Tips for eating around training – for all stomach types

Tips for eating around training – for all stomach types

Lindsey Parry breaks eating before running into two categories on this episode of the Ask Coach Parry podcast. While also looking at when to eat after, the coach tells both people who can stomach food, and who can’t, before training, what to try do. Energy supply is key to all runners alike, but is very much an individual thing.

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What a great question we’ve got today on the Ask Coach Parry podcast, it’s from Ash Vanker, Lindsey Parry with us, I’m Brad Brown. Lindsey, Ash is saying, what should we be eating and drinking before and after our weekday runs and our long runs, especially if you’re running early in the morning.

Should you be running on a full stomach to get used to it or should you only be doing that on your long runs or should you be trying to get your body used to not running on food. Are there any good guidelines to follow or is it a case of each to their own, you need to figure out what works for you? What would you suggest?

The longer and harder you run - the more energy you need

Lindsey Parry: I’m going to stay away from the science on this question and I’m going to answer it in two ways. The first is that the longer we run for and the harder we are going to run, the more our body requires energy to get through that process. Obviously by feeding it beforehand, we give a good way of having energy available right at the start.

So, in order to do this properly, you would probably need to take a meal 2-3 hours before you exercise, which we’re never going to do in training. But you do want to get your body used to taking stuff in and perhaps doing exercise within that 2-3 hour window. I would certainly aim to have a very small meal of something that you can eat, that you’re looking forward to eating and that you enjoy eating within 15-30 minutes of doing exercise.

But the second part of my answer very simply is this: You need to do, in this situation, what works for you as an individual. There are hundreds and thousands of people that just cannot face the thought of having any food in any shape, be it in a shake or actual whole foods or cereal or porridge or fruit. They cannot face the thought of having anything to eat before they run and they run very successfully.

What to do - if you can eat before a training session

There are other people that cannot get going in the morning until they’ve had their small meal of something, be it a banana, yoghurt, again, cereals, whatever the case is, some people cannot move until they’ve eaten. If you fall into the latter category, then it’s something you need to do on all your runs, probably adjusting quantity for how hard the session is going to be or how close you eat to the start of the session.

But you want to get your body used to it and you can get used to it over time. If you fall into the latter group, when you do your hard sessions and your long sessions, you’re probably going to need to find a way of getting that energy in while you are on the run.

BB: Brilliant Ash, I hope that helps, best of luck and it’s one of those things you do need to experiment a bit because we are all slightly different and you need to figure out exactly what works for you. Lindsey, thank you for your time today, much appreciated, we look forward to catching up again soon here on the Ask Coach Parry podcast.

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