I am planning on training for a marathon in September. I have been a runner in the past, but not long distance like this. What is your daily menu consist of? How many calories do you think you are consuming in a day? I want to make sure I am meeting all of my nutritional needs. Thanks!!
I ran a marathon in October and I didn't eat much differently from my normal diet, just more food, especially the day following a long run! I found that if I trusted my healthy cravings I was doing well. I found that I needed a little more red meat than usual too. My typical diet is:
peanut butter and jelly toast (2-3 slices of bread loaded with PB and a little jelly)
usually whole grains, a little meat, and a couple side veggies - usually a fairly large serving of whatever I made
apple with peanut butter, cottage cheese with fruit, crackers and cheese, hummus, yogurt, pretzels, etc. Usually something with protein and carbs.
I don't do strict calorie counting, but I probably ate 4000+ calories per day. That helped to maintain my weight (I didn't lose much weight while training, but I did lose 1 1/2 pants sizes in the last 3 months of training!). One random thing I started eating a lot of that I usually hate is bananas! I couldn't get enough of them. I also needed more calcium/magnesium to avoid leg cramps.
During the runs that were 15+ miles I needed a snack during the run (usually a Luna bar or 2 or a banana) in addition to the water, sports drink (I use Vitamin water), Cliff gels and Cliff shot blocks. If you haven't tried the shot blocks/gels, they were a great addition to my training and gave me a huge boost mid-run. I'm not a caffeine drinker, but I like the gels and shot blocks with caffeine. They gave me a much needed boost mid-run. One way to ensure you are getting enough fluids during your run is to weigh yourself before and after a run. If you have lost weight, drink 16 oz per pound lost. Have fun with your training!