Monday, December 5, 2016

Fueling for a Marathon on a Vegan Diet

Yesterday, I blogged about finishing my very first marathon — the St. Jude Marathon — on Saturday. I went over what I ate that morning before the race (oats and banana) and how I celebrated afterward (pizza and beer).

But perhaps just as important is what I ate the day before the race. I'm very particular about pre-race nutrition, and I carefully craft a menu plan according a formula that's worked for me over several half-marathons (and now one full marathon). That formula was developed using this post on the Vega website as a guide.

I typically start the day before a race with an easy shakeout run. On Friday, I did an easy three miles to relax and calm my pre-race jitters. Then I had this breakfast of a Sprouted Grain Flax Muffin with Soynut Butter and Grape PB2 and a Chocolate Vega One Shake. 

This is a great mix of carbs and protein to start the day. And just a teensy bit of fat in the nut butter. The Grape PB2 (the powdered peanut butter) is almost fat-free, but the soynut butter has some fat. For the protein shake, I just mixed Chocolate Vega One with Silk Coconut-Almond Milk.

Hydration before a race is key. And while water is sufficient, sometimes just plain old water gets boring. Before race day, I'd rather mix it up and get some bonus nutrients with a fresh juice. Around 10 a.m., I had this Cucumber-Apple-Ginger Juice that I made at home in my juicer and packed in a jar to bring to work. The ginger helps keep inflammation at bay.

My pre-race day lunch is always a Big Ol' Salad for lots of healthy carbs. Vegetable are carbs, and carbs are good for you. They're especially important pre-race. This salad had carb-y roasted sweet potatoes, corn, chickpeas, Wildwood baked tofu (the best kind!), romaine, spinach, red bell pepper, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, brown rice, pine nuts, and a homemade balsamic-olive oil dressing. I made the salad the night before and tucked it all into this big mason jar.

And then when I ran home for lunch on Friday, I dumped the whole thing out into my biggest mixing bowl! It was soooooo huge. And I ate every bite.

I got the idea for my afternoon snack from that Vega post as well. The author suggests mixing 1/2 scoop of Vega Sport Performance Protein into vegan yogurt to get a good dose of BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) since those help preserve muscle tissue. I had Vanilla Vega Sport mixed with So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt. And some grapes on the side! It tasted like cake batter!

Finally, for dinner, it was time for carb-loading! But rather than go crazy with some massive portion, it's best to keep it normal and eat the amount you'd typically eat at dinner. My co-worker Emily had gifted me a marathon present earlier in the day, and in the bag was whole wheat spiral pasta and some Mia's Kitchen Kale Marinara! When I got home from work, I sauteed a little crumbled tempeh, added the jar of marinara, and boiled some pasta. I also toasted an Ozery Bakery Spelt OneBun and slathered it with Earth Balance and garlic. Yummy plate of Kale-Tempeh Pasta and Garlic Bread!

After dinner, I made a Cherry Booch Mocktail with tart cherry juice (for inflammation) and kombucha (for probiotics), and I enjoyed that while taking an Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil.

Finally — and this one ISN'T included on that Vega post — I always enjoy one pre-race day beer before bed. Nothing like beer to calm the nerves before a race! Emily also included a six-pack of Southern Prohibition Suzy B American Blonde Ale in her lovely marathon gift, so I enjoyed one of those while I sat out all of my race gear and gels.

And then it was off to bed by 9:20 p.m.! For more on how my race day went, check out yesterday's race recap post.


Hillary said...

That salad looks amazing! I didn't know they made grape peanut butter powder!! I've only had peanut butter powder once and it was plain. Your tart cherry mocktail sounds AHMAZING!!! And your pasta dish looks delicious too. Kale and marinara go perfectly together!!

Trixie said...

All your meals look delicious! I'm going to try & make that cocktail :)

Sarah said...

Ahhh congrats!! That is such an amazing accomplishment! Looks like perfect fuel :)

Tea and Sympatico said...

Congrats on the marathon. Amazing achievement. Do you think you'll do another one?