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Marathon nutrition: Tips for what runners should eat

WASHINGTON — Training for a marathon consists of much more than logging miles. Fueling the body the right way can be crucial to a successful race, too.

Each person is different when it comes to diet, tastes and what their body can tolerate, but there are some guidelines that can help runners (and other athletes, for that matter) perform at their best, said Andrea Goergen, a bariatric dietitian at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

As training for D.C.’s Marine Corps Marathon picks up speed, here are some tips from Goergen for how runners can eat their way to their best races.

Stick to a healthy, balanced diet

Whether you’re training for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon, a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fiber and lean meats and proteins is important, Goergen said. However, those training for longer races, such as marathons, need more nutrients, she added.

“You’re going to want to increase your carbohydrate intake, which can help your muscles when you’re in the middle of physical activity. That’s where [your muscles] are going to get their energy,” she said.

Glucose from carbs helps prevent runners from “hitting a wall” — or running low on energy — during exercise.


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