Fuel Rules for Runners – part 1

Running is important to keep us fit, but what‘s important to keep us running? It’s not just about speed training and Penneaerobic fitness levels. Following a good nutrition regime helps you achieve peak performance.

As we get close to the 5th Hunts10k, here are some golden rules for great running – More to follow!

RULE 1: Eat real food: One of the most important things you can do for your general health and to keep your immune system strong is to make sure your diet includes the right balance of energy, macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Most of your runners’ fuel should come from whole foods, not convenience foods.  An energy bar during a run and bottled smoothie afterwards can provide fast nutritious fuel, but the healthy staples  – fish, chicken, vegetables, whole grains, nut, low-fat dairy and  fruit –  are better nutrition than processed food alternatives. Using real foods also gives you more control over your fat, salt and calorie intake.

RULE 2: Plan your diet and write it down: Start by analysing what you are eating and drinking. Be honest, the answers may surprise you! Asking yourself questions about your dietary habits is helpful. For example, do you have breakfast every day? Do you feel tired and hungry by the time you run in the evening? A repetitive diet means you may not be getting the variety of foods you need for the right nutrient intake. Writing it down can help you make good decisions and change to better habits.

RULE 3: Eat little and often: Frequent snacking throughout the day is a sure way to avoid low blood sugar levels and tiredness by the time you get home for a run. Research shows eating little and often is best for runners… as long as you’re eating the right things!