Traditional recipes

Marathon food: fuelling the machine

Marathon food: fuelling the machine

I may be thousands of miles away, but as the London Marathon looms for many nervous runners this weekend, my mind has turned to the food I eat and the way I prepare for the marathons I run every day.

I’ve discovered some incredible things on my trip around the world, from fantastic fine dining in Latvia to terrible tea in India. But the reality is, eating while running around the world isn’t half as exciting – or scientific – as it sounds.

“What do you eat, special protein powders and energy gels and stuff?”

That’s a pretty good example of a question I hear reiterated in many guises once people get over the shock of what I’m doing and the magnitude of the task kicks in. Since I’m eating enough to feed a family of four every week just to maintain my weight, carrying all that with me just isn’t an option.

The truth is I have very little control over my diet – I’m on the road running as fast as I can from A to B, and 18,000 miles later back to A! Compound this with being fully self-supported, with no car to drive off-route to supermarkets and return with supplies, and my choice of diet is very constricted.

I often have to eat whatever has the most calories per dollar or bang for the buck, so to speak.

It’s not food for pleasure – it’s cramming. My mainstays are pasta and rice and pouches of chicken, tuna or salmon. I create sauces using milk powder to make a creamy base and season it for flavour. The milk powder adds much needed protein to my diet, and I use it at breakfast too to make porridge. As I treat I have jelly-style sweets (chocolate melts in this heat) and crackers with peanut butter jam and lemon curd for snacks.

For anything else, the source is sometimes a roadside cafe (a rare treat), but more often than not just snacks found in small village shops or petrol stations. It’s far from ideal, but there’s no choice.

In terms of nutrition, all I can do is damage control. The processed fats present in most shelf-stable cakes and foods are terrible for your health, so I try to counteract these with fish oil capsules I take everyday. Spirulina is the most nutrient-dense foodstuff known to man; it’s a dry green powder that packs so much “goodness” that NASA has researched it as a possible foodstuff for deep-space travel, where the nutrient-to-kilogram ratio really matters!

I take this daily, along with Bovine Colostrum occasionally, which contains the same immune response stimulating properties as human colostrum, and dramatically improves the immune system. When going days without normal food, or when in cities or on flights between continents where people who might pass me germs, I take this to protect me. Top athletes have taken it for years and I find it works.

The reality is I left England seriously overweight for a runner. In fact, as an elite athlete I was classed as morbidly obese on the BMI scale. But I knew I’d be losing weight, particularly in India and Australia. I’ve lost 1 stone so far, and there’ll be another stone gone at least by the time Australia is complete.

In two days’ time I enter the Nullarbor desert, an 800-mile stretch with only a handful of gas stations hundreds of miles apart – and no shops. It will be very tough, but when I’m running across the US, the abundance of takeaways and candy should make maintaining weight very easy, until South America, where I will lose another stone.

By the time I finish I expect to be under 10 stone – I started at 12 stone 12lbs so that’s almost 3 stone, or 25% body weight loss! I’m currently running across Australia, averaging 55 km a day with 200km-plus gaps between water stops, let alone supermarkets. That means I’m already carrying more than my body weight in food and water at some points.

So, good luck to everyone running this weekend – hopefully when you hit the wall the fact you’re not towing a trolley full of food might just pull you through!

Food Is Fuel: Eat Like A Marathon Runner

It's a great time of year for runners! The New York City Marathon is just around the corner and proper nutrition and hydration can make or break your success in this 26.2 mile endeavor. Here are some tips and techniques to help fuel performance.

Runners' success relies on smart sports nutrition in conjunction with a well-established running program.

Regular meals and snacks are vital to optimal performance. While training, eat regularly throughout the day never go more than three to four hours without eating. Before a workout (including race day) eat a light, easily digestible breakfast that's high in healthy carbs for energy. Oatmeal and a banana or a bagel with a light spread of peanut butter — and don’t forget the fluids!

During the race, runners should opt for some quick fluids and other grab-n-go options to help keep energy levels high. Choices include sports drinks and other carbohydrate-rich gels and chews. Runners are strongly encouraged to try these foods out while training to gauge tolerance – no new foods on race day!

Every workout session (yup, race day too) needs to wrap up with a combination of carbohydrates and protein to replenish energy stores and promote muscle growth. Replenishing fluid and electrolytes are also a must. Chocolate milk, Greek yogurt with granola, or a simple turkey sandwich are all powerful recovery foods.

Runners rely on many foods to help fuel their performance. Fuel up on foods stocked with nutrients such as B-vitamins, iron, zinc, healthy fats and inflammation-fighting foods.

Whole grain cereals, breads and pastas, plus fruits, veggies and dairy provide energy producing carbohydrates, plus B-vitamins, zinc and even some iron.

Red meat, fish, poultry and eggs as well as plant-based options like quinoa, beans and soy are packed with protein to get tired muscles back in action.

Fatty fish like salmon as well as flax seed and walnuts are filled with heart-healthy fats that help promote circulation and keep skin and nerves healthy.

Antioxidant-rich fruits & veg

Berries, tomatoes, grapes, broccoli and beets are just a few of the foods filled with cell-protecting photochemicals that help fight inflammation.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

What to Eat on the Long Runs

The variety available is overwhelming. Where to start?

Ultra Marathon Nutrition

Wish there was one place on the web that told you what to eat when and why when training for and racing an ultra marathon? Wouldn’t it be great if you could grab the basics and get rolling and then come back for more detailed advice late, or get a balanced perspective on nutrition all at once?

Nutrition was the most frustrating aspect of training for my first ultra marathon. It doesn’t have to be frustrating for you. It may take some trial and error, but this post will put you on the fast track to finding a nutritional strategy that works for you.

Sorted by Complexity for Your Convenience!

I realize that you’d rather be out running than reading a blog post, so I’ve ranked them according to your level of interest. At the end of this article I’ll give you a list of the products I use when and why, but first it’s important that you understand at least some of the basic “whys” of ultra running nutrition. Again, they are sorted in order from basic, easy to understand explanations to a scientific approach that will satisfy your every curiosity.

1. Most Basic Advice from a World Champion

Marshall Ulrich holds many ultra running world records and has summited Mt. Everest and every other major peak out there. Yep, he’s hardcore. The easy nutritional advice he gives is proven effective at the highest level (no pun intended, oh wait, yes I did).

“Listen to your body and eat what you crave! Your body is smarter than you are and will tell you what you need. But you have to learn to listen to it. Remember to eat a balance of carbohydrates (simple sugars), proteins, and fats. Use the aid stations and, if you have crew, make sure they have a range of foods to give you. Sometimes it is easier to get your calories from liquid sources (like Ensure) or energy gels during a race. Try these during your pre-race training and see what works for you. Of course, stay hydrated, and don’t forget to take in electrolytes, including sodium!”

-Marshall Ulrich

2. Balanced Advice from the most decorated Ultra Runner of all time

Yep, you probably want to listen to this man. Scott Jurek won the Western States 100 (the World Series of Ultra Running) 7 years in a row. He is the current US record holder in a 24 hour race event at 165.7 miles. 165.7 miles in one day! UNBEFLIPPINGLIEVEABLE.

Find his nutrition philosophy here:

(Scroll past the top of the article for the nutritional advice. Actually don’t his training tips are also pure gold for a beginning ultra runner)

“Always familiarize yourself with a new food or drink during training. Many runners have experienced stomach distress when they have tried a new nutritional product in a race situation for the first time. If an event is going to have a certain food or drink on the course and you will not have your own available, use it in training and be very familiar with it before race day.”

-Scott Jurek

3. The Science Behind it All

If you’re like me, the earlier articles just whetted your appetite for more knowledge. You know that the above advice works. Those guys set world records with it. Now read this article by the experts at 1 st Nutrition.* It’s one of the best, easy to understand scientific explanations of ultra running nutrition I’ve found on the web.

Don’t have time to read the article? Bookmark it now, but do not skip the key quote from this one. It’s one of the most critical differences between distance running and ultra running.

“The most overlooked element of nutrition for many runners is pace. It is your pace that determines what ratio of glycogen to fat you burn. As you approach anaerobic, high HR efforts you begin to burn almost exclusively glycogen for which you only carry a 3-hour supply. At moderate aerobic efforts you burn primarily fat, for which you have plenty to last days. Run or walk aerobically all day and you should be able to keep up with your demand for glycogen. Pacing usually fails on that first climb when everyone is together. Stick to YOUR aerobic pace. If you go anaerobic you immediately start burning your glycogen and can, very early on, initiate a bonk. Remember that at altitude your heart rate will be elevated 10-20 beats higher, this means you have to slow the pace even further to get to your aerobic level.”

-Robert Kunz (writing for the First Endurance blog)

*I’m not endorsed by and receive no compensation from 1 st Nutrition. They are makers of various nutritional products for endurance athletes. I’ve never used any of them. That said, I didn’t find the article “salesy” much at all, which is refreshing from a company. Solid, free content? Yes please! Perhaps I’ll even listen about what you’re selling! Crazy how that works.

How I get it done

Anyone who has run a 50+ mile ultra has had to have a least a certain measure of success with nutrition. I’ve tried a lot of different options. Gels, chomps, jelly beans, coffee beans, bites, bars, soup, sandwiches, cakes, and more. Most of it was disastrous. No one nutritional plan works for everyone, but I’ll tell you what worked for me and that might give you a good base line for your efforts.


Duh. For me real food was what I needed. I still regularly take in gels on long runs, but for longer efforts (over 20 miles) I need to mix in something more. Likely you will too. The trick is finding a substantial food source (that incorporates fat and protein in addition to carbs) that your stomach is able to digest without too much trouble.

Impossible you say? I thought so too, but one thing to remember is that during an ultra length run you’re running a lot slower than you would during, say a half marathon. That said, I tried a lot of fuel sources before stumbling upon the most amazing food the world has ever known. (and by “world” I guess I mean, “my stomach while running”).

Lembas Bread

Geek check! Lord of the Rings Fan? Remember that Elven way bread that with one bite magically fuelled a grown man for hours? Well, sadly I haven’t found it at any grocery store in my area.*

But I did find the closest thing us mere mortals have crafted thus far:


Wow, that was anticlimactic. No, not the flavorless dry air of a wafer you’re thinking of. These are homemade bars made from a mixture of white calrose rice and scrambled eggs. From there, garnish and flavoring is up to your particular tastes and experimentation.

Like sweet and salty? Try adding bacon peanut butter, cashews, and raisins.

Want a savory option? Go with bacon, salt (or soy sauce) to taste, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Mix it all up and press it into a pan. Cover and refrigerate. When cool, cut them up into bars and wrap them in aluminum foil. Throw them in your pack or spy belt and eat them whenever you get hungry for more hearty fare.

I freeze them individually wrapped in a gallon ziplock bag and pull out the ones I want to use the next day and put them in the fridge. By morning they are thawed, but cold—perfect for packing on the run

I wish I could take credit for these wonder morsels, but the credit belongs to Dr. Alan Lim. He has a PH.D in sports physiology and is one of the leading cycling nutritionists in the world. I am drawn to his natural approach to nutrition. People need food. Athletes are people. Therefore athletes should eat food. How sad that the concept has become revolutionary!

Here’s a link to a youtube video that shows just how simple it is to prepare Dr. Lim’s rice cakes:

Also, I highly recommend his book, The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes, co-authored by world renowned chef Biju Thomas. It contains tons of portable recipes you can eat on the run. This book has set me on solid ground in terms of ultra running nutrition and I can’t praise it enough!

My Essential Long Run Menu

At long last here’s my list of essential food for a long effort:

  • Dr. Alan Lim’s Rice cakes (one every 1-1.5 hours)
  • Hammer or Gu energy gels (1 between rice cakes and when energy is really flagging)
  • Racing I carry chocolate covered espresso beans. A treat and a kick all-in-one! Yep.

That’s it. Simple is good. Trust me. Try it out.

*I have since found several purported recipes for Lembas Bread on the internet and hey, if it’s on the internet, it must work right?? Ultra Driven does not endorse any of these recipes btw.


What is your favorite thing to eat on a long run? What didn’t work at all?

The Cycling Chef: Recipes for Getting Lean and Fuelling the Machine

'Alan's food is simple, yet tasty and powerful. He's been a key component for my training and racing.' - Alex Dowsett, World Tour rider, former World Hour Record Holder and national champion

'Alan has completely changed my perception of what an athlete's diet can look like.' - Elinor Barker, multiple world champion and Olympic gold medallist

A must-have recipe book designed for cyclists of all levels, written by Alan Murchison – a Michelin-starred chef and champion athlete who now cooks for elite athletes.

As a cyclist, you can have the most amazing diet, but if that isn't balanced with the right training load, you can still end up piling on the pounds, which will slow you down. Michelin-starred chef and leading sports nutritionist Alan Murchison reveals how you can enjoy delicious, nutritionally balanced food and achieve sustainable long-term weight loss whilst positively impacting your cycling performance. A follow-up to Alan's award-winning The Cycling Chef, this is flavoursome food to get you lean and make you go faster.

How to Fuel an Ultra

For any runner who aspires to run an ultra marathon (which is technically anything longer than the marathon distance) and for those of you who currently do tackle ultras, you’ll either have an idea or have personally experienced how daunting fuelling the longer distances properly can be.

I’ve now run a half dozen 50k’s and 50 milers along with 2 x 100 milers (Mountain Lakes 100 2016 and Rio del Lago 100 2017)… And have managed to run into fuelling challenges in most. Of course, the longer the race, the more likely I’ll have issues. It turns out running for more than 12-24 hours straight isn’t exactly easy on the digestive system! Many lessons have been learned and extensive research compiled.

The leading reason behind runners not reaching the finish line in ultras (particularly 100 milers) is gastrointestinal distress. It’s no surprise then that I struggle with nausea and an aversion to nearly all food in every race lasting longer than 5-6 hours. And I’ve heard stories from other runners (and Ironman triathletes) of relentless vomiting and other forms of gastrointestinal distress that did them in. I know I’ve been lucky to never have fuelling issues take me out of a race.

Why Fueling Ultras is HARD

As if the actual act of simply running an ultra isn’t hard enough, fuelling them can be even harder (as demonstrated by the fact GI issues account for the highest percentage of DNF reasons in 100 milers). On a physiological level, it makes sense. Once we start running, the digestive system effectively shuts down and instead blood is directed to the working muscles (our legs). If we are running longer than 90 minutes (as one clearly must during ultras) our bodies require calories to refuel, primarily in the form of carbohydrates. But putting any kind of food or even liquid into the stomach means trying to turn on a digestive system that is more or less closed for business.

In fact, even many marathoners regularly find themselves running into problems with digestion during racing – but because they are out there a (relatively) short amount of time they can usually (but not always) make it to the finish line without being taken out by fueling issues. Of course the ultra runner, who might be running 5 to 12 hours – or even upwards of 24 hours or more – will find these issues simply intensify as the hours go by. Basically the longer the run, the greater the chance the runner will experience gastrointestinal distress – particularly if there is no fueling plan in place that’s been practiced.

In general carbohydrates take less work to digest than fats or proteins, but certain types of carbs appear to cause issues for some. For example, a very popular ingredient in many sports nutrition products called maltodextrin causes gastrointestinal issues in what I’ve found to be a surprisingly high percentage of runners.

On top of this we must rehydrate with the right amount of fluid and take in the correct proportions of electrolytes, specifically sodium (which is the main electrolyte we lose in sweat). But it’s a delicate balance – tipping to either end of too much or too little for both fluid and sodium can trigger GI issues.

While some runners seem have tough gastrointestinal systems able to process more calories and liquid during the stress of physical activity than others, the good news for everyone is that the gut is highly trainable. Unfortunately, just like training for a race takes planning and hard work, training your intestinal system to accept more fuel than what is currently comfortable can also be a tough go. But just as your run training pays off on race day, so too does gut training. And seeing how high the DNF rates are due to gastrointestinal issues, it’s obviously a very good idea to pay attention to both in the months leading up to your race.

What to Eat and Drink in an Ultra

Just to be clear, there’s no simple answer as to what is right for you to consume during an ultra. Different strategies and options work for different runners and while there is no straight up fail-safe calculation, there is a basic formula for all to follow. From there, finding the right calories and fluids to fulfill this formula will depend on trial and error.

Basic Formula to Determine Calorie, Sodium and Fluid Intake

1. Calorie Intake: Sports scientists have determined that our gut can process 30 to 60 and up to 90 grams of carbohydrate per hour. We can digest and absorb up to 60g/hr using glucose (also called dextrose), sucrose (aka sugar which is glucose plus fructose in equal ratio – of interest, most fruit is also a roughly equal combo of glucose and fructose), glucose polymers (aka maltodextrin), or starch (such as rice or oats, which is broken down into glucose molecules upon digestion) – and up to 90g/hr if glucose is combined with fructose in a 2:1 ratio (note – Skratch formulates their exercise hydration in this special ratio for faster digestion / absorption).

However 60 to 90 grams of carb per hour tends to feel very high for many athletes – more than they can comfortably take in. Taking in more carbohydrates than the gut can handle causes nausea, bloating and other forms of gastrointestinal distress.

Of course, as noted above, the gut is trainable. That said, I prefer to both train the gut and also train my body to become more metabolically efficient (or at least fat-load pre-race) so as to reduce the amount of carbohydrate required.

The calculation for traditional athletes (who eat a high carb diet) is to aim to replace 30-40% of calories burned (via carbs). For fat-adapted athletes it would be approximately half that. These numbers are based on the approximate percentage of fat and carbohydrates utilized for energy during the run (we are always burning a mix of the two, at varying ratios given the intensity). Note – these calculations are imperfect, but they do provide a useful estimate in which to begin building your nutrition plan.

In order to come up with your personal carbohydrate requirement, you must first determine how many calories you burn per hour in your given activity (you might use an online calculator such as Once that is done, move to the step below to calculate how many of those calories are carbohydrate calories that need to be replaced.

  • Traditional (high carb) fueled athlete – multiply your hourly caloric expenditure by 0.3 and 0.4 – then divide each number by 4 (this replaces calories in the form of carbs at a rate of 30-40%)
  • Fat-adapted (high fat) fueled athlete – multiply your hourly caloric expenditure by 0.15 and 0.20 – then divide each number by 4 (this replaces calories in the form of carbs at a rate of 15-20%)

For example, a 68kg (150 lb) female runner would burn 576 calories per hour running a 50-miler with a goal time of 10 hours (12:00 min per mile pace).

As a traditional athlete she would require 43 to 58 grams carb per hour (576 x 0.3 = 173 / 4 = 43 and 576 x 0.4 = 230 / 4 = 58).

As a fat-adapted athlete she would require 22 to 29 grams carb per hour (576 x 0.15 = 86 / 4 = 22 and 576 x 0.2 = 115 / 4 = 29).

She may end up consuming a greater amount of calories per hour overall, but that would be because she adds fat and/or protein to the mix.

At the very least these calculations give you approximately how many carbohydrates you need to be consuming per hour. And seeing as carbohydrates are the limiting fuel for all athletes (fat-adapted for not), that is the most important macronutrient to get the calculations right for.

2. Fluid Intake: the amount you need to take in depends on your sweat rate, which in turn depends on genetics (individual body chemistry – you know if you’re a heavy sweater!!), temperature, humidity, intensity (how hard you’re running) and duration (how long you’ll be out there running).

If you don’t take in enough fluid, eventually your gut will not be able to process food (unfortunately once you reach this point it takes a long time to rebound from it) and you’ll have difficulties regulating body temperature. If you take in too much fluid (particularly without enough sodium), you may end up with hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels leading to brain swelling) which can be detrimental and even life threatening. Both over and under hydrating can lead to nausea and GI distress.

A good general guide is to start with about 2 cups (500 ml / 16 ounces) of fluid per hour – and drink more or less depending on thirst (you’ll tend to need more in hot, humid situations and less in cool conditions). Using thirst as your guide as to how much to drink is a valuable asset and one athletes mustn’t be afraid to learn to rely on. Drinking ad libitum – in other words, drinking fluid whenever desired, or drinking to thirst, is the latest advice from the American College of Sports Medicine (taking the place of the outdated advice to ‘drink before you’re thirsty according to a schedule of 800-1200ml fluid per hour’). A 2011 study found that cyclists who drank according to thirst performed better than when they drank ‘below thirst’ or ‘above thirst’.

3. Sodium Intake: your sodium intake is dependent on your fluid intake. You want to aim for 300 to 400 mg of sodium per 2 cups (500 ml / 16 oz) of fluid consumed. This helps to prevent hyponatremia and deliver the electrolytes your body requires. Both too little and too much sodium can lead to nausea and GI distress.

Once you’ve done the calculations, it’s time to start figuring out what food and drink you might use to meet your needs. Here is a short list of items that can help you meet your targets:

    (1 serving mixed up) – 2 cups fluid / 360 mg sodium / 21 grams carb
  • Plain water (500 ml) – 2 cups fluid / no sodium / no carb
  • Broth (such as full sodium regular veggie broth) (per 8oz serving) – 1 cup fluid / 540 mg sodium / 3 gram carb – no fluid / 105-110 mg sodium / 21-25 grams carb – no fluid / 240-245 mg sodium / 21-25 grams carb (per cookie) – no fluid / 50 mg sodium / 18 grams carb (per cake) – no fluid / 14 mg sodium / 50 grams carb (per bar) – no fluid / 108 mg sodium / 28 grams carb (per serving) – 0.3 cup fluid / 50 mg sodium / 22 grams carb (per serving) – 0.3 cup fluid / 50 mg sodium / 24 grams carb
  • Candied ginger (such as this Naked uncrystallized ginger which is my absolute favourite, probably because ginger helps alleviate nausea) (per 25 g) – no fluid / 5 mg sodium / 20 grams carb (in case your food and sports drink just don’t cover off your sodium requirements) (per 2 tablets) – no fluid / 100 mg sodium / 2 gram carb (per 1 pouch ) – no fluid / 160 mg sodium / 40 grams carb
  • Dried tart cherries (1/3 cup, Eden brand) – no fluid / 15 mg sodium / 36 grams carb
  • Oranges (2-3 wedges or ½ a medium orange) – 0.1 cup fluid (1 ounce) / no sodium / 8 grams carb
  • Watermelon (1 wedge/286g or

1/16 of a large watermelon) –

Obviously this is a relatively short list as I’ve not included many sports nutrition products on the market or even real foods one might turn to. For example, aside from Skratch there are other properly formulated hypotonic sports drinks that contain at least 300mg sodium per 500 ml serving (such as Tailwind or Osmo) – it just so happens that I find Skratch to contain the most natural ingredients and taste the best, therefore it’s what I personally use and recommend. To make your own list, jot down the ones from above that interest you and then grab your favourites and figure out their fluid/sodium/carbs to add them to your plan.

Once you’ve chosen your mix, it’s time to start practicing! You must use every opportunity to practice, so at least once a week during your long run you are putting your strategies to the test. Even if you think a 2-hour easy run doesn’t require fueling, the fact is you need to use that opportunity to train your gut for race day (this statement is basically aimed directly at myself, ha).

What about using Fat as Fuel during races?

Using a LCHF (‘low carbohydrate high fat’ – generally between 100-200 grams carb daily and 50-70% calories as fat) or a more extreme ketogenic diet (consuming less than 30-50 gram of carb per day or up to 80 grams for very active athletes) on a daily basis can be very useful in becoming more metabolically efficient. It essentially trains the athlete to tap into a higher percentage of fat for fuel. However during intense activity (i.e. racing), carbohydrates are still burned (albeit at a lesser percentage) making them the limiting fuel (the anaerobic system uses only glucose, aka carbs, for fuel and we can only store about 90-120 minutes worth in our muscles). Therefore it is carbohydrates that primarily need to be replaced during races. However, for races longer than 8 to 12 hours, the more fat and protein may also need to come into the picture to provide satiation and more complete nourishment for the athlete.

For example, even fat-adapted and top performing ultra runner Zach Bitter takes in primarily only carbohydrates while racing (per his blogpost here), albeit at a much lower caloric rate than traditional sports nutrition because he has trained his body to burn a higher percentage of fat at higher intensities. Yes, even for fat-adapted athletes, carbohydrates will always be the limiting fuel at high intensities – while fat stores remain virtually unlimited. It is for this reason that technically the only fuel that needs to be replaced DURING racing is carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates, fluids and sodium – three pieces to a puzzle that’s admittedly not the easiest to put together. However armed with the info above you should at the very least find yourself further ahead than before. Personally, I’ve done my calculations and drawn up a new nutrition plan – and am now in the process of gut training, to be put to the test next month in a 100K race and also in May when I attempt my 3rd 100 miler! For all you ultra runners (and Ironman athletes or other ultra endurance athletes!!)… Take the time to calculate, plan and practice – and best of luck in reaching your finish line feeling good and strong.

During the race two things will be important: carbohydrate and fluids. For both it is important to take enough, but not too much. Too much fluid or carbohydrate can cause an upset stomach. Drinking large amounts of fluid that lead to weight gain is certainly not recommended and may even cause hyponatremia- a potentially health threatening condition.


The only way to really understand your sweat rate and how much drinking is required is by weighing yourself before and after training in the weeks leading up to the marathon. This way, your sweat rate can be calculated by subtracting the weight after from the weight before and adding the volume of fluids consumed. There are various sweat calculator on the internet that will help you do these calculations.

If you are running in similar condition and at a similar pace to the actual marathon, sweat rates will be similar. The cups you receive during a marathon usually contain about 150 ml (5 oz.) and you probably consume about 100 ml of that (3 oz.). To prevent dehydration, you will have to drink amounts that are similar to your sweat rate. A runner’s stomach can empty about 6 to 7 ounces (180 to 210 ml) of fluid every 15 minutes during running, representing about 24 to 28 ounces (720 to 840 ml) per hour. This, however, can be trained, practiced, and improved if needed.


Carbohydrate requirements are more straightforward. Studies seem to suggest that you can use about 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour from most carbohydrate sources. Athletes should target 30 to 60 grams per hour. An athlete finishing in the 4 to 5 hour range will be OK with being at the lower end of this. Athletes aiming for a 3 hour finish could benefit more from being at the higher end of this range. Recent studies also suggest a dose response relationship. In other words: more carbohydrate could be better for performance. But of course too much might cause gastrointestinal problems and have the opposite effect. It becomes a balancing act with your “gut feeling” as your gauge.

  • 1 Banana 24-30 g
  • Gel 21-27 g
  • Energy bar 20-40 g
  • 4-5 Chews 16-25 g
  • 10 Jelly beans 11 g

The good news is that your gut is extremely trainable and you could actually train it to tolerate these drinks, gels, bars, etc. which means you will have to use it in training regularly. So use all the products you will use in the race in training!

Also avoid experimenting on race day with new products. There is also a flipside to this coin. Those athletes who are not regularly consuming carbohydrate, are trying to lose weight, are on a high fat diet and so on, will have a diminished capacity to absorb carbohydrate and more likely to have gastrointestinal problems during exercise.

Electrolytes (sodium) may help with absorption and some sodium in your drinks or gels is therefore recommended but don’t overdo it! A marathon is too short to cause extreme sodium losses that will impact performance or health.

Many athletes use caffeine before or during a marathon to boost their performance. This practice is indeed supported by scientific evidence although there may be individual differences in tolerance and perception. It works for most but may cause negative effects for a few. Studies have demonstrated that relatively small amounts of caffeine are required to give optimal effects (3mg per kilogram body weight 200mg for a 70kg person) and a general recommendation is not to exceed a daily intake of 400 mg caffeine from all sources. Caffeinated gels usually contain between 25 and 50mg of caffeine and an espresso 80 to 100 mg.

Recovery Quinoa Salad Recipe


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed using a fine-mesh strainer
  • 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt, divided
  • 3 cups loosely packed, finely chopped kale, stems removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (include the seeds if you like spice)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed, or 1. cups cooked black beans
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (3–4 limes)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated Cotija, crumbled feta cheese or chopped olives


In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil the quinoa, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and all the water has been absorbed, 15–20 minutes.

Transfer to a large salad bowl, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. Once cool, add kale, red bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, black beans, lime juice, oil and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt to quinoa and toss to combine.

Taste and add additional salt, if needed. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with avocado, pumpkin seeds and the cheese or olives.

Welcome everyone! Kate Percy’s all started with my cookbooks and my passion to bring what I call #enerjoy into our everyday lives that’s great tasting food, good energy, vitality and happiness!

Back in 2000 I radically altered my family’s diet to help my husband who was struggling for energy in his training for the New York Marathon. His energy levels soared, and the whole family felt so much better, more energised!

This fuelled my passion to help others discover the link between great food, exercise and better mental health.

Three best-selling cookbooks and a multi award-winning snack later, I’m so happy to say that inspired thousands of people to find their #enerjoy.

Bringing up three of my own children and spending many years running workshops in schools I’ve experienced first-hand the huge challenge faced by the next generation. That’s why at the heart of everything we do is is our #5by2025 mission to enable kids to cook and be more active to discover their #enerjoy!

Please do have a browse around the website. I update it personally with new recipes every week and our latest news.

Don’t forget to head to the shop to find out more about Kate Percy’s books and Go Bites too!

What to Eat When You’re Training for a Marathon

Figuring out exactly what your nutrition needs are when you’re training hard and logging so many miles can be difficult.

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That’s complicated even further by the fact that many marathoners find they gain weight when they train because their hunger levels shoot up fast.

If this applies to you, wellness expert Michael Roizen, MD, recommends adding more protein to your diet and spacing out meals with a couple of healthy snacks (think almonds and fruit).

As you get closer to race day, thinking about your nutrition is even more important. You have to prepare your body for the intensity of covering 26.2 miles.

Here’s what he recommends eating for performing your best:

Two weeks out – Start hydrating by drinking more water and adding more complex carbohydrates, like whole-grain foods and vegetables to your diet.

Three days before the race – Complex carbohydrates should make up about 70% of your diet, fat 20% and protein 10%.

The night before the race – No new foods! Stay as bland as possible to avoid any gastrointestinal distress. A little grilled chicken, whole grains and veggies are great. Water, water, water.

Three hours before the race – A healthy breakfast of 800 to 1,200 calories will give you energy stores that last. Try oatmeal, a whole-grain bagel or nonfat yogurt. Drink plenty of water and skip the fatty foods, which can aggravate your stomach. Drink coffee if you’re used to it, but don’t go overboard ― or else you may be spending more time in the Port-O-Potties than on the road.

During the race – Keep drinking water, but also add a sports drink that replenishes the electrolytes, sodium and potassium you will burn after the first hour and a half. Energy gels are fine (provided you have trained with them and know they won’t upset your stomach).

After the race – More sports drink to replace lost nutrients. Also make sure to have something light to replace blood sugar levels, like fruit or whole-grain pretzels, and some of that lean protein.

This article was adapted from the best-selling book “What to Eat When” by Michael F. Roizen, MD, and Micheal Crupain, MD, MPH with Ted Spiker (©2018 National Geographic Books)


The idea that certain foods can help to reduce inflammation in the body is nothing new. But as I have undertaken my own journey to feel my best, heal my digestive system and perform better well I finally started really paying attention!

What to eat after a run isn’t just about calories. It’s about the foods that are going to help us progress in our training!

What&rsquos the deal with inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is what leads us to major disease states, effects athletic performance and causes mental issues such as depression. Thus implementing long term solutions such as meditation and optimal food choices are going to help achieve all those goals I just listed!

I absolutely believe food is powerful and I love this statement from Dr Haymen:

Disease is not a normal consequence of aging&hellipYour body is a system, an ecosystem where everything is connected. When that system is out of balance, disease arises&hellip.the body becomes out of balance : Too much of the bad stuff (poor diet, stress, microbes, toxins and allergens), and not enough of the good stuff (whole, real fresh food, nutrients, movement, water, air, light, rest, sleep, rhythm, love, connection, meaning and purpose).

As discussed previously tired, sad and sick are not normal ! Or maybe more accurately it has become common for many American&rsquos, but it doesn&rsquot need to be that way.

The following anti-inflammatory food pyramid was developed by health expert Dr.Weil and I find it more useful than any chart ever produced by the US Government! I love that the biggest focus is on 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily! Everyone who has undertaken one of my challenges knows that I promote this over cutting out foods and many are surprised to find that they weren&rsquot getting anywhere near that number.

Another reason I love this chart is because it includes the use of herbs and spices!

While I do use some supplements daily, like a digestive enzyme and Vega Sport, I believe that you must start with a base of great nutrition before expecting supplements to work .

One way you can naturally do that is through understanding how spices like turmeric reduce inflammation or garlic serves to promote great heart health. EASY and cheap spices allow you to change the taste of your food and improve your health without ever buying a pill.

What America's Fittest Peloton Instructors Eat In A Day

Spoiler alert: They're as obsessed with Trader Joe's as you are.

To take a Peloton class is to feel like you just became BFFs with your instructor. The cool luxury of inviting the cycling experts into your home has spawned a loyal fan base of ride-or-die followers&mdashand turned the instructors into mini celebrities.

People want to know the person behind the bike, which is why many instructors have amassed tens of thousands of followers on Instagram. But we wanted to know more than their &lsquoGram grid could show. We asked five top instructors to open up about their daily routines&mdashwhen they workout, who they cool down with, and, obviously, what they eat.

Jump To

Emma Lovewell | Hannah Corbin | Olivia Amato | Cody Rigsby

Emma doesn&rsquot &ldquojust&rdquo teach Peloton classes&mdashshe&rsquos also a dancer and a model. Ironically, modeling is what brought her to Peloton in the first place. &ldquoI met the folks at Peloton in 2012, right when they were getting started, and was eventually hired as a model for them,&rdquo the 33-year-old says. She kept in touch over the years and became an instructor two years ago. Emma&rsquos a self-professed &ldquobig food person,&rdquo with a blog ( of original recipes to prove it. &ldquoMy mom is Chinese, and I grew up with a lot of Chinese home-cooked meals,&rdquo she says. &ldquoI realize the importance of cooking at home. I&rsquom just trying figure out how to eat healthier and have it taste good.&rdquo


I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and drank a glass of room temperature water with lemon, followed by a fruit and veggie smoothie with banana, blueberries, spinach, avocado, almond butter, and almond milk. I like having a smoothie for breakfast because it&rsquos quick, and I can pack a lot of nutrients into one cup. I followed that with a cup of hot green tea. I&rsquove been making matcha lately&mdashand loving it.

I left the house around 10 a.m. for the gym and did weight training with my trainer for an hour and a half. When I left, I drank a bottle of water and headed over to Peloton to teach a 30 minute HIIT class.

Right after class, I ate lunch around 2:30 p.m. I went to Bite and got a vegetable Moroccan lentil soup with a piece of pita bread. I saw my physical therapist just after for a 45-minute session then headed home to Brooklyn.

I love to cook, so I whipped together a vegetable Thai coconut green curry dish with bamboo shoots, broccoli, taro, carrots, and onions, and served it over brown basmati rice. It was so good! I love mixing a bunch of different vegetables together for a meal.

After dinner, I had a piece of dark chocolate and a cup of African Rooibos tea. I always make sure to drink decaffeinated tea at night so I don&rsquot have trouble falling asleep.


Saturday is my day off&mdashso I woke up around 8:30 a.m. I try to stay in Brooklyn and like to lay low as much as possible. Almost every Saturday, my boyfriend and I make pancakes (gluten-free with oat flour!) together for breakfast. We added chocolate chips, covered the pancakes with fresh fruit (raspberries, blueberries, bananas), and topped them with real maple syrup from Vermont. We also made fresh-ground coffee, served with a little bit of half and half.

Around 1 p.m., I started to make a favorite crockpot recipe, butternut squash coconut chili. This recipe tastes and smells so good. My whole apartment ends up smelling like it, and I don&rsquot mind at all. While that was cooking for four hours in the crockpot, I made myself some avocado toast with multigrain bread, avocado, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and salt and pepper. I like to have a light lunch after a heavier breakfast.

Around 6 p.m., we ate dinner, which was the butternut squash coconut chili over quinoa. We cut up a Cara Cara orange as dessert.

Lunar New Year

For the Lunar New Year eve, I hosted dinner with a group of friends at a Mongolian hot pot restaurant in Chinatown. That day, I ate pretty normally until dinnertime. I had my fruit and veggie smoothie and hot oatmeal with fruit, cacao nuts, and walnuts for breakfast.

For lunch, I had food from Green Symphony on 6th Avenue and 15th Street&mdashsteamed vegetables (kale, carrots, cabbage, sprouts) with tofu and a veggie patty on top, served with hot sauce and tahini sauce.

For dinner, we all met up around 6 p.m. but didn&rsquot sit down to eat until 7 p.m. There were around 10 of us, and we ordered two big hot pots&mdashone spicy and one mild. All the food comes raw and you cook it together, all in the big pots. We had Kobe beef, pork, tons of vegetables (bok choy, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, lotus root), tofu, calamari, fish balls, rice noodles, and dumplings. You also get to make your own sauce to dip everything into. Mine had a mixture of scallions, black bean paste, hot chili oil, and soy sauce with garlic. We surprisingly ate everything&hellipand still had room for dessert: fried soft rice cakes with green tea ice cream.

Hannah Marie is as OG as Peloton instructors come. &ldquoWhen I came onboard, we didn&rsquot even have a studio yet,&rdquo she says. These days, when she&rsquos not teaching, the 30-year-old trains as a dancer and aerialist. It&rsquos led her to adopt a food-as-fuel mentality. &ldquoI want the best things in my body to get through my day but also so that I can age gracefully,&rdquo Hannah Marie says, noting that she&rsquos &ldquomostly vegan&rdquo and hasn&rsquot had dairy in 10 years. Luckily she&rsquos got a live-in, quasi personal chef: her husband, who loves to cook. &ldquoI definitely reap the benefits of his hard work,&rdquo she laughs. While she does the grocery shopping, she admits, "It wouldn&rsquot be as easy to eat at home if I was depending on my own cooking skills because they&rsquore definitely lacking.&rdquo


I always eat within an hour of waking up in the morning. Breakfast was a sweet potato quinoa casserole, made from a recipe I got from the Running On Veggies blog. I make this once a month to use for a week of breakfasts. After that, I did weight training, which I followed up with a post-workout shake of blueberries, vegan protein, and soy milk. I'm actually not a huge fan of protein powder, but I don't eat meat, so it's necessary with how much I exercise.

I got ready to teach a Peloton class by putting branched-chain amino acids in my water bottle, which I do every time I have an intense workout. After that, I had lunch, which was a green and grain bowl with falafel from Cava and a dark chocolate peanut cup.

Later, I taught two short rides and a stretching class at Peloton. I followed that up with an afternoon iced coffee. I take my coffee black&mdashI usually skip milk and sugar. I would rather consume extra calories by way of dark chocolate or a glass of Pinot Noir at the end of the day.

Dinner was a quinoa bowl at home. I combine anything I have around the kitchen. Tonight was arugula, quinoa, kidney beans, veggie sausage, roasted broccoli, and cauliflower. For a pre-bedtime snack, I had grapes and a handful of tortilla chips. Salt and sugar&hellipit felt right at the time!


I slept in and went straight for an early lunch, which was an open-faced sandwich topped with garbanzo bean salad (from the Plantpower Way Meal Planner) and a quarter of an avocado. I went back for seconds about an hour later!

After that, I had an acupuncture appointment, followed by a snack of veggies and edamame hummus. Dinner was sweet potato enchiladas, using a recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook. These are a staple in my house, thanks to my husband.

Afterwards, I enjoyed a post-dinner couch cocktail: a smoky boulevardier (whiskey, vermouth, and Campari).

Holiday Dinner

My special occasion days aren't so different from any other day. A long time ago I realized that I didn't need a special occasion to indulge, but that only came after I realized that indulgence doesn't have to equate to feeling sick and terrible.

For breakfast, I had coffee with chocolate oat milk. My mom and I like to act fancy with our homemade "mochas." We snacked while we cooked, noshing on veggies, crackers, olives, and almonds.

For dinner, I had green beans, homemade rolls, and mashed potatoes made with dairy-free milk and Earth Balance "butter." (Pro tip: My family normally doesn't notice that there isn't dairy unless you tell them.) I also had acorn squash stuffed with quinoa, kidney beans, toasted walnuts and cranberries. Dessert was a ½ slice of angel food cake, and 1/2 slice of marionberry pie with coconut whipped cream on top. I had a second dinner of more mashed potatoes later on.

Olivia started a career in finance but realized she missed the team aspect and motivation that she used to have when playing sports. So three years ago, she made the transition and became a fitness instructor. Two years later, she joined the Peloton team. &ldquoI wanted to make the best part of my day what I do for a living,&rdquo the 26-year-old says. When it comes to food, she tends to eat when she&rsquos hungry. &ldquoEverything in moderation&mdashI don&rsquot limit myself and I don&rsquot follow a specific diet,&rdquo she says. Still, Olivia prefers to make her own food: &ldquoThen I know what I&rsquom putting in it.&rdquo


I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and took Tobi for a walk. I drank coffee with almond milk and got to the studio to teach my morning Tread classes: one 20-minute run and one 20-minute core class. At 8:30, I took a Pilates class to stretch it out.

I went home to walk Tobi and feed him breakfast. I grabbed a regular coffee with oat milk during the walk. Around 11 a.m., I had two eggs and two veggie sausages for breakfast. After breakfast, I worked on my playlists for my Peloton classes the following day.

I had a meeting at Peloton at 1 p.m. and had lunch around 2:30 p.m. I'm a creature of habit, and when I find something I like, I stick to it. There is a small restaurant in Flatiron called Green Symphony that I love. The food is so simple and healthy, and I always feel great after I eat it. I usually order it to my apartment, but I went there in person this time and got steamed veggies, brown rice, and a veggie patty with tahini and hot sauce. It's so good!

I did a strength workout in the gym in my building, and afterward, I programmed my classes for the next few days and answered emails. I also took a 20-minute nap.

I had dinner around 7 p.m. I&rsquove been trying to branch out a bit more by cooking new recipes, and tonight, I made Panko-breaded cod with broccoli and sliced potatoes. It was delicious.


I had the day off from work, so I woke up around 9 a.m., grabbed a hot coffee with almond milk from Sarabeth&rsquos, and took my puppy Tobi for a walk. When we got home, I fed Tobi breakfast and made yogurt for myself. I used 3/4 cup nonfat Trader Joe&rsquos yogurt with frozen blueberries, a sprinkle of muesli, and one tablespoon of almond butter.

After breakfast, I walked to SoHo with Tobi to pick up a new pair of running shoes at Nike then met up with a friend for a matcha from Matchaful. I also had a matcha cashew butter cup. They&rsquore handmade in Brooklyn and so delicious. They also have matcha in them. so they&rsquore healthy, right?!

When I got home, I made lunch: three Trader Joe&rsquos turkey meatballs on a Greek salad, which I made with lettuce, cabbage, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. After lunch, I got ready for my weekly Trader Joe&rsquos run, which is about a 10-minute walk from my apartment.

I love having breakfast for dinner. I made eggs with ricotta, peppers, and two slices of turkey bacon. Sometimes I&rsquoll add one or two small gluten-free pancakes, too. I have a huge sweet tooth, so I have to have something sweet after dinner. I&rsquove been really into a few pieces of chocolate-covered banana or strawberries recently.

Dinner With Friends

When I know I&rsquom going out for a dinner with friends, I eat lighter during the day. For breakfast, I had a ½ cup of yogurt with blueberries and cinnamon. Lunch was salad with spinach, feta, and sliced chicken breast, with balsamic vinegar. For a snack, I had a pink lady apple.

Finally, it was time for my celebration dinner with friends. We went to Lil&rsquo Frankie&rsquos in the East Village. I don&rsquot eat pasta and pizza a lot, but when I do, I make sure it&rsquos good&mdashand this was amazing. We ordered a bunch of different pizzas, pastas, and salads for the table to share, which I loved because we got to try a little bit of everything. I can honestly say everything was delicious. My favorite was the lemon pasta&mdashit was so simple, yet so good. I left the night feeling great because I had such a fun night with my friends and also enjoyed the food, knowing that tomorrow I&rsquoll be back on track with my normal schedule and routine.

Watch the video: ΑΣΚΗΣΗ ΑΝΑΠΝΟΗΣ ΓΙΑ ΑΥΞΗΣΗ ΤΗΣ ΑΝΤΟΧΗΣ (January 2022).