Monday, November 28, 2011

Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Let's call this part one of my "Well Duh" series.

When I started training for my first half marathon I knew I couldn't eat whatever I wanted and not gain wright but I still had in my head that people that trained for full marathons, half or full ironmans could really eat whatever they wanted because they were working out so much. I assumed all professional athletes ate all kinds of junk food (like Michael Phelps). But after a year of training for endurance events I have learned a lot. I have learned that when I am asking a lot of my body I need to be MORE diligent in what I use as fuel. I may eat more calories when my training load is high but I can really tell a difference when I am eating high quality food vs. crap food. Reading the blogs of really good athletes like Lindsay Cotter or Beth and James Walsh made me realize that people who want to be good athletes usually eat really, really well. It didn't completely click with me until I started training for my first ironman and started thinking about what I needed to do to make my body healthy and strong enough to get through all nine months of training.

Most of you probably already knew all of this but a lot of people don't get it. A lot of people comment about how I can eat cookies, cake, chips, McDonalds (always a bad idea in my opinion) etc. And yes I could eat those foods but I wouldn't feel great at my next workout, I would much rather eat a huge salad or turkey chili.

Last year I read racing weight and it talked a lot about eating "quality" foods. I really recommend reading this book if you are an endurance athlete.

I enjoy eating, and have learned how to cook some delicious healthy meals this year. I have also witnessed my body composition change when I am training hard and eating well.

Have you had any "well duh" moments during your training?

Read any good books about nutrition?


  1. I haven't read "racing weight," but now think I will. I always assumed it was a book geared towards weight loss and since that is not my deal, I wasn't interested. Now I get that it is much more, so I'll give it a shot.

  2. I have that book and haven't read it yet. I need to pick that one up for sure.

  3. Racing Weight is probably the best one on the market, its a tad dry reading, but alot of good info

  4. I love racing weight.. It wasn't necessarily an "easy" read, but soooooooo much good information in there!!!