Should you change how you eat during different phases of your training?
The answer is both yes and no. Yes, you will need to change the quantity of your food as training progresses so that you can avoid “hitting the wall” or “bonking” during long training runs. However, as an athlete the quality of what you eat should remain the same.
When it comes to quality – stick to whole foods for the most part. Vegetables, whole fruits, lean proteins (chicken, fish, shellfish, tofu, pork, etc.), whole grains (oats, barley, brown rice), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts/seeds).
When it comes to quantity – your Macros (protein, carbs and fats) should change as you progress through your training cycles. For example, beginning cycle of training or off season stick to 50% vegetables and fruit, 25% protein, 20% whole grains and 5% healthy fats. Eat until satisfied or use a calorie calculator and my fitness pal to know how many calories you should eat a day.
As training progresses and your mileage increases to a moderate training load decrease vegetables and fruit to 40%, 25% protein, 25% whole grains and 5% healthy fats.
During the last cycle of your training and up until race day your mileage has increased to a hard/heavy load. During this time decrease vegetables and fruit to 25%, increase whole grains to 40%, keep protein at 25% and increase healthy fats to 10%. Eat until satisfied or use a calorie calculator and my fitness pal to know how many calories you should eat a day. Your calories should go up – this is no time to try lose weight or body fat.
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I help amateur endurance athletes gain fitness naturally so they can be faster, enjoy their sport and be confident on race day! Coach Lisa 🙂