What to eat when train­ing


Run­ning burns lots of calo­ries. But this un­for­tu­nately does not give run­ners an open ex­cuse to con­tin­u­ally ‘run to the fridge’.

If you’re train­ing for Cigna Round the Bays on Fe­bru­ary 19, then be mind­ful that over-eat­ing can be a trap for some run­ners. We tend to think we can treat our­selves more of­ten be­cause we’ve put a few kilo­me­tres un­der the belt, but this can of­ten re­sult in our belts tight­en­ing.

So, how much fuel should we eat while train­ing? It’s an in­di­vid­ual thing and de­pends on things like your ge­net­ics, how many kilo­me­tres you do and what you eat. Here are some tips:

Eat real foods that are full of good nu­tri­ents, for ex­am­ple, stuff that grows in the ground, on trees or moves (avoid the lat­ter if you are veg­e­tar­ian, of course). Avoid highly pro­cessed foods, junk food and su­gar-laden treats. Hav­ing a good diet will help with your en­ergy lev­els for train­ing.

Save your money on ex­pen­sive en­ergy drinks. Wa­ter will do just fine. Or if you love and crave sports drinks, try a healthy smoothie or per­haps co­conut wa­ter.

If you are train­ing for un­der an hour first thing in the morn­ing, then you can fast be­fore you run, but eat break­fast soon af­ter­wards.

If you are a be­gin­ner run­ner and train­ing for the shorter dis­tance events, then all those fancy sports and en­ergy gels, bars, pro­tein shakes and lol­lies are not needed. A lot con­tain hid­den su­gar. If you feel you need snacks, try a bit of ba­nana, or an or­ange, or a cou­ple of dates or some min­i­mally pro­cessed food.

If you need a snack be­fore an af­ter­noon run try some­thing like a smoothie, nuts, fruit with peanut but­ter or some yo­ghurt and berries.

Think about your hunger cues. Don’t just eat for the sake of eat­ing.

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