A day in the life
I get asked often to give examples of what I eat to my clients. I think I shrug it off because I believe my meals are boring, and once I’ve shared there’s not much more to know about! But for the sake of new faces and small changes, here are my meals.
Pre-Workout: Depending on the workout it’s a muffin I’ve made or a rice cake with PB Fit or Peanut Butter.
Breakfast/(Typically my Post Workout): Oatmeal (as photographed)
AM Snack: Greek Yogurt or Ratio Protein Yogurt (as photographed)
Lunch: 125g cooked rice (more depending on training) 1/2 avocado Protein (steak, shrimp, or chicken)
Broccoli most days
Snack: 1 slice gluten free bread 10g peanut butter
Typically it’s protein, carb, veggie. The protein usually has more fat. Examples: -Corn tortillas with shredded chicken and pico de gallo we made (or ground beef). -Taco salad with ground turkey or beef and beans. -Burger bowl (as photographed) -Stir fry veg with jasmine rice and chicken -Chicken breast, veggie, and sweet potato -Another recipe I want to try that fits the criteria!
Typically I am eating between 1600-2200 calories. My activity will cause this to vary.
Days that I run longer I add calories during my workout and sometimes have a larger breakfast, but I try to replace the calories I burnt running in meals near my run, otherwise I will feel ravenous later. But if I am running longer than 2 hours the next day, I add more to lunch and dinner.
How do you adjust your nutrition in conjunction to your training?
This is a common question and easy mistake I see clients make. Worst, there aren't great resources out there for us non-pro athletes. What I mean by this is, when you're reading about nutrition and long distance running you'll notice those books are published by elite athletes or their coaches. I am not an elite athlete. I am not winning marathons or going for the gold. Which means I am not training at that level.
Here are some guidelines that I apply, and this is really just touching on the basics:
Assume that my goal is performance, first:
-Any workout longer than 1 hour I don't make any changes to my normal food intake (meals above)
-Any workout 1 hour or more, I carry water. 1-20oz bottle per hour, with electrolytes.
-Any workout 90 minutes or more, I begin adding calories. I have gone back and forth between calories in my water, and calories in the form of food. The bottom line is: I will do whatever I know will work (that day) to get me to eat and drink enough. I always drink more if there is flavor in my drink. And I need to have something sweet AND something salty because occasionally I can't take any more sweet at which point I need something like pretzels for food.
-If the run is a long run (2-6 hours long) I pack 200 calories per hour in the form of food and drink. I pack 20 oz of water per hour (ish) and aim for 300-500mg of sodium in that water. Especially if it's hot.
Returning to meals during the day, long runs only happen 1 or 2 days a week, but can have a lasting effect if you don't eat appropriately.
-Monday-Friday I will add calories to a run that is 90 minutes or more in the form of Tailwind, and then I do not skip my morning snack. This keeps me from being hangry later.
-The day before my weekend long run I up the calories in my lunch and dinner. More specifically, I up the carbs at lunch and the fats and carbs at dinner. The fats just keep me from getting hungry at night or in the morning, and its not a significant increase. Protein stays consistent.
-Within 90 minutes of finishing my long run, I eat a FULL balanced meal. Protein + Carbs + Fat. Then I can pretty much go back to normal eating the rest of the day. This works if and only if I ate well during my run.
**IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, DURING A LONG RUN AND THE MEALS FOLLOWING THE LONG RUN ARE NOT THE TIME TO DO SO**
Fuel yourself Pre/During/Post run! These calories will replenish. If you are aiming to be in a calorie deficit for weight loss, it is most challenging while you having running in your plan. Not impossible, but difficult. I recommend working with a nutrition coach who can help you! (I'm happy to be that person) so that you don't hurt your performance or burn out.
Common mistake is believing you can eat anything you want while running. You can, but you will not lose weight and you might gain weight. I always gained weight running a lot/training for a marathon (not a lot, but 3-5lbs). As of November 12th I will have run 3 ultramarathons, and have lost 8lbs. I was VERY strategic in my method, and highly motivated to lose the few pounds I had gained since the end of last year (training for that first 50k). It's been a good lesson that it can be done, but it required all the nutrition knowledge I had!
Again, my strategy has been to keep meals heavier around my training and lighter at lunch and dinner.