Hey y’all! I have a nice example of the power of smart programming and solid paleo eating. Our “Littl Runner Girl” Angela Horswill has affected quite a transformation in the past 2 years. She started working with Nicki to deal with some overuse injuries and of course, we went after her nutrition. She is an amazing success story in that she actually DID exactly what we suggested. Whooda-thunkt-it? Angela has been following CrossFit Endurance and generally kicking-ass. She recently won the Female Overall division of the Frost Or Fog 5K trail run.
Angela shot an email around to the NorCal staff explaining how she approaches her fueling. She was kind enough to let me post that email. If you want to help those pesky endurance athletes, get them moving in this direction of CF endurance and Paleo Nutrition.
Today Katie asked me what I ate pre and post run and race events so I thought I would just cc all trainers. I’m no nutritional expert but this is what is working for me! If you are not interested then delete. J
Some disclaimers: There is no simple formula or set of foods that works for everyone so I highly recommend playing around with different variations. Also it is necessary to discuss the goals of each individual runner or endurance athlete before handing them specific recommendations. Some runners want to lose or gain weight while others want to maintain or alter their body composition. My specific nutritional goals are to aid speed recovery from hard training sessions and maintain a healthy immune system. I do not eat gluten, soy or dairy products.
I base my nutrition ratio intake on periodization principles throughout the year based on physical training periodization training. Remember how Robb always reminds athletes to READ Joe Friel’s chapter on fuel from The Triathlete’s Training Bible? Well I follow it very closely along with Paleo for Athletes and it has worked very well for me.
Not everyone is as particular with their nutrition as I am and I get that, however by structuring my dietary intake I’ve been able to maximize my training of each phase. Basically this means adjusting your nutritional plan or your daily diet to complement your current the training phase.
Depending on which book you read, there are 4-5 phases to a yearly periodization training plan. Base, Build, Peak, Race and Recovery. Each training phase has different amounts of volume, frequency, intensity and duration and each phase builds on the one before. As you progress through each phase, your body will be put under different amounts of physical stress which will impact your needs for fluids, carbohydrates, protein and fats. Utilizing Friel’s dietary periodization my Base training phase is higher in daily fat than my Race phase. It makes sense to me to periodize it this way since my training is not static. In Joe’s book he has an easy to understand “seesaw” diagram in his chapter on Fuel. I have it written down below for the ones without the book handy:
A couple more disclaimers: Not everyone works best on 50% carbs and not everyone is running to race so modify it per client based on their performances.
This may seem over simplified however here are my rules for eating that have been working for me. Nicki, Robb and Kelly can chime in and give much more detailed information, studies and references if that is what you are looking for.
Don’t try anything new on race day.
Don’t carbo-load the night before a race.
Don’t rely entirely on gels and sports drinks to fuel you during training. Experiment with real foods (e.g. dried fruit, salted nuts, etc)
Don’t eat fat right after a hard training session.
What I do:
Pre- race or hard training run- I usually eat 2 eggs (or chicken) and a small apple 2-3 hours prior to workout. No extra blocks of fat for pre run meal.
Post-race or hard training: I consume carbohydrate sources combined with a lean protein within the first 15-30 minutes. Examples: sweet potato, apple sauce, or Cytomax drink with a small amount lean meat. No extra blocks of fat. Basically I try to take in a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrates to protein. After about 90 mins I have a real meal with more carbs in the form of fruit, veggies and some fats and proteins.
The rest of my meals are higher in fat to make up for the pre and post workout meals. Not saying that works for everyone but it works for me. Every one is different and usually trial and error determine the best pre and post workout meals.
Hope that helps!
Why no fat after hard training?
the first meal focus is on recovery and gastric emptying. Therefore, no fat.
Congratulations on all the success. It’s really inspiring to see someone on a similar track achieving those kind of results.
I noticed that the carb. percentages are significantly higher than mine. I eat almost-paleo with small amounts of dairy and a 4:1 carb:protein recovery drink (yes, with sugar). As such, my macronutrient intake ends up around 60-65% fat, 20-25% protein, 15-20% carb, with about 50% of my carbs coming post-workout. While I’m still fairly new to this diet and training regimen (CF since October, CFE beginning lightly in December and more heavily this month, diet really only dialed in after the holidays), I want to make sure that I’m on the right track.
I feel good and my workout numbers are improving, so I take that as a good indicator, but I want to approach the optimal nutrition plan to maximize my results.
Any words of wisdom?
Just keep tinkering!
Chris Dunkin says
Excellent post. Nice to have such disciplined guinea pigs to help flesh all of this out, and share it. Thanks, Angela.
Brian Vayda says
Awesome timing, we were just talking about pre wod meals today after getting spanked by Elizabeth. Is Angela’s pre workout meal on par with what we should be eating pre-crossfit wod? I usually work out around 1030am and have a decent breakfast around 730 or 8 (usually 4-5 blocks protein, 20 blocks fat, 2 carbs). But a couple of the guys were saying they dont like to eat within 5 hours of a workout, feeling they perform better being a little hungry. I’m going to try it out and was just wondering what you think. Thanks for the help, Brian
You just need to tinker and see what works. That said, Brian Mackenzie makes a great point that you adapt to how you train…if you might need to perform while consuming food, train that way (think100mile run). I tend to feel best if i’m almost hungry but I and very adapted to that. Put a little food in my stomach and I’m a little bitch with how upset my stomach gets.
Chris Dunkin says
Any other suggestions for post-wod carbs. sweet potato has become a staple for me. i’ll try the apple sauce, and i’ve done carrots before. what else? i have a tendency to get into a rut, plus if i don’t have to haul the toaster oven down to the gym every morning that’ll be nice.
Any of the root veggies are good…turnips, partsnips…way less tasty than Sweet potatoes though! Bananas are good in a pinch, as is canned-unsweetened pineapple.
How might this change when there are multiple races? For example, in mountain bike season there are 1 and sometimes 2 races per week.
Just a focus on PWO nutrition.
Ryan Brown says
Great post! Always insightful to see what somebody else’s tinkering has led them to discover. Especially for an athlete with a mild specialization like endurance.
great post Robb. Maybe I should try this and see if I can beat zarksy in arm wrestling afterwards:P
You bet amigo! Get her good and tired first!!
haha hell yeah man. thats how you gotta do it
I’m trying to figure between this post and the PWO post how the body uses different foods DWO (during work out). In the past I have eaten Lara Bars since they are dried fruit and nuts, but the PWO post noted that fruit isn’t great PWO because it goes to liver glycogen first and I’m assuming it would have the same drawback DWO, right? And, the nut content brings fat that you noted in this post isn’t so great PWO.
On the other hand, logistics become a factor on the bike. Like Chris Dunkin said, sweet potatoes have become a PWO staple for me but I’m certainly not going to take my microwave oven with me on the ride. Bananas seem like a good option given that the PWO post defended their PWO use. Any other suggestions for DWO carbs? And, would fat play a more important role DWO than PWO?
I will certainly tinker with this myself, but wondered if you could tell me anything about the science behind how the body uses various carbs and fat DWO. I wasn’t unhappy with my performance while eating Lara Bars, but I’m wondering if there is a better option. After all, I wasn’t unhappy with my high-carb / low-fat life until I tried going Zone-Paleo and realized how much better I could feel.
Thank you so much for all the information you’ve provided! You’re doing quite a service to the community!Will! This is100% an issue of intensity, duration and gastric emptying. Longer efforts will necessitate more fat & protein. This is a good topic and I’ll tackle it at some point.
Edward J Bebee says
Did I read that correctly? She doesn’t eat dairy products but does eat 2 eggs as part of her nutrition for a race or a hard run?
I think eating the eggs is a great idea (I’ve done similar with good results in races) but doesn’t this sort of contradict the “no dairy products” Paleo philosophy?
Amy Kubal says
Eggs are not a dairy product???!!!!???