Our runner nutrition blog continues with the second in a series from Jenna Becker MS, RD, CLT, CISSN, PES, CES.
Continuing on with the nutrition periodization concept, remember your goal is to vary your nutrition plan including the types and amounts of foods, based on the volume and intensity of your training cycle. You’ll also want to keep your body composition goals in mind.
When you first start out training, intensity is likely lower and will gradually increase as you transition to competition training. During this phase of training:
If weight loss is one of your goals, this is the time for that. Cutting back on your calories and carbohydrates later during intense training is not a good idea for performance or overall health.
Picture a plate each time you eat, and divide it up accordingly based on your needs. As a starting point, the majority of your plate should be vegetables and fruits, with lean proteins and healthy fats making up the next major portion; whole grains should fill in the rest.
For weight loss and/or to improve metabolic efficiency, stick with mostly lean proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables and fruits; with a limited amount of whole grains. For weight gain, you can switch out some of your fruits and vegetables for whole grains, as these will provide a greater amount of calories and carbohydrates.
Similarly, as your training volume and intensity varies from day to day within this cycle, vary the specific amounts of lean protein/healthy fats, vegetables/fruits, and whole grains you have. The greater your training load, the more calories and carbohydrates you will need.
It may take some trial and error, but your goal is to try and listen to your internal satiety cues (i.e.: hunger and fullness) to alter the ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates you eat to find what works best for blood sugar and appetite control. Unless you’ve had an incredibly intense, high volume training session, the right combination of foods will have you eating about every 3 hours.
Experiment. Try out new foods now to see how your body responds before, during, and after workouts. This information will be very helpful later on in your training.
Metabolic efficiency. Teach the body to use more of its copious fat stores while preserving your very limited carbohydrate stores. This can only help your performance as training progresses. Follow the tips above, keeping your blood sugar balanced and insulin under control, and eat based on your training. Visit www.fuel4mance.com to understand this concept better, from expert Sport Dietitian Bob Seebohar, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS.
Don’t forget to hydrate! Monitor your hydration status using color and frequency. Your urine should be pale yellow, and you should be urinating about every 2-3 hours.
While I will always promote listening to your body’s own regulatory cues of hunger and fullness to determine when, exactly what, and how much to eat, for those of you who like hard numbers (keeping in mind 1 kg = 2.2 lb):
- Carbohydrates: 5-7 g/kg, or 3-4 g/kg if weight loss is desired
- Protein: 1.2-2.0 g/kg, or 2.0-2.5 g/kg for weight loss
- Fat: 0.9-1.3 g/kg, or 0.8-1.3 g/kg for weight loss
Stay tuned for nutrition tips for your competition cycle…
To contact Jenna or inquire about specific individualized programs,
call (909)731-9936 or email email@example.com.