I’m so excited to be co-hosting this week’s Tuesdays On The Run with April, Patty, and Erika! This week’s topic is “Nutrition For Runners” so link up your posts below or at one of their sites, and be sure to check out a few other posts as well!
We all know that good nutrition is important for runners, right? I think it’s something that everyone needs to figure out for themselves, and there’s no one correct formula for everyone. I started paying more attention to my nutrition about a year and a half ago. I read Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (affiliate link) which helped me understand the basics about how athletes should be eating.
Last spring/summer I started learning more about Paleo and began eating mostly paleo foods. Last summer Michele wrote a guest post about Paleo for runners which still seems to get a lot of hits on my blog, and things like “paleo, running, fuel” etc are very popular search terms.
For the past 30 days I have completed the Whole30. I was a little worried about how this would go as a runner, but to be honest I didn’t have any problems with it! Now, I wasn’t running high mileage or completing long runs so I would have had to adjust if that were the case. For more info on that stuff refer to Michele’s post.
So here are so basic tips for doing the Whole30 as a runner or general athlete:
1. Figure out how to time your workouts around meals. I like to run in the morning, but I know I can’t wait a long time after waking up to eat. So I would sometimes eat a banana before running, or not eat anything and run right away. If you like to work out later in the day, figure out which foods are the best pre-workout foods for you. Note: Make sure you are refueling within 30-60 minutes after you complete your workout! 2. Make sure to eat enough fat. You know how us runners can feel hungry all the time? We also tend to be carb-happy. I used to be able to deal with that by eating a big bowl of pasta or pretzels or some other kind of carb throughout the day. One of the biggest adjustments for me was adding fat to my meals. I still struggle with this, but it’s the most helpful advice I have gotten.
3. Figure out a snack plan just in case you do end up hungry. Some days I just didn’t feel like I could make it between meals without eating something. So I always had snacks available, especially when I was at work all day. These included apples, pears, baby carrots, almond or cashew butter, nuts and LARA bars. 4. If you need to bring fuel on your run, try raisins or dates. I didn’t do this since my longest run during the Whole30 was 8 miles, but I’ve used raisins before and that worked well. I have used Powerbar Energy Blends (affiliate link) during marathon training and now they are my favorite long-run fuel.
5. Get creative with adjusting your meals. Rob and I were used to eating pasta and meatballs every Friday night before our Saturday long run. So we started eating paleo meatballs and spaghetti squash. It’s not the same as a big plate of penne but it at least gave us some comfort in keeping a similar routine. I think that one of the best parts about the Whole30 for runners is that you are really shifting your focus to eating whole, nutritious foods. Sometimes as runners we may feel like we are “allowed” to eat whatever we want because we run so much. We absolutely shouldn’t deprive ourselves of things we want, but it’s also important to focus on getting enough of the good stuff- fruits, veggies, protein, and healthy fats.
In case your not already sick enough of hearing all about the Whole30, I’ll be back tomorrow with one last post about it! Spoiler alert: I may have a guest poster share some thoughts on the Whole30 with a much different perspective from my own 😉 What are some of your nutrition tips for runners? What’s your favorite long run fuel? Favorite pre-run meal?