Running takes physical and mental strength, to enhance your ability and get more out of yourself there are several key things you can do as part of your regular schedule. One of the biggest areas, and often the most daunting for people, is a diet plan. Your diet plan should be customized for you and take into consideration any other strenuous activities you do throughout the day.
Here’s a guide to planning a better diet to help you improve your running.
Roughly the right balance is:
- Carbohydrates 60%
- Protein 20%
- Fat 20%
Whilst you are still figuring out your perfect balance these are some top tips to try
- Keep it fresh – having variation can help you figure out what works best and what you most look forward to eating/drinking. This could include adding new ingredients or preparing meals in different ways.
- There are lots of free access recipe online so whilst paid materials such as magazines and books can be useful they are not essential. You can easily get to grips with different cooking tactics and meal plans without investing anything but time.
- Don’t forget to treat yourself! We all enjoy a fun snack sometimes and that’s completely okay. Don’t feel as though you have to stick to a strict diet every day of the week as that will ultimately leave you feeling unmotivated to continue.
Make sure you start your day with energy and choose something that will fill you up and get you motivated for the rest of the day.
Oatmeal is a carb-rich and tasty option that can be modified to your liking; you can add fruit, jams, honey, etc. Or try a classic runners favourite is a toasted bagel with peanut butter! Whilst carbs first thing might feel heavy these slow-release energy will help fuel your morning workout.
There are many different things you can do with breakfast to keep it interesting from nutritious cereals, fresh fruits, yoghurts or eggs served in a variety of ways. If you start to get bored of your breakfast routine mix it up! It doesn’t always have to be the perfect measured balanced, just make sure you are energised properly for the day and enjoy the taste!
Do you enjoy a morning coffee? Great! There’s no need to cut that out of your diet. The caffeine will stimulate your body first thing, accelerate the body’s ability to burn fat and help aid the recovery process. Of course, this isn’t essential but if you are already drinking it then feel free to continue.
From lunchtime onwards, it’s time to start thinking about getting some protein into your diet. There are obvious examples of protein such as chicken and red meat however do your research and you’ll be surprised at the variety of high protein foods that are available. Things like beans, nuts and vegetables all contain protein so even if you aren’t a meat-eater you’ll still have plenty of meal options to increase your protein intake.
Salads are a great, healthy way to fuel yourself at lunch and you can add so many different things to make them more enjoyable; fish, meat, cheese, lentils, hummus, etc all go great in a salad. Although we know salads aren’t for everyone, these fillers will also be great on a jacket potato or you could make a sandwich with cheese, meat, fish or any other protein-rich foods that you fancy.
Whatever you decide to go with make sure you continue to mix it up, try new combinations and experiment. Some easy substitutions we suggest as a starting point are a beetroot instead of cheese or celery instead of cucumber.
Similarly to lunch protein should again be part of your dinner. The protein should make up the majority of your portion but it is also worthwhile adding in carbs such as pasta, rice, couscous, potatoes and noodles. Don’t forget to go to town with the vegetables, can use different types, different seasonings, preparation methods and lots of other tactics in order to keep it interesting and try a variety of different flavours.
Desserts aren’t something to indulge in every day but if you are looking for good options go for fresh fruit low-fat yoghurt or even a small portion of something sweeter like ice cream or trifle.
Thanks for reading, and stay active! If you enjoyed this please be sure to rate the article. Looking for a diet plan catered for a different sport? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll help you create one.