“An empty sack cannot stand upright” - this ancient proverb pretty much sums up all of running nutrition for me.


Over the last decade there have been many debates around running nutrition as wellness became trendy. While much of what was promoted was good and some interesting, and sometimes useful, much of what was promoted was wrapped in great marketing packaging making it difficult to separate the “truly great” from the “ordinary, I can get this from a potato” and the “expensive but not useful”. 

At the end of it all, when all the hype is removed, running nutrition can be summarized into 3 basic needs, all of which can be met at your local grocery store:

  • The need to have enough energy to complete your workout.

  • The need to recover so that you are feeling good on your next workout.

  • The need to strengthen your immune system to be able to cope with the added stress of training. 

Within these 3 needs are a variety of options which will have different levels of effectiveness depending your individual physiology and training schedule.


To keep your life simple as a runner, and to get the most out of your nutrition, regularly track food intake vs: could I complete my workout, how did I feel the next day, am I regularly feeling run down and highly susceptible to colds and flu? For example, I have found through observing my body’s responses that I recover well if I drink a lot of milk after a hard workout. So, I do that. I also found that I feel really good when eating a lot of fish and that bananas give me what I need when feeling run down.


The challenge is for you to start paying more attention to how your nutrition is answering the 3 basic needs and then to develop (and stick to!) your own habits.

Onwards and upwards towards a faster, healthier, stronger 2021!

Coach Kathleen