T Nation

Marathon Nutrition

The bad news just came in: full thickness tear of my left supraspinatus. Now I have a matched set, having torn my right in 1997. I toughed out the right one, and my training (powerlifting/bodybuilding plus 1-2 classes of MMA a week) never really suffered after the 2-3 month period immediately following the tear (during which I stayed light to let the swelling in the bursa go down).

I’m 43, though, and I need to be realistic about my options. Looks like my summer is going to be a long, dull stretch of light weight and high reps. So I’m looking for a challenge.

I’m considering doing a marathon (it’s 19 weeks away, in mid-Oct). I’d keep one MMA class a week, and probably one full-body workout, too. Other than that, though, it’d be roadwork galore.

I weigh about 195 now (probably 15-17% bodyfat), and have been using Berardi’s stuff (P+C breakfast, all other P+F except Surge post-workout). Since I don’t want to turn into a skinny marathon bee-atch, I’m wondering if you’ve got any suggestions about diet that’ll let me run the race without looking like a doughboy. Thanks, guys…

Bosco,

I don’t think training for and doing a marathon race is going to turn you into a doughboy.

But, a lengthy period of marthon training might.

All though you might read up on some nutrition on running a marthon. I think the eating will be extremely diffrent then what you are use to.

Now are your goals in simply just to finish the race or to win it or be in the top 10?

My suggestion is to pick up one of Jeff Galloway’s book on marathon running. He has a unique way of training for a marathon and it might benfit you.

Hope this helps.

In Health,

Silas C.

Simply stated, my goal is to finish a marathon in relative comfort (i.e. not staggering across the finish line). I’d like, too, to maintain some modicum of muscle mass while acheiving this goal. I realize that the lengthy runs will require a bit more carbs, but I’d like not to fall into the trap of eating like an aerobics instructor. I guess I’m looking for some general guidelines regarding a diet plan that’ll let me get through this comfortably. Thanks again…

hi Bosco,
I’ve done several marathons and all kinds of other races. while I’ve been pretty competitive at most mid to long distance races, I don’t look like the skinny marathoners you hear described here(skinny marathon bee-atch, as you put it). actually most people I know who run in my range for the marathon(2:50-3:00) are actually pretty ripped and carry quite a bit of muscle mass. it is possible to train for longer distance races and maintain muscle mass…you may lose a bit, but it will come back when you cut back on mileage. the last few years I’ve eaten by the glycemic index, only taking in higher glycemic foods during and immediately after longer runs(10+ miles) and workouts. seems to help with performance, muscle maintenance and fat loss. I wouldn’t change much with how you’re eating(Berardi’s plan is great)…play with the macro-nutrient ratio see what works for you. most important is to eat, and eat a lot…that will help you maintain the muscle mass you’ve gained. I never really went crazy with carbs, as it wasn’t really necessary for me to perform well.
hth
good luck and have fun
Chuck
PS: which one are you doing? Cape Cod? that was my 1st marathon.

Thanks for the input, Chuck. I’m looking at the Ocean State, which is in the cooler weather and is relatively flat. Sounds like you’ve got the diet dialed in pretty well…I guess I keep with what I’m doing, looking to perhaps add one more P+C meal (with complex carbs only) to ensure I’m getting enough fuel. And I do plan on eating plenty…I did a few triathlons some years (and pounds) ago, and I remember how those long bikes/runs made me crazy-hungry. Thanks again…