“We’re going on a diet!”
Was it really that time again already?
“I’m on a diet,” I tried to argue. “According to the dictionary, my diet is just the foods I eat, so…”
“You know what I mean.”
Somehow my brilliant logic had failed to convince my wife that my diet was fine the way it was.
“Besides,” she countered, “isn’t it about time you planned your training diet?”
She was right. With the off-season behind me, and the Amica Marathon coming up, I needed a plan.
Fueling for tomorrow, today
Most runners approach a big race with a training plan.
I always go in with two.
The first is a training plan designed to improve my physical conditioning. The second, a performance-optimized nutrition plan.
If you’re serious about your performance, you need to plan not only for what you expect to get out of your body. You also need to plan for what you are putting into it.
Think of it this way: you can’t expect to perform like an Indy car if you’re fueling like a jalopy.
But proper performance nutrition is about more than just what you consume on race day. If you really want peak performance you need to take the long view, just like you do with your running plan.
Practical nutrition for runners
You might expect that, at this point, I’d start throwing around science jargon like macro-nutrient ratios and glycogenolysis.
Not gonna happen.
That said, I’m going to break my own rule just this once to say that when it comes to carbohydrates, fat, and protein, most runners have been grossly mislead.
We’ve been convinced that carbohydrates and fats are bad for us, and that protein is a magical salve for athletes.
As an endurance athlete, you need your calories to be as accessible as possible. That means a diet rich in carbohydrates and good fats. Protein is useful, sure, but there’s a fine line between getting a sufficient amount and overdoing it.
Most runners should aim for a diet made up of 60% carbohydrates, 25% good fats, and 15% protein.
Keep in mind that’s just the RRCA’s current guideline, and that any discussion of nutrition would be incomplete without saying that there’s no substitute for personal attention from a registered dietician.
Healthy doesn’t have to mean gross
As you plan your diet, keep in mind that not all nutrients are created equal.
The majority of your nutrition should come from natural, whole foods. The word “refined” is never your friend.
As Michael Pollan says, “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”
Now if the concept of whole food conjures up images of bland bran muffins and limp, lifeless salads, take heart. Just because food is healthy doesn’t mean it needs to be boring.
To prove the point, I’ve been hard at work compiling a collection of healthy meals and desserts for runners.
I call it “Running Recipes”. And you can check out a sample below (including an exclusive natural Strawberry Energy Chew recipe, similar to my Piña-Colada shot block replacement published previously).
Take a look.
The Running Recipes Launch Sale is on Now
This is just a small sample of the recipes that will be in the final book.
The full eBook contains 21 unique and delicious meals for breakfast, dinner, or dessert.
And, best of all, as a Midpack Runner reader, you can save 50% off the regular price between now and May 20th. Simply head to the Running Recipes website for more chia recipes for hungry runners.
Once the launch sale is over, you’ll never find this book at launch price ever again. You don’t want to miss it.
Enter your email below and you’ll receive an email reminder before the thank you sale ends. Make sure you don’t miss out on 50% off during launch week as my way of saying thank you.
But, wait. There’s more.
I want to offer one lucky reader a chance to earn a free copy of the book when it’s complete.
All you need to do is leave me a comment with two pieces of info:
- What is your biggest struggle with training nutrition?
- And, what would make a good subtitle for the book?
There’s no right answer here, so let the creativity fly. I’ll choose a winner at random from eligible entries on Saturday, May 5th, and announce it in the next post.