Running may be the simplest, most basic form of exercise. After all, one needs to simply place one foot in front of the other and go as fast as possible for a prescribed distance.
But we all know that running is much more complicated than that, and if you're around this sport long enough you realize that you need to prepare properly for each workout, and seek out a competitive edge whenever possible in order to make running more enjoyable and more efficient.
In my first book, Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes, www.muldowneyrunning.com, I wrote a chapter entitled, 'The Diet Book,' in which I stated that society's dietary and obesity woes could be solved very simply: "Eat less and exercise more."
Clearly, when it comes to our running performance, we do need to be mindful of our diet. I believe that we should do everything in moderation. I respect and applaud those who practice a vegetarian or a vegan diet, but I personally believe that, for runners, a balanced approach to nutrition is advisable.A steak, on occasion, won't hurt you. A steak every night is probably not a good idea.
Eat food, not products.
Most every night during the summer, my diet includes a vast array of colorful vegetables grown in my garden. Lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and cucumbers comprise a portion of the nightly treat.
It may seem a bit "Old School," but the classic American Cancer Society suggestion of ingesting nine fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is a great piece of advice.
Balance your diet, and experiment with foods that seem to provide you with the most energy and allow you to perform at your best.
In your all-important running logbook, or on your app, write down the foods you eat, and gauge your performances after ingesting those foods.
Do your research.
There is more information out there than ever.
Suffering from leg cramps?
Perhaps you require more potassium. Eat more bananas to fill that potassium gap.
Some runners suffer from bowel problems during workouts or races.
Again, keep track of your foods and adjust your diet accordingly.
Finally, when your diet just isn't enough you may need to add supplements to your regimen.
Often, you may suffer from a diet deficiency, and supplements may be the answer.
When it comes to running, a college coach once told me, "You need to properly fuel the fire."
From a health and performance standpoint, a sound, balanced, energy-filled diet makes good sense.