Meal Plans for Runners

Meal Plans for Runners

Whether you're taking on a 10k or marathon this year, get your training diet spot on with our nutrition plans that you can tweak and build on to help you reach your goals…

A woman eating a healthy meal after a run

Running a marathon is a great time to improve your overall nutrition to support your training and race performance. By applying some performance nutrition principles to your daily meals, you can fuel your body correctly to help you get fitter, and perhaps, also reduce your body fat along the way.

Eating properly around your training can be daunting, so we’ve included some tips and meal plans below for guidance. Like training, good nutrition is also about building confidence – both in preparing different meals each week and seeing how food can affect your training.

Our recipes provide a ‘food-first’ approach to meet your daily nutrient targets. Sports nutrition products (such as drinks or gels) can help support your preparations for the race itself.

Many of these recipes are nutrient-dense (meaning they provide a range of nutrients, including important vitamins and minerals) to keep the body healthy as your training increases.

There are several key elements of performance nutrition that are important to consider to maximize your performance. The main focus of endurance training is to match your daily fuel intake to the volume of training – this is known as 'periodized' nutrition.

This means that what you eat should be different depending on your training demands for that particular day – there will be some trial and error to learn what feels right for you.

Getting your fuelling right on different days means that you can have sufficient energy during training, whilst also reducing body fat (if that is your goal) throughout your training program

Plan 1: What should I eat on rest and light intensity training days?

Two women running outdoors
Easier days require fewer carbohydrates to fuel your training. Our rest & easy training day meal options can help you prioritize protein, fats, and mixed vegetables over carbs on easier days, plus how to incorporate 'fasted training' into your routine.

Plan 2: What should I eat on normal (moderate intensity) training days?

A runner stretching her hamstrings

Carbohydrate is the main fuel for endurance training, so as training volume increases you need more to keep your stores topped up. Our recipe suggestions for normal (moderate intensity) training will help you to get all the nutrition you need on these days.

Plan 3: What should I eat on heavy (high intensity) training days?

A woman running on a track outdoors
On heavy training days, you'll need to pay close attention to hydration levels and up your carbohydrate intake. Make sure you're eating the right kind of carbs with our high-intensity training days recipe suggestions.

How to use nutrition plans

There are lots of free training plans for different abilities and distances available online from trusted sources such as Runner's World and The Virgin London Marathon.

To give you an example, we've included a beginner's week training plan from The Virgin London Marathon, from week 11 of your training. We’ve marked which diet plan you should be following that day about the volume of training you’re undertaking.

Example training plan

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Training Rest 10 min easy run, 5 x (5 min interval run, 2.5 min easy run), 10 min easy run Rest 40 min easy run Core & stretching Rest Run a half marathon
Meal plan 1 2 1 1 or 2 1 1 2 or 3