Yale University

Dietary Tendencies as Predictors of Marathon Time in Novice Marathoners.

TitleDietary Tendencies as Predictors of Marathon Time in Novice Marathoners.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWilson, Patrick B., Stacy J. Ingraham, Chris Lundstrom, and Gregory Rhodes
JournalInternational journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism
Date Published2012 Oct 11
AbstractBACKGROUND: The effects of dietary factors such as carbohydrate on endurance running performance have been extensively studied under laboratory-based and simulated field conditions. Evidence from 'real-life' events, however, is poorly characterized. The purpose of this observational study was to examine the associations between pre-race and in-race nutrition tendencies and performance in a sample of novice marathoners. METHODS: Forty-six college students (36 women and 10 men) aged 21.3 ± 3.3 yrs recorded diet for 3-days prior to, the morning of, and during a 26.2-mile marathon. Anthropometric, physiological, and performance measurements were assessed prior to the marathon so the associations between diet and marathon time could be included as part of a stepwise regression model. RESULTS: Mean marathon time was 266 ± 42 minutes. A pre-marathon 2-mile time trial explained 73% of the variability in marathon time (adjusted R2 = 0.73, p < 0.001). Day before + morning of carbohydrate (DBMC) was the only other significant predictor of marathon time, explaining an additional 4% of the variability in marathon time (adjusted R2 = 0.77, p = 0.006). Other factors such as age, BMI, gender, day before + morning of energy, and in-race carbohydrate were not significant independent predictors of marathon time. CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of primarily novice marathoners, DBMC intake was associated with faster marathon time, independent of other known predictors. These results suggest that novice and recreational marathoners should consider consuming a moderate-to-high amount of carbohydrate in the 24-36 hours prior to a marathon.
Alternate JournalInt J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab

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