Are you ready for a 3-day carb loading meal plan that you can implement in the week before your marathon?!
In this post, I want to share what a carb-loading menu could look like the week before your marathon! I wrote about the how and why you should carbo-load before a marathon over on this page so I will simply be laying out a meal plan for you here. Refer to that page for guidelines on carb-loading as a marathoner.
Before you begin meal planning, if you are wondering exactly how many carbs your body needs when you are carb loading before a marathon or want to be walked through how to create your plan then EAT LIKE A MARATHONER will help customize everything to your body (gender, weight, height, etc.), goal running pace and fuel needs.
You have one shot to get your nutrition right that week before your marathon! Let’s do it!
Quick Notes before we start:
Here we go!
Breakfast: Kodiak Pancakes with Berries and Cool Whip: 262 calories and 52 grams of carbohydrates
Lunch: The Brown Rice Bowl: 248 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates
Dinner: Tilapia Salsa Burrito: 366 calories and 47 grams of carbohydrates
Total carbs (excluding snacks and sides): 144 grams
Breakfast: Whole Grain Toast with Hummus: 300 calories and 48 grams of carbohydrates
Lunch: Chicken Veggie Sandwich: ~314 calories and 50 grams of carbohydrates
Dinner: Pesto Shrimp Quinoa Skillet: 272 calories and 42 carbohydrates
Total carbs (excluding snacks and sides): 140 grams
Breakfast: Banana Bread Oatmeal: 467 calories and 75 grams of carbohydrates
Lunch: English Muffin Personal Pizza: 160 calories and 31 grams of carbohydrates
Dinner: Veggie Pasta for the Win!: 116 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates
Total carbs (excluding snacks and sides): 131 grams
Alright, time to share the recipes!
Kodiak Pancakes are basically the only pancakes that I like to eat! They have all natural, whole food ingredients, are much less processed than traditional pancake mixes and taste so delicious! If you are not carb loading then their Protein Power Cakes are the way to go but when carb loading get the Kodiak Whole Wheat Oat and Honey Mix that has all the healthy ingredients plus abundant complex carbohydrates, perfect for our purpose!
3 Kodiak Whole Wheat Oat & Honey Pancakes 37 grams of carbohydrates
½ cup of blueberries: 9 grams of carbohydrates
4 Tablespoons of cool whip: 6 grams of carbohydrates
Total: 262 calories and 52 grams of carbohydrates
Alternatives: use other berries on top, sweeten with honey, or top with peanut butter and a banana!
I am a through and through toast lover! It’s just one of those simple joys in life to me! :)
2 slices of Dave’s Killer Bread with 21 Whole Grains & Seeds: 44 grams of carbohydrates
2 Tablespoons of Hummus (I love the Sabra brand!): 4 grams of carbohydrates
Total: 300 calories and 48 grams of carbohydrates
Alternatives: use your whole-grain bread of choice, top with peanut butter and banana, top with a bit of butter and eat with fruit for a sweet and salty combination, top with avocado, or cook up some eggs to go on top or the side!
½ c. quick oats: 51 grams of carbohydrates
½ banana: 23 grams of carbohydrates
1 tsp of stevia (this is the kind I purchase): 0 carbohydrates
1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts (optional): 1 gram of carbohydrates
Heavy handed sprinkling of cinnamon!
Directions: Place everything in a single serving size bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the top to cover everything. Let set for 5 minutes and then enjoy!
Total: 467 calories and 75 grams of carbohydrates
Alternatives: use raisins, berries or sweeten with honey vs. stevia
I also recently made this Baked Blueberry Oatmeal that I found through my sister-in-law (can be made in advance as well!) and it was absolutely heavenly! It would make a great carb-loading breakfast. (442 calories and 67 grams of carbohydrates)
Such a catchy name, right? For this is a super simple lunch! Make it with your favorite choices. Ready?! I found this idea on The Lindsay Report’s Instagram page and have loved the simplicity of the meal ever since!
½ cup of cooked brown rice: 25 grams of carbohydrates
Add the veggies over top of your rice:
Chopped Romaine Lettuce (or spinach, arugla, or kale)
Top with: salsa, guacamole, season with lime juice, if you want sour cream go lightly or use plain greek yogurt!
Eat with a spoon or a serving of Tostitos Organic Tortilla chips (20 grams of carbohydrates) for extra crunch!
Total: (this does not include any of the toppings as they are mainly veggies although they still have complex carbohydrates. Therefore, this is only counting the brown rice and organic tortilla chips) 248 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates
Alternatives: if beans do not bother your running or digestive system, then black beans are delicious on top of the rice! You could also add in chicken, tilapia, or shrimp!
Remember that Dave’s Killer Bread with 21 Whole Grains & Seeds from your Hummus Toast breakfast? Pull it out again to make this chicken sandwich!
2 slices of Dave’s Killer Bread with 21 Whole Grains & Seeds: 44 grams of carbohydrates
3 oz. of chicken breast: 0 carbohydrates
Top with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles (all great water dense veggies to up your hydration!)
Total: ~314 calories and 50 grams of carbohydrates
Alternatives: whole grain bread of choice, mix chicken with mayo, mustard, or sauce of choice but go lightly!, season with your favorite seasonings, add your personal favorite sandwich toppings, choose tuna, salmon, tilapia or other meat/protein alternative.
Quick, easy, light and delicious way to enjoy pizza while you are getting race ready!
1 Whole Wheat English Muffin: 26 grams of carbohydrates
Pizza sauce (can also use spaghetti, marinara sauce): 5 grams of carbohydrates
The seasonings are crucial so add: basil, garlic powder (or salt), and oregano, or your favorites
Sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella cheese (not too much, remember we are trying to avoid dairy as much as possible but a little won’t hurt!)
Any other toppings that you prefer:Mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, turkey pepperoni
Once everything is layered and topped, cook in a toaster oven or your oven until crisp at 350! (If you prefer your English muffins extra crispy then toast them in a toaster first, then top and then heat everything in the oven or microwave.)
Total: 160 calories and 31 grams of carbohydrates
1 Whole Wheat Mission Tortilla (burrito size): 34 grams of carbohydrates
1 Chopped and cooked Tilapia fillet seasoned with cumin and your favorite Mexican seasonings
1/4 cup of cooked brown rice (make extra for DAY 3’s lunch!): 11 grams of carbohydrates
Favorite Salsa of choice - enough to make it as saucy as you like (I prefer the Pace brand, thick and chunky, fresh salsa, or fresh pico de gallo): ~ 2 grams of carbohydrates
Mix the tilapia, rice, and salsa together and wrap in the tortilla. Top with hot sauce or a bit of sour cream.
Total: 366 calories and 47 grams of carbohydrates
Alternatives: put together and then bake in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees for crispier burrito.
1 cup cooked quinoa: 39 grams of carbohydrates
Pesto sauce to taste (or use marinara sauce if you prefer): 2 grams of carbohydrates
Several pieces of cooked shrimp to toss with!
Saute in a separate pan:
½ cup of squash: 1 carbohydrate
¼ of an onion
½ a bell pepper
(any other veggies that you love sauteed!)
When everything is done cooking, combine and mix with the pesto sauce and shrimp!
Alternatives: Add in cooked sausage or chicken! (This is where leftover meat and fish comes in handy!)
Total: 272 calories and 42 carbohydrates
Of course we wouldn’t be able to complete this carb loading menu plan without pasta! You do not need to douse it with fatty/heavy sauces. Here’s my simple recipe to get some carbs in fast.
1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta: 25 grams of carbohydrates
After you drain the water add (while keeping on low heat):
Add any meat that you prefer or devour it without! (It’s perfect with chicken...can you tell I love chicken?) Heat through and enjoy!
Alternatives: you could mix with marinara sauce as well vs. the olive oil.
Total: (this is just counting the pasta as the calories in the veggies will be minimal.)116 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates
This delicious Barley Mushroom and Spinach Risotto!
I also share 4 Pre-Marathon Race Dinner Ideas here!
I hope that was insightful to you as plan for what to eat the week before your marathon! It doesn’t have to be complicated by I know that I always enjoy examples and seeing what other people do and so I wanted to share and hopefully help a runner out!
Remember, if you are looking for the next best thing to a personal nutrition coach and want your own personalized carbo-loading plan tailored to your body and your running goals (+ everything else you need to train and prep nutritionally for a marathon) then your answer is the EAT LIKE A MARATHONER Nutrition Course. It will get you to that finish line with a nutrition strategy that works for you!!