A healthy diet not only increases your energy levels and general well being, it helps your body deal with the stress associated with your training. Supplied with the right nutrients, your immune system is also more stable.
With these simple tips, you’re everyday life will improve and your running training and racing will be that much more successful.
1 Have a weekly meal plan
What’s in store for the week? Appointments, training schedule, family obligations? On Sunday, plan a basic menu for the week based on your upcoming schedule. All of the basics for those meals can be purchased ahead of time, and then you can pick up your fresh ingredients as need be. This way you avoid eating only what’s available.
2 When you cook, cook more
Sometimes it’s hard to eat a quality lunch on the job? One way to avoid this problem is to cook more than needed for dinner and then save small portions of those quality healthy meals to take with you to work for lunches and snacks over the next couple of days.
3 Don’t Skip Breakfast
It’s probably the most important meal of the day. At best, eat a healthy meal with a balance of carbohydrates and proteins. At worst, take something healthy to go – a snack bar, yogurt, or granola.
4 Use herbs and spices
Spices and herbs help to make almost any food taste better and often healthier. The more fresh the herbs and spices the better. You can put cinnamon on your oatmeal or in yogurt, chives on bread and cheese, and chili powder in your tomato sauce. Variety in your spices . . . is the spice of life!
5 Pack a Snack
Often things don’t go as planned. Be prepared for that and take along a snack that you can eat in between meals. A granola bar, a piece of fruit, a bag of trail mix, or a handful of almonds are ideal snacks that are easily carried with you.
6 Always have a Water Bottle
Most people do not drink enough water. A lack of fluids will reduce your power output whether that be at work or while running. So always have your water bottle with you and have a designated place for it at work. Try to drink about six to eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. On very hot days you’ll want to drink even more.
7 Always have a Recovery Nutrition Plan for post workout ‘re-fueling’
For about 30 minutes after a workout your body is in a super compensation state and craves replenishment. It’s during this window of time where it is important to refuel your body. You should have a plan for this whether your at home, at work or someplace else. This replenishment plan can be in the form of recovery drinks (e.g. PowerBar Recovery), recovery bars, pretzels, raisins, grape juice, chocolate milk, etc…A good combination of carbohydrates and protein is ideal.
A healthy sensible eating plan, based on these easy steps, will not only improve your strength and stamina for your training – it’s the key to a healthy life!