I am struggling with nutrition just 3 weeks before my marathon

Hi all
I have the London Marathon in 3 weeks and I'm struggling with my nutrition.  The day before I've been eating pasta, bread with some protein.  My dinner is sometimes around 9pm (with a G&T), yes I will be honest!  I do drink water throughout the day and afterwards.  I then set the alarm and have a small porridge pot at 5am or 6am. Go back to bed and then go running at around 8am.  During my runs, which are 3 hours plus, I have the worst tummy ache and need to stop several times.  This weekend I switched the pasta for rice which worked better but immediately after I had my porridge pot at 6am, I had a bubbly tummy again.  I cannot get up just an hour before I run to eat because it takes about 3 hours for me to digest food.  What should I eat instead?  My friend said yesterday the porridge pots have dried milk and that is what could be upsetting my tummy.  I rarely have milk these days.   Any advice would be great.  Thanks      


    I wouldn't use porridge pots, they're just ultra processed food.   Perhaps make your own porridge with water and see how you get on with that, then you can add what you want and you'll know what's in it.    I'm not keen on porridge but have eaten it a few times with a spoonful of peanut butter before a long run and that was OK.

    You could eat toast instead or muffins/crumpets/scones.   You could eat pasta for breakfast if you wanted, it really doesn't matter what you eat as long as it suits you and tops up your glycogen stores.   When away from home I've often breakfasted on scones when I've had an early start for a race.

    When I went to Florence for the marathon one of the Italian runners had spaghetti with honey for breakfast.  :o

    I think going back to bed probably slows your digestion so I would eat and then not go back to bed.  
  • chamolkchamolk ✭✭✭
    Hi Pipski

    I'd agree with Shades about those porridge pots - pretty highly processed stuff, I'm not a fan of them personally. Given that you had the problem even when you changed your evening meal the night before, it could be the porridge pot.

    Not sure what time you go to bed, but 9pm is pretty late for a large meal for many people. 

    Its a bit hard to know what exactly is causing your GI issues. If your marathon was 3 months away I'd suggest trying different things each long run and seeing what worked, but you don't really have time for that.

    At this stage, I'd suggest trying to eat your evening meal a bit earlier, and taking a breakfast with very little fibre - I like toasted bread muffins with some jam, or a toasted bagel. Soreen (malt loaf) is popular, but it's a risk trying something brand new at this stage if you've never had it before.

    With time, you could try other breakfasts to see what does/doesn't agree - I also use bananas, wholemeal toast or weetabix, but I've tried them repeatedly so I know they work for me OK. Like you, I need to leave some hours after eating, but only for a meal - for breakfast (especially if it's a long or easy run) I find I don't need to leave that long before running, but this varies from person to person. I also spent some time getting used to running in the morning whilst still fasted, which I found useful, but it takes a bit of getting used to. 

    I'm not sure how much impact the issue of going up bed after eating is having - again, with more time I'd suggest trying to avoid doing that and seeing if it makes a difference. 

    Good luck
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