My day on a plate: what to eat while training for a marathon

I’m going to start right here by saying I am not a dietitian or an expert on food in any way (although I would describe myself as a very enthusiastic amateur eater). But I’ve had quite a few messages asking me what I’m eating while I’m training for a marathon, so I thought I’d get all Pete Evans on your ass and get to sharing.

Although I say I’m no dietitian, I am actually seeing a fantastic dietitian and following a plan so that I am in the best shape possible to run 42.195km at the Gold Coast on 3 July. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how long that is and how soon that is? Yep. Okay. Moving on…

I’m focused on three things right now:

  1. losing some body fat so I’m sleek as a mofo, making hauling my frame around that course a little bit easier
  2. fuelling effectively to be able to run for a really really really really long time
  3. sorting my IBS gut issues.

I’m not going to focus on the gut stuff today because marathon training with IBS is super niche (I’m doing it before it’s cool), and only three of you would find it useful. I know I have issues with lactose, so when you see dairy in my plan, I am having lactose-free stuff. If you don’t have any issues with dairy, feel free to proceed like a normal person.

Okay, so here’s a typical day on a plate:

5:20am Wake up and eat a banana (I skip this for easy runs, but have a bit of fuel before long runs or interval training)

5:30am Run, Forrest, Run! (If I’m doing a long run, I’ll take Gu Chews or Gel with me and have one pack after each hour of running.)

7am (ish, generally just after I get back from training) 3/4 cup Table of Plenty nicely nutty muesli; 1 cup of fruit (raspberries and rockmelon are favourites); 70g yoghurt; splash of milk

10am 2 rice thins with 100% peanut butter

1pm Wrap bread with a couple of slices of cheese (my gut can tolerate hard cheeses, thank the universe), a metric buttload of salad veggies and about a tablespoon of tahini

4pm A piece of fruit and 2 squares of super dark worthy chocolate (wooooot!)

7pm 200g grilled tofu (you know, or a steak about the size of your palm, we roll both ways here); corn on the cob (or a baked potato or sweet potato) and another buttload of salad with a splash of olive oil and lemon juice

9pm Herbal tea (I know, par-tay! I really like licorice tea to finish off my day. It curbs any sweet cravings I have and I have this Pavlovian association between licorice tea and sleep now.)

Obviously, that’s just one day. I do also eat a fair amount of spelt sourdough bread and potatoes, which make me very happy. I’m never hungry, and I love that I get to still eat chocolate.

I’ve been steadily losing fat (I know this because I am submitting myself to the fortnightly humiliation of those skin calipers squeezing my bits all over the place) and, along with the awesome training with Operation Move, I am getting fitter and leaner by the week.

So what do you think? Could you live on that?





Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


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