Often the foundation of a successful run is laid when we make our decisions about nutrition. A running training diet calls for strategic use of both carbohydrates and protein (not to mention the ever-present water). What happens when you schedule a rest day, or a low-intensity run? You need to adapt your diet to reflect your lower caloric needs, and it can be beneficial to add in some extra nutrients as well.
Eat more protein and less carbohydrates
Running hard depletes glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. Of course, these stores are topped up by an increased carbohydrate intake. If you are resting or covering an easy distance, you don’t need so many carbs. Instead, a good running training diet includes increasing your protein intake to help your muscles to repair and rebuild after harder workouts.
Increase micronutrient intake and additional nutrients
It’s not all about the macros. Use your rest days to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Aim to include a rainbow of colour so the nutrient profile is as broad as possible. The diversity helps to increase antioxidants in the body, leading to less free radicals, potentially less muscle soreness and a faster recovery. Some of these nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with a fat. Try upping your omega-3s to aid absorption and reduce inflammation.
Consider running in a fasted state
A running training diet must consider the timing of food intake along with the nutrition breakdown. It’s common for recovery runs and easy runs to be done early in the morning. In these cases, it’s usually fine to undertake these runs in a fasted state. Denying the body food before running encourages the burning of fat stores for energy, and can induce muscles to work more efficiently. It’s important to remember that fasting does not include water – drink before and after running. Running fasted is not recommended for high intensity training days. Save this strategy for your easy run days.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.
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