I have heard of a few endurance athletes who dream of post run cookies and pizza…ok most of us at some point. But during training those foods may not be what will help us recover quickly and truly reach our potential. Knowing this area is one that many of the Eat Clean 30 participants struggle with I reached out to someone who can speak from experience…
Hello! I’m Lindsay Cotter, blogger over at Cotter Crunch, and I get to take over Amanda’s blog today. Just kidding, but I do get to share my two cents about this clean eating Challenge and today I wanted to chat a little about Clean Eating for endurance.
You see, as a Nutrition Manager, I have the privilege of working under some amazing Sports Nutritionist. And with this privilege I also have the opportunity to work a lot with different athletes. Just so happens that I am married to a professional endurance athlete as well.
What I’ve come to learn is that every body works differently in regards to fueling and race day nutrition, but the one thing that all endurance athletes do work similarly in is their NEED for is GOOD CLEAN EATS the 75% of time they’re not training.
Let me explain.
My husband knows exactly what fuel works for him during his long training sessions, his hard training sessions, and during races. This basically comes from trial and error. Clean eating isn’t as important here as sometimes just getting calories in, and without stomach distress. BUT…the cleaner the better, right?
The Key Clean Eating meals for any endurance athlete are the ones that follow the 24 hours post workout/race/etc. This is where the body recovers, heals, and absorbs nutrients.
Timing is everything here! (source below: Coach Matt Dixon-www.purplepatchfitness.com)
Notice the last section, 45-90 minutes POST TRAINING. This is where it counts, REAL FOOD that is. Not only are replenishing your calories, you are now replenishing your NUTRIENTS!
A Good 4:1 ratio of Carbs and Protein. Good Carbs and Good Protein.
- Brown rice and eggs
- Turkey wrap
- Oatmeal and cottage cheese
- Cheese on GF toast
- Quinoa and chicken bowl
The meals consumed after that post race/workout meal should now be protein/fat/vegetable based. These are the “building blocks” of good nutrition, and your body will naturally crave them if you fueled properly before.
- Salmon, steamed veggies, and avocado salad.
- Steak kabobs
- Bell peppers stuffed with Tempeh or Tofu, Vegan cheese on top, and then roasted or broiled.
- Grilled chicken on a bed of steamed spinach with crumbled feta, cucumber, tomatoes, and olives.
These are just a few examples of those Protein/fat/Veggie based meals.
Now we must be realistic, this isn’t always going happen. There will be times when life happens, we’re stuck without proper food, etc. Try to always be prepared, but when you’re not, just don’t stress about it. If you can nail your nutrition 80-90% of time, then that’s great! The other 10% of the time, do whatcha can don’t freak out about it. Sometimes that stress just causes more damage. Ya know?
In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff! Hope you found these tips somewhat useful. I’m open to any other questions. Just email me at Cottercrunch@hotmail.com.
Lindsay writes at CotterCrunch.com where you can find more amazing tips on enjoying life and the endurance journey. She is also the creator/owner of Healthy Bites. These GLUTEN FREE snacks are great for training and healthy snacking! Real food ingredients! Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more gluten free ideas!