How to Eat Like a Marathoner While on the Road
Before hitting the road, long-distance runner Michael Arnstein fuels his body with the right eats, which can be a challenge on the road.
Arnstein, who placed 30th overall in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon with a time of 2:28.12, has run 60 competitive marathons, completed four Hawaii Ironmans, and specializes in races of 100 miles and longer, often taking first place. Adhering to a "fruitarian" diet rich in fruits (and vegetables) has helped Arnstein achieve his running goals.
Arnstein takes his tips for eating healthy on the go no matter where the racing trail takes him. When he is jet-setting to distance races in far-off lands, Arnstein carries food that can get past airport security, like navel oranges.
"Oranges are my favorite because they keep you hydrated, you don't need any tools to open or eat them, and they are super high in immune-strengthening properties for germ-ridden planes," said Arnstein, who typically takes two to three oranges per hour of the flight.
Arnstein skips airport food and concedes that apples and bananas can get a little boring, so he uses trips as opportunities to try something new and exotic.
"If you bring something exotic or different it can make the food option more enjoyable," said Arnstein who suggests Asian pears, Medjool dates, baby bananas, and rare plums and grape varieties. "Different countries have different types of fruit available all year round, so a big part of traveling to a new country is trying new local or unique items that aren’t available at your home markets."
In addition to sticking to his diet plan, Arnstein also stays on track by exercising on the road.
"As a runner, there is no better way to see a new place than to run it. I’m more motivated to exercise on vacation than at home because there is so much to explore," said Arnstein.
Though it’s hard to watch others around him indulge in junk food, Arnstein stays focused and splurges on top-quality organic foods like exotic cherry tomatoes instead.
"I try to splurge on health at all times, so for me I don’t forget how I feel after I eat something that makes me feel like crap," said Arnstein. "I keep that clear and focused in my mind so I always feel my best."