“Don’t’ give up” or “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” are mantra’s every runner utters at some point on their way to greatness. No matter how hard you train or how fast you run on race day having the right nutrition and fuelling plan is the key to success.
David Bryant from Catalyst Dietitian thrives on assisting those around him achieve their fitness goals, as a runner (1:17 Half Marathon, 2:48 Marathon), Para triathlete (National PTS5 Champion), Advanced Sports Dietitian and a Level 1 Triathlon Coach. We couldn’t think of a more qualified expert to provide nutrition tips leading up to this year’s Chevron City to Surf for Activ.
As a local and regular competitor in the Chevron City to Surf for Activ, David knows the course like the back of his hand. He thrives on assisting those around him achieve their fitness goals, so he was very keen to share his wisdom in the lead up to WA’s most iconic fun run.
David’s in-depth knowledge about both nutrition and training led him to this conclusion:
“The keys to success for both running and nutrition are very similar. Simple things, compounded over time, add up to outrageous success.“
That’s it, eating well and running consistently is his key to success.
We all know that some bad habits are hard to break. So, we asked for practical tips for us mortals to build these healthy habits:
You don’t have to be a superstar every day; it’s just best to be consistent
Your weekly kilometres should be, for the most part, nice and easy. The 80/20 running rule is something that plenty of endurance athletes swear by! Essentially, 80% of the time you spend training each week should be at a comfortably slow pace. Just 20% of your weekly training somewhere between moderate to high intensity.
This training rule helps prevent injuries associated with overtraining. If you’re training in a way that promotes recovery and prevents injuries, you’re more likely to be able to build up a consistent training base that isn’t being interrupted continuously by soreness, injury or niggles.
Make some simple healthy changes. Only 4% of Australians eat two pieces of fruit, and five serves of vegetables every day, so increasing the amount of fruit and veg in your diet is a simple and powerful change.
One day won’t make you, nor will one day break you.
Instead of smashing out just one hard run each week, make a plan or set a target for the number of runs you’d like to complete each week. You don’t need to run every day, but running multiple days per week will help you build a more solid base.
Don’t put all your eggs in the dinner basket. David recommends eating regular healthy meals across the entire day – it’s the key to performance and to maintaining energy levels.
Splashing out on expensive products isn’t the key to running the Chevron City to Surf for Activ strong.
Running gadgets don’t work if you don’t. A new watch or fancy new shoes are great, but you’re the key to your success. After all, it’s your body that is going to be doing the work on race day. The watch can’t do the training for you!
Supplements should be precisely that: a supplement to your diet, not the foundation. Eat a balanced diet and use supplements if and when you need them. Relying on sports supplements to meet all of your energy needs is a step in the wrong (training) direction!
There is no magic bullet (bummer!)
Cramming all your training into August is a recipe for disaster. You should work on progressively building up to your distance in the lead up to race day. In fact, you’ll likely want to relax your training in the week leading up to the event, otherwise known as tapering – which is a crucial part of any training plan. The longer the distance, the longer the taper.
Extreme diets are not only unsustainable; they will also impair your performance and recovery goals.
Don’t cut out or prioritize just one thing.
All training is important and worthwhile: easy runs, tempo runs, long runs, and intervals. None is superior to the other. Your training plan should be varied and should take advantage of the different types of training – and the benefits associated with each.
Much like with running, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are all important and none is superior to the other. Eating a balanced diet that contains all of these essential components will have you on the way to success!
Good luck with your nutrition and training in the lead up to the Chevron City to Surf for Activ. There’s still plenty of time for you to implement some of these changes into your training in the lead up to the event. And remember: consistency is key!