What to eat 24 hours before a marathon

April 24, 2015
by hellofresh Learn

    by The Running Bug

    Running the London Marathon this weekend?

    Our Friends at The Running Bug have given us some top tips on what to eat before a marathon (which can be just as important as all the work you’ve put in up to this point!)

    The most important thing to bear in mind is hydration. You should be drinking at least 2 litres of water a day in the week before the race as your body will need to be fully hydrated. You don’t want to feel like you have to glug back tonnes of water during the marathon as this can cause stomach pains and make for an uncomfortable run. Water is needed to convert carbohydrates to glycogen – the fuel you’ll need to run well on marathon day.

    Most runners will know the importance of carb loading, and this isn’t a myth. So ensure you stock up on pastas, grains and bread. It’s also vital you get all the nutrients you need, so lots of fruit and vegetable is a must, and try to avoid high sugar and high fat foods like biscuits, chocolate and takeaways. Just because you’ll be burning a lot of calories on the day, doesn’t mean you can eat rubbish all week and get away with it.

    Top tip: Stick to what you know! Don’t try out a new gel, or a meal you don’t often have. The last thing you want is a dodgy tummy.

    Want more tips on how to prepare for a marathon? Have a look at our ultimate guide to running a marathon here.

    The day before


    Meals should contain a good mix of protein and carbs, though make sure the carbs are medium-low on the glycaemic index, so keep intakes of things like white potatoes, chips and bagels low. Opt for sweet jacket potato with tuna mayo, alongside a wholemeal pitta stuffed with salad, peppers and hummus, then follow up with a home made fruit smoothie.


    Don’t feel the need to stuff yourself and overeat the night before, and obviously avoid anything that could irritate your stomach, so keep meals simple, not too creamy and also spice free. Something as basic as pasta with a tomato and vegetable sauce with a sprinkling of cheese is ideal. Alternatively, couscous with grilled chicken and salad would also work well. Follow up with a dessert of yoghurt, fruit and honey.

    You want to make sure you get a really good night’s sleep, so lay off the coffee, and avoid alcohol too as this will just cause dehydration, as will adding too much salt to your meals.


    When it comes to breakfast it’s probably best to stick to what you’ve been eating before your long training runs. Porridge, with a banana and a couple of slices of wholemeal toast with jam on the side is plenty, just make sure you leave a couple of hours for your body to digest this before the race begins.

    If you’re having to eat at home before travelling to the start line and will have quite a big gap between breakfast and the race, then take a couple of cereal bars or an energy gel/beans to give you a little boost before you begin. Most importantly make sure you drink enough water

    Visit therunningbug.co.uk for more!

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