Rob's Food Diary Analysis (sub-4:00)

Discover what nutrition recommendations a professional dietitian had for Rob after analysing his typical seven-day diet


Posted: 21 January 2009
by Wendy Martinson

Age: 45
Job activity level: Works in a shop so on his feet all day

Marathon history: Six marathons over a 25-year period
Goal: 4:00
Current PB: 4:14:27

Height: 1.75m
Current Weight: 77kg. Rob's lost 4.5kg over the last three to four months since starting a new job without changing his food intake or training. His ideal weight would be around 74 - 75kg.

Rob's Profile | Rob's Training Schedule | Rob's Training Thread

An Example Training Week

Day 1 6.15pm 30-minute easy run
Day 2 6.15pm 60-minute hard run
Day 3 n/a Rest
Day 4 8am 30-minute easy run
Day 5 6.15pm 60-minute easy run
Day 6 n/a Rest
Day 7 9am 100-minute easy run

Seven-day Food Diary Analysis Summary

Nutrient

Average daily intake
(g/kg)

Recommended amount per kg/ day or per day

Carbohydrate

291g
(3.8g/kg)

7-8g/kg/day
(539 - 616g)

Protein

99g
1.3g/kg)

1.2-1.6g/kg/day
(92-123g)

Fat

69g (28.4% energy intake)

Approx. 25% energy intake or 1g/kg

TOTAL ENERGY

2182kcal

Approx 3000- 3300kcal per day when training, or 2700 kcal per day on a rest day

Comments & Recommendations

Energy intake

Rob's energy intake is approximately 2200kcal per day but his actual estimated requirement is around 2700kcal on a rest day and 3000kcal per day when training. An increase of around 500 - 700kcal per day in carbohydrate-rich food would help boost Rob’s energy intake. The addition of a glass of fruit juice and two slices of wholegrain toast with jam at breakfast plus a banana during the day would provide this additional 500kcal.

Carbohydrate intake

Rob needs to boost his carbohydrate intake to increase his energy intake overall. He could enjoy a bigger breakfast by adding toast to his usual bowl of cereal and also have a larger mid-afternoon snack prior to his evening run, for example a bowl of cereal, fruit bread, malt loaf or a hot cross bun.

Fat intake

Rob's fat intake was pretty good overall, although saturated fat did comprise 11% of his energy intake when ideally it should be less than 10%. The foods Rob eat that contain saturated fat include doughnuts, cheese, mayonnaise, chocolate and the occasional cooked English breakfast. However, in general, Rob is careful about the amount of fat he consumes. His Omega-3 fat intake was low and it would be beneficial for him to include oily fish in his diet more than once per week. The maximum number of recommended portions of oily fish is 4 x 140g per week for males.

Protein intake

Rob eats protein-rich foods at each main meal but could boost his protein intake after long training sessions to enhance his recovery, particularly if he doesn't plan to eat a main meal straight away. Cereal and milk is an excellent source of carbohydrate and protein post-training, but Rob should aim to consume a full pint of milk rather than a quarter of a pint (this would increase his protein intake from 5g to 20g).

Vitamins and minerals

Rob's selenium intake was lower than the recommended amount. Selenium is an important antioxidant and helps support the immune system. Good sources include brazil nuts, fish and shellfish, eggs, red meat, chicken and wholegrains.

Fluid and hydration

Rob usually drinks around 1800ml water per day, as well as four mugs of coffee. A good simple test of hydration status is to check your urine: it should be pale yellow, otherwise an increase in your fluid intake would be advisable.  Rob does drink during training if running 10 miles or further but ideally he should drink fluid if training for longer than 30 minutes. For sessions lasting longer than 60 minutes, Rob would benefit from a sports drink providing carbohydrate and sodium.

Recovery

Rob usually eats a meal after training within 45 minutes which should be adequate if he has more than eight hours to recover before the next session. If Rob runs a long hard session or in the morning, then he may benefit from eating more than just a banana, perhaps adding some protein into the mix for example a yoghurt or fruit and yoghurt smoothie.


Example Meal Plan

Breakfast Porridge or wholegrain cereal with semi skimmed milk plus added dried fruit (raisins, apricots, figs) or banana; two slices of multigrain bread with jam; glass of fruit juice.

Mid-morning Fruit and cereal bar.

Lunch Wholegrain sandwich with chicken, tuna, ham, egg, cheese and salad (low-fat mayo) with soup; or a jacket potato with baked beans, cottage cheese, ratatouille or chicken and sweetcorn and salad; fruit and low-fat rice pudding or yoghurt.

Mid-afternoon  Hot cross bun, fruit scone or malt loaf.

Post-run Fruit and yoghurt smoothie.

Evening Lean red meat, chicken or fish with a generous serving of pasta, noodles, sweet potato, cous cous or basmati rice, vegetables or salad; yoghurt with honey, dried fruit and nuts (including brazil nuts).


Wendy Martinson is an Accredited Sports Dietitian, Registered Dietitian with the Health Professions Council and qualified group exercise and BTS instructor. She has experience of working with world-class athletes from a wide variety of sports and is currently the Sports Nutrition Consultant for the British Olympic Association, British Gymnastics and GB Rowing. She also works as a Consultant Sports Dietician for Lucozade Sport providing evidence based information on sports nutrition.

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