A big part of achieving your running goals should include a sound eating strategy. This doesn’t mean create some crazy diet that you give up on in a month. No, instead, think long term and strive to fuel your body with the proper number of calories at the right time. Here are 4 ways nutrition can improve your training and racing.
1. Food can help prevent injuries
The ability to prevent injury during an endurance training program depends on many factors like proper body mechanics, training load, genetics, and rest. Nutrition is also vital whether you want to resolve an old athletic injury or prevent one from occurring. Adequate calories, optimal macro-nutrient (carbohydrates, fats, protein) and micro-nutrient (vitamins, minerals) ranges help make the musculoskeletal system more resilient to the repetitive stress associated with endurance exercise.
2. Food can improve recovery from exercise
Two things come to mind when discussing exercise recovery: rest and nutrition. Eating between exercise sessions provides the necessary carbohydrate to restore glycogen levels and the amino acids needed to speed muscle repair. This process should begin the moment your workout is done. Optimal recovery allows for improved workouts and higher levels of fitness long-term.
3. Food can improve your long workouts
This one is obvious, but eating properly during exercise provides the energy you need to train more intensely and for a longer duration. The types, amount, and timing of the food intake during exercise will depend on the goals of your session. Fueling needs to become a high priority when workouts last longer than 1.5 hours in length.
4. Food is the key to weight management
Some runners 'run to eat' and if that is you...inevetable you've gained weight. To race at your best you need to use food as fuel. For most runners, weight loss, not running more is the key to faster race times.
These are 4 ways nutrition can improve your training and race performance this year.
Want to learn how to fuel for endurance, no matter the race distance. If you would like to eat for performance it all starts with the basics.
Take our Free Nutrition 101 class to jumpstart your peformance, help manage your weight and learn to eat like a champion.