I often wonder this: Do runners need to be on special diets in order to increase performance?
Some say we should be vegetarians, others say we should be Paleo, while others say we should be gluten-free or stick to a low-carb diet (<— HOW???!!)
I find myself struggling to decide what my diet should be when I’m in training mode…. Well actually, I find myself struggling in general.
I went on the Internet and searched what elite runners’ diets are and I found this:
Molly Huddle calls her diet “the typical American diet.” In high school, she ate cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and meat and potatoes for dinner. This diet fueled her enough to place fourth at her high school cross country championships, and a national high school record in the 2 mile with the time of 10:01.
In college, Huddle ate cereal and bagels with peanut butter, among other things and rarely ate salad. This diet fueled her for nine All-American sectionals and second at the 2006 NCAA 5k Championships.
As a professional, Huddle’s diet consists of whole-grain pancakes, sandwiches for lunch, and meats with vegetables and a salad. This fueled her to nine national championships and two American records in the 5k.
Now this diet doesn’t work for everyone because we reject and accept different foods. However, I highly respect the fact that Molly Huddle eats pancakes for breakfast.
Kenyan runners are the best in the world and they have been for years. I’ve always wondered what they ate because their bodies are so lean, so how can they be so fast and talented? Well, this is what I found:
Kenyans eat a lot of ugali (cornmeal porridge), sukuma wiki (collared greens), ndengu (stewed mung beans, whatever that is), and chapati (which is like water-based dough.. similar to what tortillas are made out of). Kenyans also stock up on starchy foods.
*Remember that dieting like an elite doesn’t necessarily mean limiting your food options much like the different groups of elite runners do. Instead, it means “emulating their key dietary habits.”
(Information found on Competitor.com)