Don’t necessarily do as I’ve done here–I’m just illustrating a point.
For my three fastest marathon times, I’ve eaten as the last meal before:
– 3:32 – cheap mediocre Mexican food.
– 3:39 – Mexican in Florence, KY on the way to Cincinnati and pub grub at Nicholson’s in Cincinnati.
– 3:49 – pub food in Memphis. (I figured it was a better option than BBQ)
There are multiple reasons why I do this:
1) After running the 3:39, I’ve sort of become superstitious about what I eat the day before.
2) I’ve never had any decent luck getting near an Italian place while out of town, the night before a marathon.
3) I run long runs on Saturday, which means that fish frys and team lunches at the Mexican place down the road are pretty common day before meals. They haven’t let me down.
Food before my worst marathon times:
1) 4:42 – don’t recall, but was on the road, so we probably tried to find pasta, especially since my daughter will mostly only eat that.
2) 4:34 – first marathon, spaghetti
3) 4:31 – pasta (it was a hilly marathon and I was coming off of injury)
DNF – ate pasta due to having an iffy stomach all week. For me, apparently, iffy stomachs need a little bit of grease, not carbs.
I’m not saying the night meal before doesn’t matter. However, what you eat the night before is more likely to harm your performance than help it if you haven’t gotten your body used to it before then.
You presumably spent 12-18 weeks preparing for this marathon. The body changes didn’t happen overnight. Why magically change your diet the night before?
– Eat what you know works for your long runs, even if it violates conventional running wisdom.
– Don’t eat too much.
– Don’t eat too little.
– Eat your last meal the same amount of time before your race as you do before your long runs.
– Hydrate adequately.
I hate when single serve packages list multiple servings for the package. The most likely consumption scenario, at least in the U.S., is that the entire package will be one serving. It may actually only be a partial serving, even.
The person who cuts the product in half and saves half for later is the exception–especially when it’s a product or package that does not lend itself to warming and consuming only part, such as a pot pie or a burrito.
At Panera Bread, if you happen to not specifically order the Pick 2, you may end up dumping a minimum of 1000 calories on yourself. If you pair a full sandwich and french onion soup, it’s more like 1300, once you add chips and a baguette. I usually try to keep my lunches in the 500 calorie ballpark. By the way, a Big Mac is 540 calories and Medium French Fries is 380 calories, for a total of 920 calories.
- Panera Bread › Menu & Nutrition › Sandwiches – Asiago Roast Beef Sandwich – 710 calories (This is in the middle of the pack for sandwiches.)
- Panera Bread › Menu & Nutrition › Soups – French Onion Soup – 250 calories
- Panera Bread › Salads – Greek Salad – 440 calories
- From the pdf nutrition guide: French Baguette – 150 calories
- …and I believe the Kettle Cooked Chips are 160 calories.
- Butter pat 35 calories?
There are a few sandwiches to steer clear of, unless you’re just run a marathon (these are just the sandwiches):
- Hot Panini – Full Chicken Bacon Dijon on Country – 910 calories.
- Signature Sandwich – Full Chipotle Chicken on Artisan French – 1030 calories.
- Signature Sandwich – Full Italian Combo on Ciabatta – 1050 calories.
- Cafe Sandwich – Full Sierra Turkey on Focaccia with Asiago Cheese – 970 calories. This one is deceptive on the menu… the full smoke turkey breast on sourdough is 470 calories. You could get into trouble by reading the nutrition guide at home and not paying attention.