How elite runners eat

Good morning friends! Since we’ve been super busy doing the moving thing, I thought it would be fun to revisit a post I did awhile back. I’m always interested in how my fellow runners fuel too, so feel free to leave your secrets in the comments.
I’ll be back to normal blogging soon. Have a great day!

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Let’s talk about food.  Well not in the sense that I know how to cook, but about how elite runners fuel.

Nutrition is really interesting to me, especially to see how others eat so this is right up my alley.

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Shalane Flanagan tweeted about her diet the other day, which I found interesting and gave me the idea for this post.

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Here’s what makes it on her usual grocery list:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Asparagus
  • Almond butter
    (My favorite indulgences are wine and dark chocolate.)

Also another example according to Competitor Magazine, is how Kara Goucher fuels pre & post race.kara goucher

Pre-Race Dinner

  • Rolls, rice, chicken and grilled vegetables

Race-Day Breakfast

  • Banana, instant apple-cinnamon oatmeal, a couple of cups of coffee

Race Fuel

  • Nutrilite ROC2O mix of 8 grams of carbs per 8 ounces (she took four ounces per water bottle)

Post-Race

  • Sports drink and water
  • Three hours after: club sandwich

Post-Race Treat

  • Nachos

I’m with her on the “couple cups of coffee” thing.  Shocking, right!?

The produce section is my heaven. I could seriously hang out there all day. Mike on the other hand is all about the meat department.

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This is what typically makes it into my shopping cart every week:

  • Bananas
  • Sprouted whole wheat bread
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Salad mix and/or spinach
  • Soy milk
  • Extra lean ground beef
  • Avocados
  • Oatmeal
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Chips

My other uneducated tips:

  • Shop the perimeter.  I’ve noticed I usually find the healthiest foods there.
  • Buy from the bulk section.  I like my food as fresh as possible, so I pick up smaller amounts more frequently.
  • I follow the 80/20 rule and never count calories. I focus on having real food most of the time and eat until I’m full, not stuffed.
  • Focus on real food and I believe everything evens out in the end.

My kind of balance.

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Don’t listen to me, go check out Cristin’s blog to see how a Registered Dietitian eats.  She keeps it real and refuses to choke down kale/avocado smoothies and swear they taste like chocolate.  Bless your little cotton socks, Cristin!

What typically makes it’s way into your grocery cart?

What is your favorite section?

What’s your favorite food group?

Grains & carbs followed by fruit for me.

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6 Comments on “How elite runners eat

  1. This is a good post that I really needed. I’m training for my first half marathon and it’ll be only my second race (5k will be first). I am a bit overweight and I’d like to lose weight while training, but I’m STILL eating poorly. aka: junk

    So I’ve been researching to see what I should be eating. There apparently is no magic answer to this, but one thing is certain, I need to eat more whole foods, less junk.

    I’m going to try some of these foods from this post. My problem is whole foods don’t fill me up on hard running days…yet the junk doesn’t either 🙂

  2. Wow. You can basically call me Shalane because my shopping list is so similar to hers. My 2 favorite sections are produce and the nutrition/organic aisles. By the way, I’m a pharmacist in a big grocery store so I know everything about grocery shopping!!!

  3. @Wendy Check out Cristins blog, she’s also pretty open to questions you might have. I go through the same thing. Chips & pretty much anything salt are my downfall. Ha!
    @Ceceilia That’s funny! My mom has been a pharmacy tech for 23 years.

  4. Pingback: Kara Goucher: Running « Rubber Tyres --> Smooth Rides

  5. Reblogged this on Skinny Chick Blog and commented:

    Good morning friends! Since we’ve been super busy doing the moving thing, I thought it would be fun to revisit a post I did awhile back. I’m always interested in how my fellow runners fuel too, so feel free to leave your secrets in the comments.
    I’ll be back to normal blogging soon. Have a great day!

  6. Love this post. I too am a product junkie. I love to check out all the fun veggies and fruits and sometimes even get a little crazy and find something new and give it a try. I love Kale and have for years (before it became cool) but am now really like “Baby Kale”. Not quite as course or bitter but still packed with good stuff. My second favorite section is the coffee aisle. I’m sure you can relate 🙂

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