Do you have to eat differently when you are training for a marathon?

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It depends what you are trying to do. I am simply planning to finish the marathon, so no, I do not have to eat differently. If you are trying to get in amazing fighting shape and perhaps win the marathon, then maybe you would start eating lean and so on.

If I am running thirty miles or fewer a week with long runs under ten miles, it doesn’t matter what you eat. I can be on a low carb diet, I can be on a no fat diet, no matter what I eat or don’t eat, it’s all good. I can run. However, right now I’m running 60 miles/week with long runs of 15-20 miles on Saturday. Now that takes a few more carbs. When I am going to do a really long run, I try to eat a baked potato the night before. But, generally, I still try to keep it on the low carb.

I used to think that if one is on running a lot you needed to stuff your face with carbs, but that’s just silly. You can run without pasta and rice and potatoes and certainly you don’t need bread, crackers or cookies.

However, during the actual run, if I want to run more than twelve miles, I need one of those gels at twelve miles or so if I want to be able to run well. The gels and the little bars give some kind of boost.

You can run twelve thirteen miles pretty easily on just some no carb Gatorade, but further than that, your energy can start to give out.

The problem with running a lot is that you are hungry all the time. And you’re trying to eat less but that’s rough because you’re hungry. I try to do the long runs on the weekends. In an ideal world, I get up at five and start running, but often I’m lazy and I sleep in until six or seven. The thing with running is that it clears your head. When you’re running, you can see everything as if you were a genius. You feel as though you’re looking at your life under a microscope and you can see it really clearly but at the same time, it’s through a telescope and it’s far away and not really bothering you from where you’re running. You understand what’s wrong and you don’t necessarily have to be able to fix it.

Running isn’t magical but it feels like you’re not a loser. You know that a lot of people don’t run; in fact only .5% of Americans run marathons so that’s a good percentage to be in, a percentage that are doing something. What’s boring is if running and eating properly becomes what you talk about and think about. We are supposed to live a life of the mind and a life of the body. Just as it is maladjusted when someone is only living in their head and their body is being left out of the equation, it’s actually even more boring when someone goes on and on about their diet, their health, their obsession with the body and leaves out the life of the mind. We all need balance, and to achieve it, I like running.


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