Running meal plans: three examples

running meal plans

Looking for inspiration to help you plan your running meal plans?

When it comes to running, it’s important for athletes to fuel their bodies with nutrient-dense meals that provide enough energy and support for their intense training. Planning meals ahead of time is essential to ensure your body has the necessary fuel to get you through your workout and help you recover afterwards.

Here are three examples of running meal plans that are well-balanced and tailored to the needs of runners.

Meal Plan #1: Pre-Run Boost

Breakfast: Wholegrain waffles topped with peanut butter and banana slices. Served with a small protein shake consisting of almond milk, banana, and whey protein.

Lunch: Tuna salad on wholegrain bread with lettuce, tomato and cucumber slices. Served with a side of mixed berries.

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with herbed quinoa and roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli.

Snack: Apple slices with almond butter for an afternoon energy boost.

Meal Plan #2: Vegan/Vegetarian

Breakfast: A bowl of porridge made with almond milk topped with fresh berries, chia seeds and almonds or nut butter.

Lunch:black bean burrito bowl, consisting of black beans, brown rice, roasted vegetables, fresh salsa, and avocado.

Dinner: Vegan lentil soup with quinoa and mixed greens salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

Snack: Rice cake with almond butter and fresh strawberries.

Meal Plan #3: Post-Run Recovery

Breakfast: A smoothie consisting of Greek yoghurt, berries, banana, spinach and chia seeds.

Lunch: Grilled chicken or tofu salad with mixed greens, quinoa, peppers, avocado and a lemon vinaigrette dressing.

Dinner: Baked salmon or tofu with sweet potato and asparagus.

Snack: Homemade protein ball, consisting of peanut butter, dates, chia seeds and hemp seeds.

As you can see, each of these running meal plans is designed to provide a well-rounded balance of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It is essential to consume adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to fuel your activity level and support recovery. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is important to pay special attention to the consumption of protein and iron sources to meet the needs of your body.

In addition to following one of these running meal plans (or something similar!), it is also important to hydrate properly throughout the day and before, during, and after your run. Running can cause you to lose a lot of fluid rapidly, especially in hot and humid conditions where sweating increases, so it’s important to drink water regularly to rehydrate.

By planning your meals ahead of time, you can make sure you are consuming the right types of food to support your workouts and recovery. The three meal plans listed above are excellent starting points that give runners ideas on how to stay fuelled, and with a little bit of creativity, creating a meal plan that works for you can be a breeze. And with a little extra thought, you can utilise any leftovers in a way to suit your running journey best of all!

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