A NUTRITION GUIDE FOR RUNNING TRAINING
The right running nutrition shouldn’t start on race day - it should start well before that. In order to get the most out of your training and racing, you should approach your nutrition with the same attention, diligence and care you devote to running. Giving your body what it needs to perform requires careful planning and good decision-making. Remember, muscles are broken down during practice and then rebuilt in the kitchen.
Back in April I wrote this handy guide on what to eat before a run. In it, I talked about the basic rules to keep in mind when planning (and shopping) for your next meal. This time I wanted to take the conversation one step further and provide some examples of actual meals, taken straight from my own food plan. Please keep in mind any pre-existing allergies you may have. Also, these are meant to be mere suggestions; everyone is unique, and different bodies respond to different foods in their own ways.
PRACTICE/TRAINING DAY EXAMPLE #1:
Oatmeal w/fresh fruit, dried fruit, chia seeds and/or peanut butter
Banana or watermelon
Potatoes or pasta with chicken, beef or fish
Veggies on the side (avoid ones with a lot of fiber!)
Dairy or almond milk
Cookie or brownie (go ahead, treat yourself but don’t go crazy)
Banana, watermelon, dried apricots (good source of potassium & iron) and/or a smoothie
A small serving of brown rice, quinoa or couscous
Beans, chickpeas or lentils
Side of vegetables (carrots, peas, lettuce, kale)
Banana or yogurt with fresh fruit (no simple sugars)
PRACTICE/TRAINING DAY EXAMPLE #2:
Omelette or hard boiled eggs
Whole wheat toast
Brown rice w/beans, corn, lettuce and tomatoes (no meat)
Fruit juice (orange, grapefruit or apple)
Protein smoothie, chocolate milk, yogurt w/fresh fruit, peanut butter & jelly sandwich or whole wheat toast w/avocado
Whole wheat pasta or potatoes
Chicken or fish
Tomatoes or tomato sauce (with the pasta)
Broccoli/carrots/leafy greens with the meal or a salad
RACE DAY EXAMPLE:
Oatmeal w/chia seeds & peanut butter, toast with fruit spread or PB&J sandwich
Make sure you have plenty of carbs & protein within 1 hour after the race! This is the optimal window for nutrient absorption. The ideal ratios are 3:1 or 4:1 carbs to protein. This is also the best time to make up for all that sweat and lost electrolytes by hydrating with an electrolyte-rich sports drink, such as Gatorade, SOS Rehydrate or Nuun. Then continue to drink water, because there's never a bad time for water!
Run Better. Run Smarter. Run For Life.