After a marathon, it is totally understandable that your body needs a break. And you might find yourself really hungry and supersluggish for days after your race. That’s fine. Sleep in. Eat what your body is asking for.
But sometimes we go beyond that, and for days and even weeks after a race.
At some point, we need to say,
“OK body, time to look ahead, not behind.”
So how do we get back to “normal” after months of training (and eating accordingly), then carb loading, then running 26.2 miles, and then trying to recover from it all?
I am not a nutritionist. But I’ve been running for a while, and I’ve tried a lot of different things during my training, races, and recovery. Here are my best tips for marathon nutrition (or nutrition for any race or athletic event!), with links to some other reading that might be helpful.
A is for Alcohol. Yes, I abstain from alcohol during training and taper. Because I just don’t need it, and it’s not helping me improve my performance. That said, a cool beer to celebrate post-race or a glass of wine that evening can be a fabulous and well-deserved reward.
B is for (Chipotle) Burrito Bol and BGR (Veggie) Burger. These are my favorite post-long-run lunch options. They aren’t greasy and are the perfect portion size. Think you can go to brunch and eat whatever you want post-run? Think again. By the time you are done that OJ and halfway through that stack of pancakes, you’ve probably eaten about the number of calories you burned, but you haven’t had much protein, fiber, or other nutrients that will help you recover and keep you feeling full. I try to resist sugary and fried foods for my post-run meals.