Eat Well, Run Bet­ter!

The whole­food fuel plan: per­fect in­gre­di­ents and great recipes to boost your health and your run­ning

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

We all know what ‘run fast’ means. And ‘eat slow’ is self-ex­plana­tory, too, right? Well, it means much more than very slowly bring­ing the fork to your mouth. It rep­re­sents a way of eat­ing that in­cludes pre­par­ing nour­ish­ing meals from scratch, sit­ting down at a ta­ble in­stead of eat­ing on the go, en­joy­ing food in the com­pany of friends and fam­ily, seek­ing out foods that were grown or raised with care and tun­ing in to what our bod­ies need to thrive, rather than sim­ply sur­vive. As run­ners we may be more in tune with our bod­ies’ nu­tri­tional needs than most, but our fast-paced life­styles of­ten make it hard for us to find the time (and en­ergy) to cook, and our go-to fuel sources come with their own is­sues. Con­ve­nience foods (in­clud­ing bars, gels and sports drinks) lack real nu­tri­tion and are high in re­fined grains, pro­cessed sweet­en­ers, in­dus­trial oils and ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents. For run­ners who are con­stantly break­ing down their bod­ies dur­ing in­tense train­ing ses­sions, nu­tri­ent-dense foods are crit­i­cal to proper, faster re­cov­ery.

‘ When coaches and ath­letes are asked what is the ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to good ath­letic per­for­mance, they of­ten say things like V02 max, train­ing load or a par­tic­u­lar type of train­ing,’ says Dr Ron Thomp­son, co au­thor of Eat­ing dis­or­ders in sport (Rout­ledge). ‘But a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to good ath­letic per­for­mance is good health and the ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to good health, other than ge­net­ics, is good nu­tri­tion. The well-nour­ished ath­lete will not only per­form bet­ter, but will per­form bet­ter for longer.’

‘In­dul­gent nour­ish­ment’ is how we de­fine our way of eat­ing slow. We know our hard-work­ing bod­ies need sub­stan­tial fuel, so we in­dulge in our favourite whole foods. By fill­ing up on the healthy foods we love and not ob­sess­ing over calo­rie counts, carbs or fat, we’re able to eat in tune with what our bod­ies need.

All of our recipes have been crafted to max­imise flavour and nu­tri­tion and to min­imise in­flam­ma­tion, di­ges­tive dis­tress and tox­ins. They were vet­ted and tested by an in­cred­i­ble team of run­ners, the most im­por­tant of whom was Sha­lane. She found that with her new reg­i­men her rac­ing weight came nat­u­rally – no de­pri­va­tion needed. She was en­joy­ing food more than ever and was re­cov­er­ing faster from 24-mile train­ing runs at 6,910 feet. Dur­ing recipe test­ing, Sha­lane ran a marathon PB, broke her own US 10K road record and qual­i­fied for her fourth Olympic marathon, in Rio, where she fin­ished an im­pres­sive sixth.


Adapted from RUN FAST, EAT SLOW: NOUR­ISH­ING RECIPES FOR ATH­LETES (Ro­dale), by Sha­lane Flana­gan and El­yse Kopecky.

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