This content has been created in collaboration with New Balance.
If you don’t eat well, you can’t run well. Aching muscles, roiling stomach, gassing out halfway through your distance… whatever your problems are, they can usually be solved through good nutrition. We grabbed PT and New Balance ambassador Ben Camara (@bencamara) to reveal the food tactics you need to improve your stamina and smash your PB.
To go fast, eat slow. We’re talking foods here, not pace (you can scoff things down as quick as you like, champ). Slow release carbs provide energy to your body gradually throughout your run. “You’re after good quality carbohydrates,” says Ben. Think porridge, whole grains, oats, sweet potato and brown rice.
What else is important? The two Vs: variety and vegetables. “Having a balanced diet is crucial when you’re doing a training plan. And nutrient-dense foods like green veg will provide everything your body needs to heal itself both during and after the race.”
Energy gels are a divisive topic. Some love them. Some can’t stand them. Ben aims to down a gel for a mid-race boost on any distance over 10k – an excellent rule of thumb. Just make sure you don’t reach for a sachet every time fatigue hits. For that way sugar addiction lies.
Consistency and recovery
For the best possible results, be as consistent with your diet as you are with your training plan. “Each and every meal should have a good source of carbs, fats and protein,” says Ben. These, of course, are the three macronutrients – and if you’re serious about upping your stamina, it’s worth diligently tracking your macro intake. “For example, if gaining muscle is part of your plan to improve your running performance, you should aim to eat 2g of protein per kilo of bodyweight a day,” says Ben.
A high protein intake is also key to recovery. Sore muscles will hamper your schedule and damage your motivation levels. Beat them with meat. “Poultry, fish, and lean beef or lamb,” recommends Ben. “Getting a good source of protein in after each training session is absolutely essential.”
Legs still screaming? Complement your carnivorous intake with more fruit and veg. The potassium in bananas will help combat cramps and spasms, while the iron in spinach and kale improves oxygen flow around the body, soothing your muscles. You’ll be storming through the streets again in no time.
New Balance Toughest Opponent is a story about the battles we have within ourselves. The niggling mind games that play out between our ears that make us question whether to run that extra mile, to lift that heavier weight, or to go forward and push harder, faster and stronger than we did the day before. Find out more at: http://www.newbalance.co.uk/TougestOpponent.
You are your toughest opponent.