A few weeks ago I signed up for my first Marathon. It takes place on the 10th of October this year (10/10/10) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Through research into what more experienced athletes and marathon runners say, I have prepared my own training schedule. This consists of 5 running days, including one long run day, one medium run day and two days of resting.
All of this training means that I’m hungry pretty much constantly and finding interesting and varied gluten free meals to eat gets pretty difficult. Much of what I’ve read talks about loading up on carbs and since many carb filled foods tend to also be filled with gluten, I’m careful to ensure I still get enough carbs whilst remaining gluten free.
I’m doing the first half of my training in Iowa and my second half when we move to Argentina, 2 months before the race.
I like to start my day with a bowl of Chex. On a short run day I’ll nibble a few pieces of fruit before my run and leave the cereal for afterwards but on a long run day I’ll fuel up with cereal first thing when I wake up. I’ve starting mixing corn, rice and honey nut Chex and I love it. Some days I substitute Chex for Cream of Rice, which tastes great with fruit and cinnamon.
For lunch, I’m all about corn tortillas with various fillings. Recently my favourite is ham with cucumber/spinach and cottage cheese. If we go out for lunch, I like to fill up on lots of Sushi with wheat free soy. New Pioneer Co-op in Iowa City does some great, fresh Nigiri and Maki sushi sets, which are gluten free. They also have wheat free soy. When buying pre-packed sushi, always check with whoever prepared it that it’s gluten free and stay away from imitation crab meat and any sauces. Fish Nigiri and either fish or vegetable Maki are usually the best bet.
I find myself getting hungry between meals, especially on my long run days, and I try to keep my snacking pretty healthy. I eat a lot of yoghurt (normally Yoplait as the fat free is gf and says so on the label) with rice cakes for dipping, gluten free bars, lots of fruit, and sometimes a bowl of Blue Bunny vanilla Ice Cream.
For dinner I find myself eating lots and lots of rice. Lucky for me I love the stuff but I still like to bring new ingredients in to eat with it to spice it up. Some of my favourites are Chilli with rice, ground beef with pineapple salsa and rice, black beans with rice, Kimchi with rice and Bolognese with rice. On the few occasions I don’t have rice, I eat various omelettes, tasty Iowa sweet corn or gluten free sandwiches (although I’m yet to find a great tasting gf bread in the States)
Running around 40 miles a week means that I can eat pretty much whatever I want but I try my best to eat the right things to fuel my body and prepare me for long distances. I don’t eat as much variety when it comes to my meals as I did in my pre-coeliac days but I’m working on this….
In Buenos Aires
My marathon training diet had changed quite a bit since moving to Argentina but thanks to a few great gluten free stores and eateries, I’m managing to keep my carb intake high. Cereal was such a huge part of what I was eating in the states but as there is no gluten free cereal to be found here, I’ve had to make a few changes to my diet. Before short runs I eat a cereal bar and if I’m going on a longer run I like to have a bowl of crushed up rice cakes with milk which is the nearest thing to a bowl of cereal here. Almost every day, the first thing I eat post run is a big bowl of polenta with fruit and cinnamon.
For lunch, I’m all about the empanadas (usually ground beef or chicken) or gluten free baguettes with ham and cheese from Celigourmet. As my weekly mileage is increasing I’m all about eating between meals too so I find myself eating a lot of yoghurts, fruit, nuts and chocolate covered gluten free snacks. My favourite snack here is Chocoarroz which is two small rice cakes stuck together with a layer of dulce de leche and covered in milk or white chocolate!
Dinner in Buenos Aires, like in the States, is almost always something with rice (or rice with something the night before a long run). Here I eat a lot of rice with egg and cheese, rice and veggie stir fry or my favourite, chilli with rice. Again, not a huge variety in what I’m eating but I try to vary it as much as possible and I enjoy everything that I eat.