I have been tall and lanky guy since grade school. It may have been a huge turn off to some of the females in my life, but if these long limbs did bring me anything, it was the gift to run. As it turns out, I have been running variants of the Manitoba Marathon since the 4th grade (a 2.5-mile run up until a 13-mile half marathon). This past year I decided to take things up a notch and run the full 26-mile marathon. Running and the physical training has always come natural to me, but I knew if I had any chance to finish the race, I would need to drop the greasy pizzas and fast food burgers and eat more cleanly.
If the word picky eater was in the dictionary, you would probably see my mug with it, and therefore, eating clean has posed a challenge. I know many other marathon runners especially new, feel the same. In this article, I would like to discuss some of my best marathon prep recipes that will quench even the pickiest foodie’s appetite.
Whole Wheat Avocado and Chicken Pasta:
Carbohydrates are a long distance runner’s best friend. The fact is the longer an individual runs the more energy they will need to sustain the wear and tear. Simple carbohydrates are typically digested quickly and therefor produce no real gain (except maybe some belly fat) on the other complex carbohydrates digest much quicker. Whole wheat pasta is a great example of a complex carbohydrate. This is why I had to include this delicious whole wheat chicken and avocado pasta on my marathon prep recipes.
- 1. 7 oz of chicken breasts
- 2. 4 oz of whole wheat pasta (any kind will do)
- 3. Seasonings (use whatever you like with low salt volume)
- 4. 1 Avocado
- 5. 1 cup of greek yogurt
- 6. 1 table spoon of minced garlic.
To make the sauce cut the avocado in half, depit, and place fleshy inside into a bowl. Add 1 cup of Greek yogurt, the minced garlic, and seasoning to taste. Mix ingredients with a fork until smooth and creamy. Alternatively this can be done in a food processor to save time.
For the chicken season lightly with your choice of seasoning (remember the sauce will be seasoned already) and place in the oven at 350 degrees until cooked (should be around 30-35 minutes). Once done remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes. Once rested shred the chicken into bite size pieces.
Boil the whole wheat pasta until done (each pasta will cook different so follow the label on the bag). Drain the water and then add chicken and sauce into the same pot as the pasta. Mix together until all of the pasta is covered with sauce.
Water Rich Fruit Salad:
Individuals wanting to train for a marathon let alone actually run it need to be constantly quenched as the risk of dehydration increases dramatically. An hour before each practice I like to enjoy a huge fruit salad. Not only is it easy but it beats drinking gallons of water and if full of vitamins and delicious flavors.
- 1. 3 large Oranges
- 2. ¼ of a large watermelon
- 3. Half a cups of strawberries
- 4. 1 cantaloupe
- 5. Half a cup of cranberries
Peel and cut the oranges into bite sized wedges into a bowl, next dice 1/4th of a whole watermelon and one cantaloupe in the same bowl. Finish off by garnishing the salad with half a cup of strawberries and half a cup of cranberries.
Protein Banana Pancakes:
Pancakes are not only a great breakfast food but also a great sweet snack. Rather than the typical store bought or premade pancake why not something that is healthy. Homemade banana pancakes are not only easy but the ones listed below are packed with a huge kick of protein.
- 1. One large egg
- 2. 1 banana
- 3. Half a scooper of whey protein powder (mix and match different flavors of protein powder, I like chocolate).
- 4. Optional, a quarter cup of oats
In a large bowl combine one large egg, one ripened and peeled banana, and half a scooper of protein powder (protein powders usually come with a scooper). If you want to add an infusion of carbs ad a pack of instant oats (usually around a quarter cup). Mix well until you get a thick lump free liquid. Drop the liquid in a frying pan until both sides are cooked. It is that simple!
Concluding, just from the recipes above we see that marathon meal prep may not be as daunting as one would have originally imagined. The basic principles that should be reminded are high amounts of complex carbohydrates, water rich foods, and protein are all essential adequate training and running for the actual race. Let these recipes inspire you to make your own meals based off the core principles!