Nutrition

Nutrition is an integral part of our lives. It is even more important when marathon training. Janis Mena, a nutritionist at the University of Florida, was available for an interview about what to eat when training.

pasta

"What a person should or should not eat is really and individual thing," Mena said. She emphasized what works for some people may not work for all.

fruits and vegetables

Mena suggests to eat a wide variety of foods and not to discriminate. She stresses it is most important to eat a balanced diet. She said a runner should have his or her nutrition on a schedule like a running schedule.

She said the best foods are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. She also said a runner should consume consistent amounts of protein throughout the day. Listen to this sound clip for Mena's theories on nutrition and the runner. You will hear about food while training.

Mena also spoke a little bit about the importance of hydration and her opinion on sports drinks. According to Mena, water is the best. However, she said that she thinks additional resources could be required for workouts exceeding 60 minutes. She said glucose and electrolytes need to be replaced.

My best friends while training were oatmeal, peanut butter, fruit and vegetables. I don't think I could have survived on anything else.

Oatmeal gave me a quick source of energy. Peanut butter gave me a sustained energy source, and fruits and vegetables were fillers.

I also ate a supplement when training. I ate GU, but there are plenty of training supplements out there. Head to your local running store and ask a store clerk. This will help you restore your glucose levels while running so you don't burn out.

Be careful not to eat too many sweets. Training doesn't always give a runner license to eat whatever he or she wants. In fact, it can do the opposite. Runners should stick to whole foods because then they will not be robbed of their full training potential.

I know from experience. I ate quite a bit of sweets, and then I had to stop.