Now with ultra marathons ranging from 50km to 160km, marathons seem short. It still is a great feat of athletic ability that many athletes strive toward. Running a marathon requires both training and the right food. A typical healthy diet would only consist of 50% carbohydrates; however, marathon training requires up to 70% carbohydrates as the body will be physically exerted and need the carbohydrates for energy.
With carbohydrates its important to note to the differences between complex and simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs give short bursts of energy and complex carbs give longer lasting energy. Complex carbs are great for runners and are found in rice, bread, fruits and veg, pasta, etc. If you are planning on going for a long jog or a marathon the meal the night before should be packed with complex carbs to give you all the energy you need on race day.
Here are three healthy recipes that will keep you energised and ready prior to a marathon. It is important to not only train hard, but to eat right and, most importantly, have fun.
Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers (Serves 4)
- 4 halved red bell peppers.
- 1 zucchini, grated.
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped.
- 1/3 cup fresh minced parsley.
- 1/2 tsp freshly minced rosemary.
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs.
- 2 small eggs or 1 large egg.
- 400g lean minced turkey.
- 2 cups tomato sauce, preferably fresh.
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
- 3/4 tsp table or sea salt.
- Preheat oven to 180C, 160C if the oven is fan forced. Cook both the turkey and the onions in the oven until you see some coloration on the turkey.
- After taking out the turkey and onion from the oven it doesn’t really need a rest. You can then fold all the ingredients but bell peppers in a bowl until the ingredients are well mixed.
- Fill the bottom half of the bell pepper with the mixture. Feel free to be liberal when filling the pepper as you will be able to close it with the top half of the bell pepper.
- Place the filled bell peppers onto a tray uncovered. Bake the stuffed peppers for about a half hour to an hour at 180C depending on how soft you like the peppers.
- Transfer the peppers to a plate and garnish with a sprig of left over rosemary.
Tomato Whole Wheat Pizzas (Serves 2)
- 2 whole wheat pita bread
- 1 cup pizza/tomato sauce
- 1/2 sliced onion
- 1/4 cup halved olives
- 1/4 cup diced red pepper
- 1 sliced tomato
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- 60g goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 200C, 180C if the oven is fan forced.
- Spread pizza/tomato sauce of the pita bread evenly.
- Distribute the cheese evenly over the pita bread.
- Place red peppers, olives, onions and tomato atop the cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
Pumpkin Pancakes (Serves 8)
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- Mix together the milk, egg, pumpkin, vinegar and oil in a large bowl, wet ingredients first.
- Add all the dry ingredient into the large bowl; the flour, salt, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mix all the wet and dry ingredients together thoroughly as smoothness of the batter is key.
- Bring a lightly oiled and frying pan to medium heat.
- Ladle approximately 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the batter and spread in a circular motion on the pan.
- Wait till the bubbles have calmed and flip the pancake. Wait another minute before taking it of the pan and serving.
After reading these three fun recipes and understanding the concepts and key ideas behind how to eat well prior to a marathon you are well equipped to maintain a healthy and well balanced diet prior to a marathon.