A NUTRITION GUIDE FOR RUNNING TRAINING
The proper running nutrition should not start on race day. Nor should it start the day of your practice. In order to get the most out of your training, you should approach your nutrition plan with the same attention and care you pay to your running. After all, muscles are torn during practice and fed in the kitchen (thank you Jen Anderson!)
Back in August I wrote this handy guide on what to eat before a run. In the guide I talked about the basic guidelines to keep in mind when planning (and shopping) for your next meal. I wanted to take this conversation one step further and provide some examples of actual meal plans, ripped straight from the Coach’s own food menu. 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.
TRAINING DAY EXAMPLE #1:
- Oatmeal w/fresh fruit, dried fruit or peanut butter mixed in
- Fruit juice
- Banana or watermelon
- Iron supplement
- 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)
Energy bar, banana, 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, watermelon or yogurt (no simple sugars)
TRAINING DAY EXAMPLE #2:
- Omelette or hard-boiled eggs
- Whole-wheat toast
- Orange juice
- Brown rice with beans, corn, lettuce and tomatoes (no meat)
- Fruit juice (orange, grapefruit or apple)
Protein smoothie or energy bar with a good amount of protein
- 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
- Whole wheat toast with fruit spread or PB&J sandwich
- Drink water
Make sure you have plenty of protein and carbs within 1-2 hours after the race! This is your optimal window for nutrient absorption.
Remember, water is your friend. Keep drinking it and always stay hydrated!!
Run Better. Run Smarter. Run For Life.
Coach Mwangi is a USATF-Certified running coach and competitive runner. He is the former head coach at Rhode Runner and he has coached a wide range of athletes from milers to marathoners. He has has also written about a wide range of topics related to running training. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.