As a runner, you may need more calories than sedentary adults, but more important than the ‘how much’ is the ‘when’. I don’t care how much you take in – if you’re only eating once a day, your runs will likely suffer. So what should your daily meal intake look like?
Upon rising (half to one hour before your run if you’re a morning runner): Morning smoothie (see June’s SoleMate’s blog for recipes!)
Mid-morning (after your run if you’re a morning runner; it you’re not a morning runner, you may want to swap this more substantial meal for the smoothie and make this your first meal of the day) – oatmeal with eggs or protein powder, fruit, and nut butter would be a good choice post-run – aim for 1-2 servings of whole grains, 20 grams of protein, and 1 serving of healthy fats.
Lunch – assuming you’re not running at lunch, aim again for 1-2 servings of whole grains, 3 servings of veggies, 20 grams of protein, and 1 serving of healthy fats. So 2 pieces of whole grain bread topped with avocado and veggies and grilled chicken breast would work. So would a sandwich and side salad. (if you run at lunch, have your afternoon snack before you go and lunch after you get back)
Afternoon snack – fruit and whole grain crackers with nut butter; hummus with veggies; Greek yogurt and berries – you’re aiming for 500 or so calories with 15 grams of protein, 1 serving of healthy fat and the rest coming from good carbs
Dinner – same ratios as lunch – 1-2 servings of whole grains, 3 servings of veggies, 20 grams of protein, and 1 serving of healthy fats. Lentils and rice with veggies and olive oil would work; steak with rice or potatoes and a big salad would also work here. Oh – and don’t forget the ounce of dark chocolate for dessert! 🙂
Rinse. Repeat tomorrow. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. And see how great you feel on your next run!