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Marine Corps Marathon: What to Eat While You Train

food pyramid

Image: USDA

Early registration for the Marine Corps Marathon ends today at 8 pm EST. For those of you planning to run the Marine Corps Marathon 2011 this October or any other marathon, for that matter, it’s important to think about what you eat as you train. Runners and athletes used to focus only on what they ate right before competition- usually a ton of pasta. But in the weeks and months leading up to the event, there was less of an emphasis on what to eat. Modern athletes know that what they eat every day is an important part of their training. So what should you eat?

People who are running long-distances every day need many more calories than sedentary people. A 150-lb. person typically burns about 100 calories per mile running. That can give you a good guide to how much more you need to eat based on how much you are running, but the best thing to do is listen to your body. Elite endurance athletes have big appetites and if your body is telling you to eat more, you should listen.

But beyond just eating more, what kind of food should you eat? Athletes need a healthy diet with lots of fresh vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. This kind of healthy diet is best for everyone, but especially for people who are demanding a lot from their bodies. For snacks, try nuts and fruits. Foods to avoid are low-quality carbohydrates like white bread and sweets. Although, as with most things in life, it’s best not to go crazy, you can have a candy bar now and then.

So, eat up and good luck at that marathon!

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