What is a typical day of eating in the week before the marathon?
The honest answer is that I have not followed any type of eating plan or diet. My daughters are four and almost two, so I survive mostly on my daughters’ rejected leftovers and the same five meals we rotate each week.
Specifically for this week, I’ve been trying to increase the protein in my breakfast with eggs, yogurt, and the like. Coffee and fruit are essential. Lunches usually consist of leftovers (like grilled chicken or taco bowls) or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, and fruit.
For dinner, a farro dish with kebab meat, roasted corn, chickpeas, feta cheese and tzatziki sauce with bread.
Snacks are usually pretzels filled with peanut butter, cheese, or leftover Halloween candy. I definitely have a very limited alcohol consumption, which is not much different than typical, but this week I am more conscious of my consumption.
What do you eat the day before the race?
Breakfast will be a bagel with some type of protein (eggs, bacon, cheese), good coffee, and fruit.
Lunch will be something light like a sandwich and dinner will be a good whole wheat pasta with red sauce and protein and bread. I limit vegetables and fiber because long-distance runners’ stomach problems are real and devastating.
What do you eat on race morning? Because?
Before any long run, I make overnight oats with cut oats, walnuts, dried cherries, honey, and this delicious oat milk from Trader Joe’s. Then I’ll have a banana or some toast and maybe a protein bar. And coffee. Coffee always with half and half.
Do you carry snacks while you run?
Having never run this type of distance, snacking while running is something new for me. In the last few months I discovered Gu chews and also tried trail mix or Larabars with chocolate chips. These are easy on my stomach and I get a lot of bang for my buck. Running in North Carolina in the summer was sweaty and miserable, so trail mix and high-salt liquids were extremely important.
What’s the first thing you eat right after the race?
Salt. And a lot. Anything salty. Chips, pretzels, crackers. I love a savory bagel followed by a BLT bagel when I’m ready for a full meal. Sushi for dinner and a glass of wine. And chocolate and peanut butter ice cream.
Luke Sampson-Doyle, 31, Brooklyn
This year marks Sampson-Doyle’s fifth marathon in New York City and fifth overall.