Fall is a great time to run a marathon … temperatures are cooler and the foliage is a bonus. But even if you’re been preparing all summer, there are still health tips to consider.
Mayo Clinic sports medicine expert Edward Laskowski, M.D., offers some pre-race tips:
- The day before the marathon, consume extra calories, especially high-carbohydrate foods such as bread, cereal, rice, pasta and/or potatoes.
- To enable fluid absorption, start drinking fluids at least four hours before exercise.
- Most marathoners find they perform better if they consume carbohydrates during the race. Sports drinks, bars and gels are good options.
- To avoid runners’ diarrhea, at least one day before running, limit or avoid sweeteners called sugar alcohols — most often found in sugar-free candies, gum and ice cream. For three to six hours before running, limit or avoid caffeine and high-fat foods.
- After-marathon food should include protein, preferably peanut butter or string cheese, which you should eat within two hours after stepping off the course.