During my two-week (but more like 4 week) break from running, I immersed myself in reading about running (when you can’t run, read, right?!).
One area I know I’m not doing as best as I can is nutrition, so the first book I picked up was Racing Weight. Eating better, running better, and losing weight?! Yup. I’ll take it.
I shared some of the information with my athletes last week, and wanted to pass along some of the key takeaways from the book. I’m really excited to start using some of the methods and recommendations when I start training for the Calgary Marathon/Half Marathon (wait, did I tell you guys I’m an ambassador for the race? Probably not……).
In both Racing Weight and The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition (currently reading), Fitzgerald discusses two areas that runners should focus on to both improve their nutrition and lose fat in order to be a better runner.
While I know I eat fairly well, I also know there are areas for improvement in my diet. To keep things simple, Fitzgerald uses a diet quality calculator. There’s no need to count calories, just score what you’re eating each day to get the best food in your system.
I’m keeping track of my diet quality in a notebook, if writing it down isn’t your thing, you can find a DQS calculator on his website.
I think sometimes we have a habit of overcomplicating what we eat and how much we should eat, so I quite like that this attempts to simplify it.
It’s no secret that runners need carbohydrates in order to fuel what we do. Fitzgerald is not a fan of the paleo, Atkins, Zone, low-carb diets, and provides excellent examples of how eating low carb can actually hinder the performance of endurance runners.
I’ll admit somewhere along the line, I hopped on the carbs are not awesome bandwagon and have been unintentionally not eating enough carbs for, well, too long. (I ate more carbs than usual yesterday and ended up eating 218g, I’m normally around the 150g mark).
You’ll note the above refers to carbohydrate intake based upon goal weight.
Depending upon your current body fat percentage and weight, it may be advisable (it is for me!) to lose fat in order to be a faster and better runner. This calculator can help to determine your ideal weight for running, by adding on muscle and reducing your body fat.
Using the ideal weight provided by the calculator, I should be eating 270-372g of carbohydrates per day when training.
What about fat and protein?
Racing Weight does not specifically cover the amount of fat that should be consumed, but does stress that athletes should be conscious of the amount of Omega 3’s consumed and in addition to including fish in their diet (I’m aiming for 2 days/week) should also considering supplementing daily.
Protein requirements are the typical 0.8-1.2g per kg (take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2), which is reasonable.
One thing I’d like to highlight (that I learned at BlogFest) is that our body’s can only use 20g-30g of protein at a time. If you were to eat a meal with 60g of protein, roughly half of that would not be useable to rebuild muscle in your body and could wind up being stored. I focus on eating 20-30g of protein at each meal and try to have one or two snacks with 10-20g of protein in order to ensure I’m meeting my daily goal.
[Tweet “Ange has some AWESOME tips on nutrition for runners! #runchat #runyyc #sweatpink “]
What’s your best nutrition tip for runners?
Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Your support is appreciated. Thank you!