When you’re considering running in a marathon the concept of fast food takes on a whole new meaning. Not only is it important to train effectively during the months leading up to your first marathon; what you put into your body also counts. Eating right is difficult and daunting for most of us at the best of times, but even more so when you’re going to be putting your body through a very intensive session of physical activity to say the least. Now we’re not trying to keep you from running this marathon, in fact we’re more concerned about making sure you do! Here are some tips that should keep you running at your full potential and help you finish that race with pride. World famous runner Paula Radcliffe talks about a major mistake that novice runners make and that’s not keeping oneself hydrated enough. In fact she recommends an extra litre of water for every hour that you train in hot conditions. Judging by Bangalore’s fierce heat over the past few weeks, you do NOT want to skip this tip. It is also a good idea to start drinking energy drinks with electrolytes in them during this training period so that you do not have an adverse reaction on the day of the race. Another thing to pay attention to is your intake of proteins along with the necessary carbohydrates. Throughout your training you will periodically be building and wearing down muscle tissue which the protein is essential for reconstructing. Now don’t use this as an excuse to load up on the pasta and bread. Men and women need only between 2000 and 2500 calories daily and during training you will need to add 100 calories for every mile you run. As for a breakdown of your diet, 65% of your calories should come from carbohydrates, particularly complex carbohydrates such as Potatoes, yams, wheat bread, bananas, pasta, apples, , brown rice, corn, apples, and carrots; while 10% should come from protein such as Low fat milk, beans, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, cottage cheese, and soy products. And finally 20-25% of your total calories should come from unsaturated fats which are found in Olive oil, peanut oil, avocados and walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and sardines. Of course, this is just a guideline and everybody’s body reacts differently. To be absolutely sure that you are making the absolute best of your own unique system, visit a nutritionist to formulate a diet that is tailored to your body. Happy Running!