BEFORE the run/walk: Even though we meet early for our long group workouts, it is important to nourish your bodies prior to running. Easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich foods are best. Ideally, you will want to ingest up to 400 calories, 1-2 hours prior to running/walking. If that's not possible, go for 100-200 calories within an hour before the start of the run. My go-to pre-run/walk breakfast is a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.
DURING the Run/walk: recommended intake is 80-120 calories every 30-45 minute. Most energy gels are 100 calories. Of course, caloric needs and expenditures vary with body weight and size. So during your training workouts, it's best to experiment with different types of flavors of fuels, as well as timing and amount of your nutrition intake. This is very important for our 2pt0 and 3pt0 groups!
AFTER the run/walk: Post-running/walking nutrition is paramount: you need to nutritionally replenish your body for optimal muscle recovery. Ideally, you should take in both carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of a workout. My favorite post-run/walk evening meal is a salad of arugula with avocado, pepper, crumbled blue cheese and tomato with a salmon steak. If you're on the go, grab a Nuun tablet to replace fluids and electrolytes, and have a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, or some pretzels. Even a protein bar by Honey Stinger can do the trick!
It's also incredibly important to maintain a nutrient-rich, balanced diet throughout the week. Think of yourself as a runner not just on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings, but all the time and eat like one! A diet of mostly clean, whole foods, lean meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables will allow you to perform your best. Making small changes--just like the gradual steps you take in your running--will help you to be able to maintain a healthy diet and be successful.