The next big frontier of performance improvements is likely to come from nutrition – not training.
My garden at home. Veggies FTW!
You see, we’ve already gotten pretty good at understanding what works and what doesn’t when it comes to running.
The last 100 years has had wild swings in focus:
- In the 1950’s, the focus was on high intensity and low mileage (see: Roger Bannister’s sub-4 mile)
- In the 1970’s, the focus was on high mileage and low intensity (see: Bill Roger’s training)
- In the 1990’s, the focus swung back to high intensity but relatively low mileage (see: no US runner doing very well except Bob Kennedy)
But since the millennium, exercise science and coaches have settled on a middle ground: relatively high mileage and high intensity. Both are important!
And US runners have excelled. Just look at the telltale signs:
- A US runner (Men Keflizighi) finally won the Boston Marathon after decades of foreign winners
- The 2016 Olympic women’s marathon team placed all three runners in the top ten
- The depth of US talent has increased substantially, allowing more sub-2:10 finishes than ever before
Training is obviously the most effective way at getting faster. But once we know the general structure of sound training, what’s next?
How do we keep improving?
What will help runners recover faster?
How can runners speed adaptation, sleep more soundly, and perform at higher levels?
Simple: by running on better fuel.
What we put into our bodies has a profound impact on our ability to train effectively.
In short, if you care about you running, you have to care about your eating habits.
And I’ve brought a Registered Dietitian on the SR Podcast to help.
Anne Mauney on Your Biggest Nutrition Questions
Over the last few weeks, I’ve surveyed the Strength Running Twitter and Facebook communities about dieting, weight loss, nutrition, and race fueling.
I collected about a dozen of the best questions and got my friend Anne Mauney to help me answer them for you.
Anne worked with me to create one of SR’s flagship programs, Nutrition for Runners.
She’s one of the busiest RD’s I know with a private practice in Washington, DC and a popular lifestyle blog. She also gives healthy eating presentations and workshops to organizations like Whole Foods.
Her work has been featured in Glamour, Self, The Washington Post, and Fitness Magazine. When she’s not helping athletes improve their diets, she’s usually running around DC or tackling yet another half marathon.
There are also two more Q&A podcasts that we did together – download them here for free.
On this episode, we cover a lot of questions:
- What foods fight inflammation? What foods increase iron levels?
- Is it ok to drink alcohol while you’re training for a race?
- What’s an optimal pre-marathon fueling strategy?
- Are carbs from bread or pasta “better” than those from starchy vegetables?
- What are your favorite healthy snack ideas?
Resources & Links From the Show:
- SR’s free nutrition ecourse (with help from Anne!)
- Nutrition for Runners
- Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook
- My favorite high-level nutrition book: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
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