The Boston Marathon® inspires athletes and fans alike, with more than 500,000 spectators turning out to soak up the energy, dedication, and commitment of the 30,000 runners tackling the oldest annual marathon in the world. While experienced runners have their race routines down to a science, the rest of us may need a little help. We sat down with Equinox personal trainer extraordinaire Kara Crow to discuss what to eat to inspire your best performance—whether you’re a marathoner or just inspired to start training like one.
Don’t change up your routine.
“The first rule of thumb is not to change what you’ve been eating the day before or day of the race because it can cause an upset stomach, discomfort or bloating. It’s best to have experimented with what works for your body throughout your training cycle,” Crow says.
For breakfast, she recommends oatmeal or Ezekiel toast with some fruit and nut butter and suggests eating 90 minutes before the race so your body has time to digest. “It’s important not to eat to that really full sensation, so eat slowly and stop when you’re about 80 percent full.” Because food coma on the course is NOT a good look.
Drink lots of water ahead of time.
You’ve got to drink plenty of water days before game time, says Crow. “Make sure you’re sufficiently hydrated two days before the race and especially the day before. Ideally, you want to consume .5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. So if you’re 150 pounds, you’ll want to consume 75-150 ounces of water a day. Drink water before the race in small sips throughout the morning.”
Equinox trainer Kara Crow is pictured here running the Boston Run to Remember. (Photo courtesy Kara Crow)
Get those electrolytes!
“Add some electrolytes in to ensure proper fluid balance and retention in the body,” Crow says. Sports drinks aren’t the only way to get those electrolytes, either. Foods high in potassium like bananas, dates, coconut, and avocado are great sources as well. Smoothies and avocado toast for the win!
Don’t pre-game with a huge dinner.
“Have your lunch the day prior be the heaviest carbohydrate meal,” Crow advises. “If you eat too much at dinner you might wake up feeling bloated and uncomfortable.” Imagine having to motivate yourself to run 26.2 miles while bloated—it’s not going to be pretty.
Keep your energy up during the race.
It’s not like you can stop and take a snack break during the marathon, so to replenish carbs and calories on-the-go, many runners turn to energy gels.
“Gel every 45 minutes is a great option, but make sure to consume it with a full cup of water,” Crow says, “otherwise, the body won’t absorb it properly and you won’t get the energy you need.” And don’t wait until you’re already fatigued to get your gel on, because the gel packs take about 20 minutes to kick in.
Carbo-load after the race.
You’ve earned your pancakes. “You’ll definitely want to get some sugar back into the cells, so any type of carbohydrate is great,” Crow explains. “For example, bagels, rice, fruit, pasta, sweet potato, and granola bars are all solid options.” Crow also advises getting a good dose of protein and continuing to hydrate. Kick up your (probably sore and swollen) feet and order yourself a hearty bowl of pasta with your protein of choice. After all, you deserve it!
In town for the Boston Marathon®?
Join us this weekend at Uber’s Road to the Race space in Copley Square for complimentary natural cold-pressed juices by Pressed as well as Equinox training sessions to help get you mentally and physically prepared for race day.
The Road to the Race, powered by Uber
April 13-15, 9am to 6pm
Copley Square | Boston, MA