RESOURCESTraining Tips, running advice + more
Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in the performance and recovery of runners. Here are some nutrition tips specifically tailored for runners:
Balanced Meals: Aim for balanced meals that include a combination of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This combination provides sustained energy, aids in muscle recovery, and supports overall health.
Carbohydrates: Carbs are the primary source of fuel for runners. Focus on consuming whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Prioritize complex carbohydrates over refined ones for sustained energy levels.
Protein: Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Include lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, lean meats, eggs, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins in your diet. Aim for approximately 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is crucial for optimal performance. Drink water regularly throughout the day and especially before, during, and after your runs. Monitor your urine color to ensure it is pale yellow, indicating adequate hydration.
Pre-Run Fuel: Consume a light, balanced meal containing carbohydrates and some protein about 1-3 hours before your run. This provides the necessary energy and prevents hunger during your workout. Experiment with different foods to find what works best for you.
Post-Run Recovery: After your run, replenish your glycogen stores and aid muscle recovery by consuming a combination of carbohydrates and protein. Examples include a protein shake with fruit, a chicken and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice, or a Greek yoghurt with berries.
Snack Smart: Incorporate healthy snacks into your day to maintain energy levels. Opt for options like fruit, nuts, yoghurt, whole grain crackers, or protein bars. Avoid highly processed snacks and sugary foods.
Nutrient Timing: Distribute your meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain consistent energy levels and support recovery. Fuel up before long runs and intense workouts, and aim to eat a balanced meal within 30-60 minutes after exercise.
Micronutrients: Ensure you’re getting an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts to obtain essential nutrients like vitamin C, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Listen to Your Body: Each runner is unique, so pay attention to how different foods affect your energy levels and digestion. Experiment with timing, portion sizes, and types of foods to find what works best for you.
Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs and goals as a runner.
Your running nutrition and hydration guide
Here’s a comprehensive guide on nutrition and hydration for runners:
- Drink water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Before a run, aim to consume 16-20 ounces (500-600 ml) of water or a sports drink 1-2 hours beforehand.
- During longer runs, consider drinking 4-8 ounces (120-240 ml) of water or sports drink every 20 minutes.
- After your run, replenish fluids by drinking 16-24 ounces (500-700 ml) of water or a recovery drink within 30 minutes.
- Drink water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Eat a balanced meal containing carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of healthy fats 2-3 hours before your run.
- Choose easily digestible foods such as oatmeal, whole grain toast with nut butter, a banana, or a smoothie.
- If you’re short on time, consume a smaller snack 30-60 minutes before your run, focusing on carbohydrates for quick energy.
- For runs lasting longer than 60-90 minutes, consider consuming carbohydrates during your run to maintain energy levels.
- Options include energy gels, chews, sports drinks, or real-food alternatives like dates, raisins, or pretzels.
- Experiment during training to find what works best for you and practice your race-day fueling strategy.
- Consume a snack or meal within 30-60 minutes after your run to replenish glycogen stores and aid muscle recovery.
- Aim for a combination of carbohydrates and protein, such as a protein shake, a turkey sandwich, or Greek yogurt with granola and fruit.
- Focus on a balanced diet with a variety of whole foods, including lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
- Prioritize nutrient-dense foods to support overall health and provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Consider incorporating sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) or plant-based alternatives like flaxseeds or chia seeds, for their anti-inflammatory properties.
- Pay attention to specific nutrients important for runners, such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, and antioxidants.
- Iron-rich foods include lean meats, beans, spinach, and fortified cereals.
- Dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified plant-based milk alternatives are good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
- Antioxidant-rich foods like berries, colorful vegetables, and green tea can aid in recovery and reduce inflammation.
- Plan your meals and snacks strategically to provide sustained energy throughout the day.
- Aim for a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) in each meal.
Fuel up before long runs and intense workouts, and focus on recovery nutrition post-exercise.
Every runner is unique and individual nutrition needs can vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your fueling strategy accordingly. If you have specific dietary concerns or training goals, consulting with a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition can provide personalized guidance for optimal performance.
Essential guide to fuelling for long runs
Fueling properly for long runs is crucial to maintain energy levels and enhance performance. Here are some essential nutrition and hydration tips to help you effectively fuel your body during training and races:
- Consume a balanced meal containing carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats 2-3 hours before your long run.
- Choose easily digestible foods like oatmeal with bananas and almond butter, whole grain toast with eggs, or a fruit smoothie with Greek yogurt.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water leading up to your run.
- Aim to consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during long runs.
- Experiment during training to find what fueling method works best for you, whether it’s energy gels, chews, sports drinks, or real-food alternatives like dates, raisins, or pretzels.
- Set a schedule to consume small amounts of carbohydrates regularly throughout your run to maintain energy levels. Fuel every 10km or 40 minutes for example.
Hydration During Long Runs:
- Start your run well-hydrated by drinking fluids in the hours leading up to it.
- Carry a water bottle or use hydration belts or packs to have access to fluids during your run.
- Consider sports drinks or electrolyte-enhanced water to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat during longer runs.
- Listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty, aiming for 4-8 ounces (120-240 ml) every 20 minutes.
- Consume a snack or meal within 30-60 minutes after your long run to aid in recovery and replenish glycogen stores.
- Focus on a combination of carbohydrates and protein, such as a protein shake, a turkey wrap with veggies, or a bowl of quinoa with roasted vegetables and grilled chicken.
Long runs are an opportunity to practice your fueling strategy for race day. Experiment with different foods, hydration methods, and timing during your training to find what works best for you. Stay consistent, listen to your body, and consult with a sports nutritionist or registered dietitian for personalized guidance to optimize your fueling for long runs.
What to eat before a training run
Before a training run, it’s important to fuel your body with the right combination of nutrients to provide energy and support optimal performance. Here are some guidelines for what to eat before a training run:
- Timing: Aim to eat a pre-run meal about 1-3 hours before your training session. This allows enough time for digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Carbohydrates: Prioritize carbohydrates as they provide the primary source of fuel for your muscles during exercise. Choose complex carbohydrates that are rich in fiber and provide sustained energy. Good options include whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, or brown rice.
- Moderate Protein: Include a moderate amount of protein in your pre-run meal to support muscle maintenance and repair. Lean sources of protein, such as eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or tofu, are ideal choices.
- Healthy Fats: Incorporate a small amount of healthy fats into your pre-run meal. They help provide satiety and sustained energy. Examples include nut butter, avocado, or a sprinkle of nuts and seeds.
- Hydration: Drink water leading up to your run to ensure you are well-hydrated. Avoid consuming excessive amounts of fluids immediately before your run to prevent discomfort.
Examples of pre-training run meals/snacks:
- Whole grain toast with nut butter and sliced banana
- Oatmeal topped with berries, Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey
- Scrambled eggs or omelet with vegetables and a side of whole wheat toast
- Greek yogurt with granola and mixed fruits
- Smoothie made with fruits, Greek yogurt, spinach, and a scoop of protein powder
Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and experiment with different food options to find what works best for you. Consider your personal preferences, tolerance to different foods, and the intensity and duration of your training run. Adjust portion sizes and timing based on your individual needs.
What to eat during race week
Race week is a crucial time for runners to focus on proper nutrition to optimize performance and support recovery. Here are some guidelines for what to eat during race week:
Maintain a Balanced Diet: Stick to a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods. This ensures you’re getting the necessary vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients to support your body’s needs.
Carbohydrate Focus: Prioritize carbohydrates during race week to top off glycogen stores and provide ample energy for race day. Include complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes in your meals.
Adequate Protein: Ensure you’re consuming enough protein to support muscle repair and recovery. Include lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, lean meats, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins in your meals.
Hydration: Hydrate consistently throughout race week to ensure you’re well-hydrated on race day. Drink water regularly and consider incorporating electrolyte-rich drinks or coconut water to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.
Taper Nutrition: Adjust your calorie intake during the taper period to match your reduced training volume. Focus on nutrient-dense foods to maintain energy levels without overeating.
Pre-Race Meal: Plan a pre-race meal for the night before your race that includes a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Choose easily digestible foods that you’ve practiced during training to avoid digestive issues.
Race Morning Fuel: Have a light and easily digestible breakfast on race morning, typically 2-3 hours before the start. Choose foods that you’re accustomed to, such as a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, or a small bowl of oatmeal.
Race Nutrition Strategy: Develop a race nutrition plan based on the duration of the race. Consider consuming carbohydrates through gels, chews, or sports drinks during the race to maintain energy levels. Practice this strategy during training to ensure it works for you.
Stay Consistent: Stick to foods that you know work well for you during race week. Avoid trying new or unfamiliar foods to minimize the risk of digestive issues or discomfort on race day.
Recovery Nutrition: After the race, prioritize post-race recovery nutrition. Consume a balanced meal or snack within 30-60 minutes to replenish glycogen stores and support muscle repair. Focus on carbohydrates and protein, such as a protein shake, a turkey sandwich, or a Greek yogurt with fruit and granola.
Every runner’s nutrition needs can vary, so it’s essential to listen to your body, experiment during training, and adjust your nutrition plan based on what works best for you.
What to eat and drink during the race
During a race, your nutrition and hydration strategy play a critical role in maintaining energy levels and sustaining performance. Here are some guidelines for what to eat and drink during the race:
- Drink fluids regularly throughout the race, especially in longer events or hot weather.
- Aim to consume 120-240 ml (4-8 ounces) of fluids every 20 minutes, but adjust based on your sweat rate and thirst.
- Consider carrying a water bottle or wearing a hydration pack, or take advantage of aid stations to replenish fluids.
- For longer races, choose sports drinks with electrolytes to help replace those lost through sweat.
- Consume carbohydrates during the race to maintain glycogen stores and provide energy for your muscles.
- Energy gels, chews, or sports drinks are common sources of easily digestible carbohydrates.
- Experiment during training to determine how often and what types of carbohydrates work best for you.
- Set a fueling schedule based on the duration of the race. Aim to start consuming carbohydrates early and maintain a steady intake throughout the event.
- Practice your nutrition strategy during training to avoid any digestive issues on race day.
- Some runners prefer real-food alternatives for fueling during a race. Options like bananas, dates, raisins, or pretzels can provide carbohydrates and electrolytes.
- In longer races or hot conditions, consider electrolyte supplements or electrolyte-enhanced products to maintain the balance of sodium, potassium, and other minerals lost through sweat.
Avoid High-Fiber and Fatty Foods:
- During the race, avoid high-fiber and fatty foods that may cause gastrointestinal distress.
Caffeine (if desired):
- Some runners find that caffeine can enhance performance and mental focus during a race. If you are accustomed to caffeine, consider using it in the form of gels or drinks.
Stay Consistent and Listen to Your Body:
- Stick to foods and drinks you’ve practiced during training to avoid any unexpected reactions. This part is key, you should be praciticing your nutrition and hydration intake during your training runs.
- Pay attention to how your body responds to different nutrition choices during the race and make adjustments if necessary.
Remember that each runner is unique, so it’s essential to experiment during training to find the best nutrition and hydration strategy for your specific needs and preferences. On race day, stay consistent with your plan, listen to your body’s signals, and adapt as needed to perform at your best.
What to eat and drink after your race
After completing a race, proper post-race nutrition is essential to support recovery and replenish your body’s energy stores. Here are some guidelines on what to eat and drink after your race:
Rehydrate: Drink water or a sports drink to rehydrate your body after the race. Replace fluids lost through sweat to restore proper hydration levels.
Carbohydrates: Consume carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores in your muscles. Aim for easily digestible sources like fruits, bread, pasta, rice, or energy bars.
Protein: Include a source of protein to aid in muscle repair and recovery. Good options include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh.
Electrolytes: Restore electrolyte balance by consuming foods or drinks with sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Consider sports drinks, coconut water, or electrolyte-enhanced beverages.
Post-Race Meal/Snack: Ideally, have a balanced meal containing carbohydrates, protein, and a moderate amount of healthy fats within 30-60 minutes after the race. This helps kickstart the recovery process.
Examples of post-race meals/snacks:
- Grilled chicken with quinoa and roasted vegetables
- Whole-grain pasta with marinara sauce and lean ground turkey
- Veggie omelet with a side of sweet potatoes
- Quinoa salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese
- Smoothie with bananas, berries, Greek yogurt, and a scoop of protein powder
Replenish Electrolytes: If you’ve sweated heavily during the race, consider drinking an electrolyte-rich beverage or consuming foods with electrolytes to help replace those lost during exercise.
Include Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Incorporate foods with anti-inflammatory properties to aid in reducing post-race inflammation. Examples include berries, cherries, turmeric, ginger, and fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Timing Matters: Try to consume your post-race meal/snack as soon as possible after finishing the race. Your body is more receptive to nutrient absorption during this period.
Listen to Your Body: Everyone’s post-race nutrition needs may differ, so listen to your body’s hunger cues and choose foods that make you feel good and aid in recovery.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate: If you have completed a challenging race, treat yourself to a small indulgence. Whether it’s a piece of dark chocolate or your favorite treat, it can be a great way to reward yourself for your hard work.
Remember, proper post-race nutrition is crucial for recovery and preparing your body for future training sessions. Tailor your post-race meal to your preferences, dietary needs, and individual goals.
How to take your race drinks without slowing down
Taking your race drinks without slowing down requires some practice and preparation. Here are some tips to help you stay fueled during the race without losing momentum:
Use Squeezable Bottles: If you’re carrying your own hydration, opt for squeezable water bottles or soft flasks. These allow you to take quick sips without needing to slow down or stop.
Practice During Training: Train with the same type of drink bottles or cups that will be provided during the race. Practice grabbing them from aid stations and drinking while running at your race pace.
Develop a Drinking Schedule: Plan when you’ll take sips of your drink based on your race pace and distance. For shorter races, you might not need to drink as frequently as during longer events.
Sip and Squeeze: Instead of trying to gulp down a large amount of liquid at once, take small sips and use the squeezable bottle to control the flow. This helps prevent choking or discomfort.
Know the Course: Familiarize yourself with the race course and identify the locations of aid stations. This way, you can plan your drinking strategy accordingly.
Slow Down Slightly: If you find it challenging to drink without slowing down, consider briefly easing your pace while you take a few sips. Gradually increase your speed back to your desired race pace.
Use Straws or Bottle Caps with Sports Drinks: Some runners prefer using straws or specialized bottle caps designed for sports drinks. These options allow you to take sips without tilting your head back, making it easier to maintain your running form.
Carry Small Bottles or Flasks: If you prefer carrying your hydration, consider using smaller bottles or flasks that are easier to handle while running.
Pinch and pour: If you plan on using water stations at your race, practice with a paper cup. Pinch the top of the cup to create a spout-like shape. This will prevent water from spilling as you drink. Tilt the cup slightly and take small sips, being careful not to drink too quickly and risk choking.
Don’t Skip Hydration: It’s essential to stay hydrated during a race, especially in hot conditions or for longer events. Train your body to drink efficiently without compromising your running form.
Remember, staying hydrated during a race is crucial for performance and safety. Practice taking your race drinks during training to find a strategy that works best for you and allows you to maintain your pace without sacrificing hydration.
Fueling Your Run: Essential Healthy Eating Tips for Runners
As a runner, what you eat plays a vital role in your performance, energy levels, and overall well-being. Proper nutrition helps you power through training sessions, optimize recovery, and prepare for race day. Here are some essential healthy eating tips to fuel your runs and keep you at your best:
Balance Your Plate: Aim for balanced meals that include a mix of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This trio provides sustained energy, supports muscle recovery, and boosts overall health.
Embrace Complex Carbs: Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for runners. Opt for complex carbs like whole grains (e.g., oats, brown rice, quinoa), fruits, and vegetables. These release energy slowly, keeping you energized throughout your run.
Lean Proteins: Include lean sources of protein to aid muscle repair and growth. Opt for chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins like tofu or lentils.
Healthy Fats: Don’t shy away from fats; they are crucial for sustained energy. Choose healthy fats from avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon.
Stay Hydrated: Hydration is key for optimal performance. Drink water regularly throughout the day and before, during, and after your runs. Listen to your body’s thirst cues and monitor urine color to ensure proper hydration.
Pre-Run Nutrition: Fuel up with a balanced meal containing carbs and protein 2-3 hours before your run. Opt for easily digestible foods to prevent discomfort while exercising.
During-Run Fueling: For longer runs, consider consuming carbohydrates to maintain energy levels. Experiment during training to find what works best for you, whether it’s energy gels, chews, or real-food alternatives like raisins or bananas.
Post-Run Recovery: Replenish glycogen stores and aid muscle recovery with a snack or meal containing carbs and protein within 30-60 minutes after your run. This accelerates recovery and prepares you for your next training session.
Nutrient-Rich Choices: Prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts to obtain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nourish your body and support overall health.
Limit Sugary and Processed Foods: Minimize your intake of sugary snacks, desserts, and processed foods. Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods that offer more nutritional value.
Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how different foods affect your energy levels and digestion. Customize your diet based on your individual needs and preferences.
By following these healthy eating tips, you’ll be better equipped to fuel your runs effectively, enhance your performance, and achieve your running goals. Remember, every runner is unique, so find what works best for you through experimentation and always prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods in your diet. With the right nutrition, you’ll be on track to excel in your running journey.
10 Tips to Stay Healthy and Thrive
As a passionate runner, staying healthy is not just a goal; it’s a way of life. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, these 10 essential tips will help you maintain peak performance and overall well-being.
Balanced Diet: Embrace a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Load up on colorful fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains to fuel your runs and nourish your body.
Hydration Matters: Stay hydrated before, during, and after your runs. Water is your best friend – keep a water bottle handy and sip regularly throughout the day.
Timing is Key: Consume a pre-run snack or meal about an hour before your workout. Opt for easily digestible carbs and a dash of protein to energize your muscles.
During-Run Fuel: For long runs, replenish your energy with small sips of water and quick carbs like energy gels or sports drinks.
Post-Run Recovery: After your run, refuel with a combination of carbs and protein within 30 minutes. Chocolate milk, a banana, or a protein smoothie are excellent choices.
Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how certain foods affect your performance and recovery. Adjust your diet based on your body’s needs.
Healthy Snacks: Replace sugary treats with healthy snacks like nuts, yogurt, or sliced fruits. These satisfy your hunger without causing energy crashes.
Avoid Overtraining: Rest days are just as crucial as running days. Give your body time to recover and heal from the stress of running.
Cross-Train: Engage in cross-training activities to prevent burnout and enhance overall fitness. Yoga, cycling, or swimming are fantastic options.
Get Enough Sleep: Prioritize quality sleep to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate. Aim for 7-9 hours each night for optimal recovery.
By incorporating these simple tips into your running routine, you’ll not only enhance your performance but also foster a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Remember, running is about more than just miles; it’s about nourishing your body and enjoying the journey towards your running goals. Happy running and stay healthy!