First ever marathon! Training diet tips?

Hi everyone,

I'm completely new on here (and new to running, though I walked the London2Brighton in May this year - first time I've been properly active in... well... ever!). Just found out I have a place for the London Marathon, and I'm so excited. image I'm also a TOTAL novice runner. Can run 5k-ish quite comfortably, but beyond that is where I'm going to have to put in the hours!

Does anyone have any golden tips as I start my training? Particularly looking for diet-related stuff so I can get the most out of my training. My partner is a martial arts instructor, burns about 7 squillion calories a day, and his diet is pretty much meat, chocolate, pies, biscuits, more meat, mashed potato, more pies, ice cream, and the occasional portion of peas. I'm not quite so bad but still eat a lot of crap, if I'm honest. Should I be loading up on lots of pasta and potatoes?

Cheers guys! image


  • Unless you are doing a silly amount of miles, you will just get fat piling on the carbs.

    You need to run around 35 miles a week to burn about 1 lb of fat (3,500 approx. calories). So it's to easy when starting out to over estimate the food intake.

    Really at your stage, maybe have an extra banana before a run image

    My suggestion is fina plan out of the millions on the net, there are different theories, from those that run less miles, but a high proportion of them quite fast.  Great site for this which i use is  to HADD training which is to do with heart rate and basically starting you at doing a lot of slow running keeping your heart rate at around 70% and building up the distance, then worrying about speed once you have the base fitness, and Followers of a book called Advanced Marathoning.  .... Basically find a plan out there that suits you and go for it.

    Get yourself a decent pair of trainers and if your a girl a decent running bra (I prefer shoc absorber, ultimate run bra) and get running. As you can comfortablly do 5k already It's just a matter of persistace and finding which sort of plan fits in with you, do you prefer three or so runs a week the asics method or some of the plans that have you running 5 or 6 days a week image

    When you get your training runs upto 12/15 miles plus closer to the race you will probably want to start planing what gels if any or food you will take whilst running, etc... but up to then it's not really necessary.  Just have a normal sensible diet at the moment and see how it goes.

    I personally run mainly in the evening, so i come in and run then have tea. So i've had for example 50g of cereal for lunch at 1, come in, at 5 drink a glass of water or a can of diet coke, maybe have a banana, then go out for 5-12km then come in and have tea.


  • Pretty much all base's covered above only thing to add is if you want to use gel's on the marathon try them out a few times before hand to make sure they don't mess up your tummy, Also if you geek up on running food and deside to eat porage or pasta the night before the race don't just eat it them. Eat it in the build up. If your normal diet is chip for example and then you eat something out of of the normal just before the race your body will be craving the chips and not working properly.

    Also you might want to consider running a half marathon or two in your build up as training. Both so you can work out your running pace and also for confidence. It's one thing to think you have done the training it can be anouther to have a race do well or badly and know where you need to inprove or what works well.

    There will be times in the training that it's not going to work 100% or a mate is getting married or something everyone get's that just don't panic and fit the training around your life instead of trying to fit your life around the training. As long as you keep to whatever plan you want to do and keep carm your are going to both get to the finesh line and most of all enjoy it. image

  • Cheers guys! Both really helpful posts. image It's just a bit overwhelming on the net as so many people have eleventy-squillion different ideas about the right ways to train/eat/what to wear etc etc etc. Coming in as a novice it's a bit like, aaaaaaargh who should I listen to?! Guess I'll just stick with my current diet, maybe health it up a bit with slow-burning stuff. And not eat everything in the world!

  • There is a lot of information.... Probably to much to begin with.  Really just do the basics go out and run image then over the next month or two, you get a lot more of a feel of what sort of things interesting you and help you get out of the house :0

  • Tank everyone has idea's that work from them or them think it works for them because they have read it somewhere. If you tried to do all of it you would go mad as booktrunk said do the basic's and get a feel for it.

    One thing you might like to you can see what progress you are making is something called parkrun if there is one near you.image link 


  • Thanks for the parkrun link Cake! There's one about 100m from my front door, so have signed up. image

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