Wednesday is the second day of Passover, the eight-day holiday remembering the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt.
It’s also marathon season, with runners around the country lacing up for 11 different marathons over the next six days, including one in Kentucky, another in New Mexico and the iconic Boston Marathon.
The connection? Well, runners observing Passover have to forgo the most basic staples of marathon training and racing: bagels, oatmeal, Gu (that mushy sugar and electrolyte concoction) and of course, the traditional pasta dinner.
So what should they do? Here & Now’s Robin Young checks in with Orthodox Rabbi Eli Glaser, who also happens to be a marathon runner and a nutritionist.
Tips For Training While Observing Passover
- Mushed/crushed dates and raisins with banana can replace gels or “GU.”
- Mix dried fruit with almond slivers to create grain-free energy bars.
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes are easy to digest and can replace pasta. (There are some kosher-for-Passover pastas made of potato flour)
- Quinoa is an allowable carbohydrate. Contrary to popular belief, it is a vegetable and not a grain.
- Matzah can replace bread, but runners be forewarned: some people believe it slows digestion and can be hard on the stomach on race day. So practice first!
- Salt tablets including SaltStick Caps can replace Gatorade (also something to attempt before marathon day).
- Vitamin Water is an acceptable training beverage.
- If you are unsure of whether a product is kosher for Passover, there’s a hotline to call: 212-613-8241.
- Eli Glaser, rabbi and nutritionist who is also head of Soveya, which promotes health through nutrition.