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Don’t blow all of your training by not including tapering into your marathon-training plan. It may seem counterintuitive to back off on the training before the big race but studies have shown this will improve your performance by repairing the muscle damage that has occurred during sustained training and also improve immune function and muscle strength. Equally as important is your nutrition, in particular carb-loading.

In the 48 hours leading up to race day, a lot goes through a marathon runners mind. With so much going on, the last thing you want to be doing is trying to work out what you should be eating in the two days before the race.

Ultimately, the key thing to remember is to stick with what you know and eat foods which you have eaten throughout training and have never caused any stomach concerns.

To help give you an idea, take a look at some sample menu plans that you can mix up, to help ensure your glycogen stores are stocked up and that you’re not eating anything that’s likely to cause any stomach issues, to maintain hydration and be ready to train the next day.


Below is an example nutrition guide to follow in the 3 days leading up to the big day:

Breakfast AM Snack Lunch PM Snack Dinner
Bowl of muesli with toast/ or fruit. 2 x bananas 1 x jacket potato with light mayonnaise and tuna 1 x cereal bar Chicken with rice, pasta or noodles in tomato sauce
2-3 x shredded wheat with skimmed milk 2 x toast with honey Serving of pasta in tomato sauce Serving of yoghurt with raisins Grilled salmon with new potatoes
Bowl of porridge with raisins / fruit Low fat fruit yoghurt with fruit 2 x sandwiches (white bread) with chicken 1 x bagel and jam Jacket potato with tuna

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Science in Sport