Healthy And Easy Marathon Menus

This Sunday the five boroughs will be filled with the pitter patter of trotting feet as the New York Marathoners race again. For all of the brave runners out there who have been training long and hard, the time to celebrate is near. But these are crucial days ahead and it's important to get enough rest and eat a proper diet.

So we've come up with the following guidelines on how to best prepare for any major running event, including tips on what foods to avoid, and easy, marathon-friendly dinner options.


Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet Before the Race:

  • Plenty of water and electrolytes
  • A variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, try to have at least 2 pieces of fruit each day.
  • Unprocessed foods
  • Whole grains (try quinoa or couscous for sources of carbohydrates instead of just pasta)
  • Beans, tossed in a salad or in cooked dishes
  • Nuts (preferably raw)
  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Poultry


Foods to Avoid Pre-Race:

If you're someone who is prone to lactose problems, then definitely avoid any dairy products the night before and day of the race. Worrying about your stomach is the last thing that you want to be thinking of.

Click here to see the Best and Worst Pre-Run Foods: How to Avoid Runner's Trots.


Dinner the Night Before:

This is really a time for you to relax before your fun – and strenuous – adventure tomorrow. Watch your favorite movie, get your clothes and running gear in order, and make yourself a delicious meal (or get a friend/loved one to make it for you). Here are some energy-filled options below:


Healthy Salads:

Sautéed Beluga Lentils with Butternut Squash


This sweet, vibrant squash dish is full of antioxidants and nutrients especially when paired with iron-and-vitamin-packed lentils.


Quinoa Salad with Shiitakes and Fennel


Quinoa, considered a complete protein, cooks in half the time of regular rice and is delicious tossed with earthy shiitakes and fresh-tasting fennel.


Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears, Cranberries, Red Onion and Toasted Hazelnuts


This tasty seasonal salad fulfills a daily fruit serving and supplies iron and vitamins A and C from the spinach.  


More Substantial Dishes:

Grilled Chicken Kebabs


Flavorful chicken kebabs are an easy way to make a quick and healthy meal.


Slow-Roasted Tomatoes for Pasta


These perfectly-seasoned tomatoes are great to toss with pasta or spoon over grilled chicken or fish.


Pan-Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri


A quick, protein-filled fish dish that's light and also filling when paired with the recommended rice.


Side or Snack:

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges


These richly spiced sweet potato wedges are irresistible and full of vitamins.



We recommend a piece of fruit or a freshly-made fruit salad for dessert, enjoy!


Pre-Race Breakfast:

Unless you're capable of downing a full breakfast of eggs and bacon before you run, then try eating something lighter but that's also filling. Ideally, you want to eat an hour and a half before you start running, so it should be something that's easy to digest.  A bagel and peanut butter, or a banana with some peanut butter is a good option. You can also keep a granola or protein bar that is low in fat and sugar with you if you get hungry while running.


Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Click here for some inspirational running quotes.

Click here for some funny, albeit not so inspirational, marathon running quotes (scroll down a little).