Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten Energy Foods for Running Janathon

Canal Lake at Ickworth Park
This mornings run was a four miler along by the bank of the River Linnett in Bury St Edmunds. As to be expected it was muddy in places but it provided a nice soft surface to run on as a change from hitting the pavements which may just help me to avoid injury and get through Janathon.

Those Janathoners who have kept their running streak going to today the 11th of January have crossed another psychological milestone in that we are now over a 3rd of the way through the event.  If you are like me you are probably drinking more liquid on a regular basis. I am knocking back pints of blackcurrant drink to rehydrate through the day and night along with the occasional White Russian as a reward (see my post of the 2nd January).

What about foods? Today I thought about how I perhaps could help myself get through the rest of Janathon with an energy boost from what I eat. A scout about the Internet suggested a number of different  foods. The following 10 energy foods for runners would be my choice as a non meat eater.

1. Pasta

Everyone knows it. Pasta has long been cited as one of the ideal foods for runners
Pasta provides slow release energy and makes an excellent runner’s refuelling package.

2. Bananas

Again no surprises here. Bananas are said to be the healthy equivalent of fast food and therefore great for refuelling after training.Bananas contain loads of potassium, which regulates blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. If you don't like bananas then be sure to keep up your fruit intake with some oranges, strawberries or fruit of your choice.

3. Porridge

 My absolute favourite cereal providing protein, fibre and slow-release energy. This is good prior to or after training and I like to add a little honey or home made jam.

4. Rice

Rice is another great food providing slow release energy and makes an excellent runner’s refuelling package. Best to boil or steam rather than fry to avoid adding calories.

5. Peanut Butter or Honey on toast

As a  morning runner I tend not to eat before I hit the road. But if I am running a longer distance it can be tough to run on an empty stomach. You will often experience a lull in your energy levels during your training run as your your energy levels are low. I can run without upsetting my stomach if I have 1 piece of peanut butter or honey on toast. This helps you to get through the run without sagging towards the end due to the carbs and protein.

6. Low Fat Yogurt

Yogurt has protein and calcium which are  important for building muscle and recovering from tough workouts and building bone density.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli contains vitamin C, potassium and  fibre .Broccoli's high potassium level helps prevent muscle contraction. A plentiful supply of vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, and  lettuce will all help the runner to get their fibre

8. Baked Potatoes

Another great energy booster combine with tuna for some added low fat protein

9. Fish

Choose your preference of fish - Salmon is particularly good containing omega-3 fats, which contribute to healthy cell membranes and are associated with reduced risk of heart disease.

10. Beans

Cooked dry beans such as lentils and split peas are full of protein and fibre and accompany a rice and curry dish well. For a quick and easy meal after a run baked beans are a cheap source of protein.

Hope your running continues to go well.

Day 1 - 5 miles
Day 2 - 5 miles
Day 3 - 4 miles
Day 4 - 4 miles
Day 5 - 3 miles
Day 6 - 2.52 miles
Day 7 - 7 miles
Day 8 - 3.5 miles
Day 9 - 2 miles
Day 10 - 4 miles
Day 11 - 4 miles

Total 44 miles


  1. Pretty much covers most of my foods except that after a run my habit is to have a bowl of muesli and mug of tea. In fact I think the restorative properties of tea are not valued highly enough).

    BTW In the early days of cycling cold baked potatoes, stuffed in the back pocket, were the equivalent of todays energy bars.

  2. Anonymous12:54 pm

    This is great and really useful. I am also in the habit of running before breakfast but I do wonder what would happen if I got up early enough to eat before hand. Do you notice a difference?

  3. Thanks Highwaykind I am also a fan of muesli and take your point on a good cup of tea more refreshing than say coffee after a run.

  4. Thanks jogonjogon . All depends how much you are going to eat and your individual constitution. Personally if I have a larger breakfast I need to allow 2.5 to 3 hours before running. Before a race at 10.30 I often get up at 7am have small bowl of porridge and a piece of toast . Running on an empty stomach for short distances is something I often do but I do notice I lack a certain zip and will tire towards the end if I do anything more than 5 miles.

  5. Anonymous7:11 pm

    I am also seeking softer ground where I can! Thanks for the reminder about drinking enough fluids, I eat well but should make more effort to drink more other than tea and coffee.Its not as automatic as in the summer.

  6. Anonymous10:11 pm

    should have found softer ground sooner... no mention of chocolate :)

  7. Thanks fairweatherrunner

  8. Vini must admit I am a chocaholic so add that to the list


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Running in Suffolk