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A fruity way to the top
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Sonia O'Sullivan holds her 5,000m European Championship medal
Have the right diet and a glut of medals could follow

Alan Storey reveals what preparing for a marathon is really like

Food and drink is crucial for any athlete, whether they're running one mile or 26 miles.

For most elite athletes, when they train hard, they eat LOADS!

I used to coach an athlete and he ate so much that whenever he went to Kenya they declared a famine as soon as he got off the plane!

Marathon runners burn up so much energy so that's why they have to eat so much.

An athlete will burn over 1500 calories running 26 miles.

Their energy will come from carbohydrates, such as bread and rice, and also from fatty foods, like meat and cheese.

A typical marathon runner's diet:

  • Breakfast: Lots of carbohydrates after a run. Toast, cereal.

  • Lunch: Fruit and vegetables and then rice, pasta or bread.

  • Evening: Small amounts of protein, such as cheese, yoghurt. Plus large amounts of vegetables and bread.

    As well as food though, the fluid you put into your body is just as important.

    A marathon runner should be drinking a large amount of fluid throughout a day.

    Bland fluids such as weak orange juice are all good.

    You shouldn't have too much coffee or tea and virtually no alcohol.

    And sports drinks are usually pretty good, but they should be well watered down.

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  • Super Sonia
    8 weeks to go
    Marathon diet
    Final countdown

    Athletic food fact
    Your body is most receptive to taking on carbohydrates just after a run

    Fab facts on Alan Storey
    Started coaching at Durham University
    National Marathon Coach 1985-1998
    He has coached two London Marathon winners - Hugh Jones and Alister Hutton
    He also coaches Karl Keska, Keith Cullen, Rob Denmark and Anthony Whiteman
    Alan also helps in the organisation with the London Marathon

    Did you know?
    During his spell as National Marathon Coach, Alan spent time in Asia as an advisor to the People's Republic of China with responsibility for women's athletics

    :: UK Athletics
    :: Sonia O'Sullivan official site

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