Diet Plans to Improve Running Time

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Proper nutrition is the foundation of your running success.

Diet Plans to Improve Running Time
The world’s fastest runners have several things in common, including a systematic training program from professional coaches and a dedicated diet plan. Although most runners don’t have the capability to hire a full-time running coach, a diet plan is one of the best ways to increase running time. Regardless of the length of race, from a sprint to a marathon, a diet plan can supply the energy and fuel needed to increase running performance and set a new personal record.

Paleo

The Paleo diet for athletes, designed by Dr. Loren Cordain, professor at Colorado State University, focuses on eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods. Focusing on optimal body composition, the Paleo diet can increase your running time by decreasing overall body mass and the percentage of body fat. Another goal of the Paleo diet is to quickly replace glycogen stores following exercise to speed recovery and increase running time during a workout. Throughout the day, a runner should consume five to six meals consisting of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and nuts while avoiding dairy, starches and processed foods.

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Plant-Based Nutrition

A plant-based diet is becoming more and more popular among runners, triathletes and endurance athletes. Athletes follow an easy-to-follow plan for proper nutrition, which focuses on whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Not only have athletes experienced improved running times, they have experienced weight loss while sustaining energy levels to increase running time. Every meal supplies a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat, including the appropriate vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for optimal health and performance. Diet plans can be customized based on your daily caloric needs, and meals include foods like salads and smoothies.

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Carbo-Loading

During a running event, the majority of the fuel used by the muscles and body comes from carbohydrates. As a result, diet plans like carbo-loading focus on carbohydrates for the main source of calories. Used specifically by endurance runners competing in half marathons, marathons and ultra-marathons, carbo-loading gets approximately 70 percent of the total calories from a variety of carbohydrates, including pasta, toast, bagels and orange juice. The goal of the diet plan is to have a constant supply of energy to the muscles to increase running time. A common carbo-loading diet plan meal is the traditional pasta party the evening before a race.

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