Five Pre-Marathon Dining Out Swaps
Dining out can be a little stressful the night before a marathon, or even a long run. Here are five risky foods to consider steering away from the night before a marathon.
1) Olive Garden – Fettuccini Alfredo
It’s pasta, right? Wrong! Especially when dining out, a bowl of this creamy pasta can carry a serious fat load. A dinner portion of this pasta does contain about 99 grams of glycogen stocking carbohydrates, but this 1220 calorie meal has 75 grams of fat. This type of fat load the night before a marathon not only adds unwanted fat calories, it can contribute to GI distress on the run.
Instead: Go for a traditional spaghetti or capellini pomodoro pasta plate. Avoid creamy sauces in pre-race pasta eating.
2) PF Chang’s – Kung Poa Chicken
Chicken and rice can work into a carbing-up regimen, but this dish hides a lot of unwanted fat. A plate of PF Chang’s Kung Pao Chicken contains 66 grams of fat. This doesn’t account for fat that can come with a the fried rice one might order to compliment the fried chicken dish.
Instead: Go for the garlic noodles. This drops the fat load to 11 grams from the 66 in the kung pao chicken and offers 136 grams of carbohydrate for the entire plate. Consider asking for the garlic noodles to be topped with grilled chicken. Avoid fried meats in pre-race eating.
3) Panera – Frontega Chicken on Focaccia
A simple chicken sandwich can work its way into carbo-loading prep, but not all chicken sandwiches are created equal. Any sandwich on foccacia bread is likely to contain added fat. Between the bread, cheese, mayo, and chicken this sandwich carries 38 grams of fat. Although this sandwich contains 79 grams of carbohydrate, this is a high fat load from one meal when carbohydrate loading.
Instead: Switch to a low fat bread and skip the chipotle mayo spread. This will shed 28 grams of fat from this meal.
4) Uno’s – Deep Dish Pizza
Pizza can be tempting when visiting a deep dish pizza town for a marathon. A serving of Uno’s Cheese and Tomato deep dish pizza contains 117 grams of performance supporting carbohydrates, but believe it or not it has 119 grams of fat. Wow! That could be trouble.
Instead: Go for a thick crust pizza without processed meat and go light on the cheese.
5) Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
You’re running a marathon the next day; why not splurge a little? It’s easy to see from the meals above how quickly the fat from a meal can add up. Tacking on a heavy dessert like a slice of the chocolate chip cookie dough cheescake from Cheesecake Factory adds another 72 grams of fat.
Instead: Switch to a lower fat, carbohydrate-rich sweet treat. Consider the goblet of fresh strawberries or maybe even a fruit smoothie.