Meal Prep Ideas for the Week Before a Marathon

The goal in these meal prep ideas for the week before your marathon is to take one thing off your plate in advance to race day.

From packing, to foam rolling, to making sure you get enough sleep, you can feel slightly overwhelmed that week before you run 26.2 miles! (or even 13.1!)

Your marathon nutrition and eating specifically can be a stressful factor leading into a race especially if you are making meal-to-meal decisions on what you should eat.

The meal prep ideas here are simply ideas.

Try to tailor them to you and your current foods that you eat.

Also, make it work for your situation. Are you following a strict 3-5 day carbo-loading plan, or perhaps a one day plan?

Will you be traveling out of town? Maybe you should just prep some snacks for the road or airplane.

Do you live with another marathoner? I’m sure they would be thrilled to have some pre-prepped food!

Here are some thoughts you might want to think about before you begin:

don't try any new foods

This is the #1 rule to nutrition during the week before a race. Think about the foods you already eat and have eaten throughout your marathon training and then think of how you can prep them ahead of time.

Meal Prep Ideas Don't Try New Foods

Come up with a menu plan

(Especially if you doing hard-core carbo-loading) so that you can easily see what foods you can prep ahead of time. Look at this 3 Day Carbo-Loading Menu Plan for ideas!

Meal Prep Ideas Create Menu Plan

After you have a menu plan...

Create a shopping list and then pick up the items that you need.

Meal Prep Ideas Shopping List

think about how you will store your prepped foods

Do you need Ziploc bags?  Foil pans that you can bake something in and then throw away?  Tupperware (do you need a few more)?

Meal Prep Ideas Storing Food

Let's look at some meal prep ideas now for the week before a marathon!

Meal Prep Ideas Week Before the Marathon

Quick Note: I have focused on preparing healthy carb choices as your diet the week before a marathon or half marathon should be very carb focused.

1. Make a Batch of Your Favorite Oatmeal

I love crockpot oatmeals, baked oatmeals and just simple stovetop oatmeals. However, if I want to save time, I’ll make a big batch of crock pot or baked oatmeal (I shared this Baked Blueberry Oatmeal recently) and then just reheat it throughout the week.

Meal Prep Ideas Oatmeal

2. Homemade Granola

If you aren’t a fan of oatmeal or like to switch your meals up, then make some homemade granola with energy producing oats, honey, raisins, and coconut is great to have on hand to add some carbs to your breakfast, yogurts or to snack on.

Meal Prep Ideas Granola

3. Cook up a big batch of pancakes

My favorites are the Kodiak Power Cakes!. They reheat perfectly in the toaster! (Make sure you have berries on hand for toppings!)

Meal Prep Ideas Pancakes

4. make up some smoothie bags for breakfasts or pick-me-ups

Place your peeled bananas, berries, spinach in bag and then pop in the freezer. When you are ready to use just grab the yogurt/juice/milk, etc. and mix it up.

Meal Prep Ideas Smoothie Bag

5. batch Cook Your favorite Muffins or Banana Bread

Muffins and quick breads make super easy snacks and meal supplements.  

They are easy to freeze and quick to pull out of the freezer and reheat in the microwave or on the counter or in your lunchbox.

Meal Prep Ideas Muffins

6. prep a large pasta salad

Mix in lots of veggies and a protein and store in the fridge for a simple lunch.

It can be as easy as cooking some noodles, tossing with your favorite raw chopped veggies and drizzling with your favorite vinaigrette or Italian dressing.

Meal Prep Ideas Pasta Salad

7. Batch Create Some Carb Bases

Rice and quinoa are great carb bases to use as a side in your meals, to throw inside a recipe or to your entree on top of.

Meal Prep Ideas Quinoa

8. Make your favorite pasta

Make your favorite (hopefully low-fat and go light on the cheese!) pasta or potato casserole (I love a baked spaghetti!). Store it in the fridge or freezer to bake on a night throughout the week and then eat the leftovers when needed.

Meal Prep Ideas Baked Spaghetti

9. soup

Cook a batch of soup that can be easily reheated.

Meal Prep Ideas Pot of Soup

10. don't forget about your proteins

Give yourself a couple options such as browning some ground beef or cooking some chicken to shred for salads and wraps. Here is a list of high protein foods for runners.

Meal Prep Ideas Proteins

11. Cut up fruits and Veggies

If you don't take the time to cut up your fruits and veggies, the odds are that you are more than likely not going to eat them because you will have to put in the effort to prep them at the last minute.

Watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, or cucumbers are a few vegetables to have cut up and ready to eat when you need them.  

Meal Prep Ideas Cut Fruit

12. Prep all of the water that you need to drink during the day.

This will help you stay on track with your hydration. If you are drinking your energy drink then prep that as well. 

Meal Prep Ideas Prep Water

13. Make some fun meal Plans

  • Make some fun meal plans the night before your marathon to grab some dinner at Noodles and Company, Olive Garden, or some other restaurant.  I have some happy memories eating my pre-race dinner meal out!

  • Meal Prep Ideas Fun Plans

    The key is to take the stress out of the week before your marathon and it’s in doing little things (or big things!) in advance they really help to reduce those feelings of anxiety.

    That feeling of being ahead of the game is everything!

    Remember, if you are looking for the next best thing to a personal nutrition coach and want your own personalized race nutrition plan tailored to your body and your running goals then your answer is the EAT LIKE A MARATHONER Nutrition Course.

    For more on meal prep ideas and planning your menu:

    Related Meal Prep Ideas Pages:

    I'd Love to stay in touch!
    Join 23,000+ Other runners and receive my weekly training newsletter!

    I'll send you my  free 24 Hour Timeline Checklist of Things You Should Do After a Long Run  when you sign up! 


    As featured on:


    New! Comments

    Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.