The more you train, the more fuel your body demands and this will come from carbohydrates, protein and fat. For every mile you run you will burn around 100 calories as fuel. Carbohydrates are the key to endurance running but you must ensure that you eat a healthy, balanced marathon training diet.

Different foods contain different amounts of carbohydrates, fat and protein and each is broken down by the body to provide a different level of energy per gram of food. This is measured in kilocalories and it is fats that release the most energy- 9 kilocalories per gram as compared with 3.75 for crabs. Proteins release 4 kilocalories per gram.

However this does not mean that fats are the best source of energy. Glucose, which is stored in the body as glycogen is the most important fuel in your marathon training diet.This is created when carbohydrate is broken down. As the body can only store so much glycogen, eating the right foods is essential in replenishing these stores regularly.

Marathon training is aerobic exercise, which means that the body will use carbohydrates, fats ,and protein but it is the carbs that will be used more. In the early days of your training you will burn more fats because your fitness level will be lower. As your training increases in intensity you will begin to burn more carbs. Complex carbs are the key to generating energy as they release the fuel you need very slowly into your body.

You will feel more hungry than normal when you train regularly and you should satisfy that hunger with complex carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. As with all things, eat them in moderation. Specify the quantities of food you need in each meal in your marathon training diet plan and stick to this plan. Running is not an excuse to stuff your face.

Just after you return from a run it is vital to refuel as quick as possible. A sports drink with glucose and electrolytes will refuel an rehydrate at the same time so stock up.

It is not good to become too obsessed with carbohydrates. You must eat balanced meals with plenty of protein and unsaturated fats. Muscles become damaged during training and you need protein to help repair them. Good fats also have many health benefits and should not be ignored. Balance is the key to a successful marathon diet plan.

Food tends to become a bit of an obsession as your training progresses. This is fine as long as you don't eat too much at a time. Grazing is a very important part of your marathon training diet plan. Small regular meals, little and often is the way to go.

As the weeks and months of your training pass you will develop a nutrition pattern that suits your metabolism and your running. There is no particular right or wrong way to the perfect marathon diet plan, just a set of guidelines that will aid you in finding it. Follow these and you will find the fuel to power you through the many, many training runs that prepare you for your big day.

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