Beginning to Run: The Importance of Nutrition for Runners

Understanding the basics before beginning a running program in order to properly fuel your body during your training before and after your workouts. Doing this will help you optimize your running and it will help you minimize your risk of getting any injuries.


Have you ever felt like utter crap the day after a long run? Feeling crappy might be because of a short recovery period you had after your run. And that’s okay. We all have those days. Proper fueling strategies around your training runs will enable you to better understand your body’s nutritional needs before, during, and after your runs. Ultimately, this will help you to be more prepared for your race day performance ahead! A friendly tip to get you started is to try eating something with protein. Whether that be an RBar, or another protein bar, it should be easy to eat on-the-go! The timing plays an important role here for distance runners since protein helps to repair muscle after an intense exercise session, and it stimulates faster recovery periods too!

Nutrition for Endurance Overview

As a runner, your diet should consist of mainly healthy carbs, proteins, and fats. These are otherwise known as macronutrients or nutrient-dense rich foods. It’s also essential to get your vitamins and minerals. These are known as your micronutrients, which you can get from your foods, or from your daily natural supplements.

I Struggled from Body Dysmorphia


I struggled with body dysmorphia for years. I ate for the look, not performance. As an endurance athlete, this is not sustainable. It led to an injury that took me out of running for almost two years. I’m grateful to be back in the game. Life is a rollercoaster! And now, I’m all about a balanced, well-rounded diet that allows me to eat what I want without feeling guilty about it and without hindering my performance when I run!

The Magic Formula

Put, the more physically active we tend to be, the more energy our body needs, aka proper ratio of carbs, protein, and fats depend on our personal bodily needs. Here are my go-to carbs, fats, and proteins snacks that I typically eat after my runs!

My Go-To Protein Infused Snacks

Snack 1: Chobani yogurt with peanut butter and granola. I often add berries if I have them in the fridge. YUM! Carbs, vitamins, minerals, proteins, galore!

Snack 2: Eggs, kale, dairy-free cheese.YUM. Iron galore. The perfect fix!

Something about my go-to snacks is very much alike. Can you take a guess what that might be?

PROTEIN.





I am neurotic about intaking the proper amount of protein within 30 minutes after my runs. Protein facilitates water recovery by helping the wear and tear on those muscles. Amino acids - bring it on. Our cells need you to help them repair and recover any muscle damage! If you are vegan, you might lack amino acids by cutting out the amino acids that we get from animals, but several vegan runners tend to love the two's combo. Interesting to think about! To each its own!

The keto-diet is another popular option, which has its own ups and downs. Make sure you eat your nutrients and you get what your body needs! Remember: The more energy you spend, the more you need. The end!

Ever heard of “Eat the rainbow?” Well, that’s an excellent way to understand what to eat like as an endurance athlete too. Eat those colors filled with nutrient-dense foods, and you’ll get your macros and micros covered daily for your body’s needs. BOOM.

What to Eat Before, During, and After a Run

Before a run, you want something easily digestible, giving you the burst of energy you need. A snack like a banana with almond butter or toast is perfect! I would recommend waiting an hour, or two before heading out for that run. For stomach issues that you're dealing with after your fit fuel first run, give probiotics a try. You might pleasantly surprise yourself!

During a run, bring your favorite pro bar gels or an RBAR! Train with this fuel during your long training run. Don’t save it for race day! Take it from someone who experienced doing this first handed the wrong way. Train for your race with your fuel DONE.



After your run, load up on protein! Chocolate milk (or Almond Milk Chocolate Milk for Non-Dairy Diets) is loaded with high-quality protein and fast-digesting carbs for muscle recovery and efficient energy refueling. You can also eat something denser and filling when mealtime comes around! Try eating some Salmon with steamed veggies on the side. You'll be ALL REPAIRED!

As a runner, your diet should consist of mainly healthy carbs, proteins, and fats. These are otherwise known as macronutrients or nutrient-dense rich foods. It’s also essential to get your vitamins and minerals. These are known as your micronutrients, which you can get from your foods or daily food needs as recent research states!

For more inspiration and running nutrition ideas from our community, join the Runwithalli Community’s Facebook group!




 

RUNWITHALLI® , LLC Coaching

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