The New Rules of Marathon Nutrition

How to Copy the Eating Secrets of the Elites

I like to call this approach to diet "agnostic healthy eating." Years of studying the diets of the world's best endurance athletes have shown me that most such high performers take this selective yet flexible and inclusive approach to nourishing their bodies. In my book, The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition, I created a set of guidelines that enable any runner to easily emulate the pattern of agnostic healthy eating that the elites favor. These guidelines are summarized in the table below.

 

High-Quality Foods

Vegetables (including legumes)

Fruit

Nuts and Seeds

Lean Meats and Fish

Whole Grains

Dairy

Eat all of these food types.

Eat each of these food types more often than any low-quality food type.

Try to eat the food types near the top of the list more often than the food types near the bottom.

 

Low-Quality Foods

Refined Grains

Fatty Meats

Sweets

Fried Foods

Eat each of these food types less often than any high-quality food type.

Try to eat the food types near the bottom of the list less often than the food types near the top.

To stay on track with this approach, simply note how many times you eat a full serving of each food type throughout the day. At the end of the week, tally it all up and see whether your diet conforms to the guidelines in the table. If not, make any necessary adjustments for next week. Once you are eating as well as the pros do (yet not necessarily perfectly), you will find yourself getting leaner and moving toward your ideal racing weight!

More: Reach Your Racing Weight the Right Way

Active logo Sign up for your next marathon.

About the Author

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM