Take Stock Of Your Diet Habits



The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon may be months and many training miles away but as far as your diet is concerned, the preparations for race day can start now. The good news is that you probably won’t have to make drastic changes to your current eating habits; there is no need to buy expensive supplements or special foods.

On Your Marks

As you embark on your training programme you should take stock of your current diet habits. Remember that food is the fuel that will help to ensure your body makes it through the miles of training in the months ahead. Flunk on your diet and fluid intake and you risk feeling tired and run-down. Use this checklist to make sure you are giving yourself the right start.

Are You Eating Enough?

You should aim to get around 60 per cent of all your daily calories from foods which are high in carbohydrate including bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables. Unlike protein and fat, carbohydrate is stored in your muscles so that it is readily available for energy when you are running.

Research shows that most athletes tend to perform better if they eat smaller, high carbohydrate meals more often rather than three square meals a day. Experiment to find an eating pattern that suits your running.

Should You Be Eating Before You Run?

Some runners claim to perform perfectly well on an empty stomach, but it is fair to say that most of the scientific evidence is against them. Eating 2-4 hours before you exercise means that some of the gastric juices in your stomach will be absorbed, leaving you feeling less hungry when you set off.

Are You Drinking Enough?

Water is a vital part of your diet. It helps get rid of heat through the skin by sweating, it enables your body to get rid of waste products and toxins and also helps to transport glucose in the blood to your muscles so that you can exercise.

As a runner you need more than the eight glasses of water recommended for people who do no exercise. Try sipping on water throughout the day and eat plenty of high water-content foods such as tomatoes, soups and cucumber.

Get Set

As race day gets closer, you should also begin to fine-tune some aspects of your diet. In the 2-3 months before the marathon, you need to develop an eating plan geared specifically towards enhancing your performance.

Perfect Your Pre-Race Meal

Research has shown that the ideal meal to eat on the morning of a race should be high in carbohydrate with a little low-fat protein to make it more digestible. Something like lightly scrambled egg on toast is ideal. But ultimately it is a matter of personal choice and you should be trying out as many pre-run meals as possible in training.

Isotonic Energy Drink

If you are planning to use the on-course sports drink, during the marathon, it is vital that you practice with various products during training. Are you dehydrated?

A dehydrated runner will end up going nowhere fast and it doesn’t happen only on hot days. Dehydration can be the cumulative effect of drinking too little. A simple way to test if you are drinking enough is to check the colour of your urine. If it is bright yellow, it may have become concentrated with metabolic wastes because you aren’t drinking enough.


A few days before the race and there is still plenty to do. You should concentrate on eating a high carbohydrate diet so that your muscles are constantly re-fuelled. And there are other rules too. Don’t try anything new. If you are handed free samples of snacks when you go to collect your number from the exhibition, save them until after the race. You may find that they cause gastro-intestinal upset.

Race Morning

There are no hard and fast rules here, only to leave enough time for your pre-race meal to digest so that you don’t feel uncomfortably full. In general a large meal takes around four hours to digest, a smaller meal up to two hours. Do not be tempted by a hotel breakfast or try anything new at this stage. Drink plenty of fluids in the 2-3 hours before you start and a small cup of water about ten minutes before the gun goes.

Drinks To Avoid

Drinking tea or coffee will not harm your performance but bear in mind that both contain caffeine, a diuretic, and should therefore be drunk in moderation. Avoid alcohol which can promote dehydration and fizzy drinks which can cause bloating.

So You Think It’s All Over?

What you eat and drink after the marathon influences how quickly you recover.

Recovery Fluids

Try fresh fruit juice which will supply carbohydrate, fluid and electrolytes or body salts – dilute with water if it tastes too acidic. Water will replace fluids as well as any commercial drink.

Eat Within Four Hours

As a guideline you should aim to eat 0.5 grams of carbohydrate for every pound of body weight 2-3 hours after you finish to top up your depleted glycogen stores.


Yes, you deserve it! A hard race will deplete your body’s stores of glycogen and your muscles will need at least two days rest coupled with lots of carbohydrate foods. This, of course, means you have plenty of time too.



  • Reduction in the number of participants from over 100,000 to just 300.
  • The international elite runners about 30, the local elite runners 40, and about 200 educated and enlightened fun runners and those that are coming from different parts of the world for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Qualifiers
  • Cancellation of 10km family fun run which normally attracts over 75, 000 runners. 
  • The Lagos Sports Commission will work with the Office of Lagos State Governor and security agencies to ensure that there is a curfew between 5 am and 10 am on race day.
  • The race will be broadcast live on all television and multi-media channels to ensure people are not on the street to cheer runners, the organizers of the London Marathon adopted a similar approach.
  • All members of the workforce, including volunteers and other auxiliary workers, will undergo a compulsory Covid-19 test.
  • There will be zero entertainment at the finish point
  • Apart from the top three, all other runners will pick their medals at the Marathon Office on designated dates to prevent crowding
  • Security will be tight at the start, the finish, and along the route.
  • There will be passes to screen workers and prevent crowding in several places
  • All runners, workforce, auxiliary workers, security, and others will get a booklet of dos and don’ts of Race during Covid 19 from the office of the General Manager Marathon
  • Apart from the special Media Guide, there will be a special training for our Media Partners on how to cover marathon and road races during Covid-19
  • Massive media campaign to educate the society about the importance of watching from the comfort of their homes.
  • We shall meet with Lagos State Government agencies that are stakeholders to ensure we are all on the same page.
  •  All elite runners will be expected to tender a certificate of clearance from Covid 19 virus not later than 72hrs before their arrival in the country.
  • The start area for the elite field will be floor marked (2m apart) with runners’ number bibs to ensure their standing starting position which will be properly spaced to ensure social distancing.
  • All runners must as a matter of COMPULSION wear a face mask into the start area.
  • There shall be multiple waves at the start to ensure proper spacing of the runners. 
  •  Mist disinfectant sprayers will be mounted at the call area which all runners must pass through after being temperature checked. 
  •  Hygiene stations will be set up at the start and the finish areas.
  • Runners shall be expected to have their face mask on at the start point and must run with it for the next 600m to 800m.
  • All technical officials, volunteers, medical personnel, security, and logistic hands WILL have their face mask on and wear latex hand gloves for the entire duration of the marathon.
  •  All surfaces in all the vehicles that will be used for the marathon WILL be sprayed periodically with disinfectants during the race.
  •  Medical stations at all points WILL be manned and clearly marked with staff donning appropriate PPE wears.
  • The distribution points for the race packs WILL be constructed in a way to ensure proper cross ventilation. Participants WILL leave immediately they are attended to.
  • All volunteers involved in the handling of water and refreshments to the runners WILL be fully masked up with proper PPE wears.
  • All runners will be given a minimum of 3 nose masks and a small bottle of hand sanitizer as well as an instruction leaflet on ways to stay protected from the corona pandemic as part of the contents in the race packs.
  • ONLY runners and the few designated technical hands WIIL be allowed in the start arena.
  • All areas in and around the race venue start and finish WILL be properly disinfected.


The above will strictly be followed to ensure the safety of everybody.