The heavier we are, the more negatively it affects our run performance. Interestingly, this correlation is more distinct with runners than swimmers and cyclists. This is because body weight increases the energy cost of overcoming gravity. With every stride we take, we are effectively lifting our body weight (source).
Having said that, we want to be strong and healthy; not thin and sickly. So it’s important to nail your nutrition and have a healthy relationship with your body. Here are 3 quick tips for our runners out there!
#1 Eat your breakfast
Forgoing breakfast tricks your mind into wanting high-calorie food – usually poorer in nutritional value and likely to contribute to weight gain. What’s more is that breakfast is going to be the first meal your body gets after an overnight fast. Liver and muscle glycogen stores are depleted in order to, well, keep you alive while you rest. When you deny your body of glucose in the morning, it tends to crave more food in later parts of the day. Furthermore, breakfast starts up your brain and body. With more energy to start with, you tend to move more and burn more throughout the day.
#2 Graze often
We Singaporeans like to stick to our 3 solid meals per day – a quick breakfast before rush hour, a hearty lunch to celebrate work break and a good dinner after a long day. This habit concentrates our calorie intake to these 3 times of the day. It not only throws our insulin levels off track, it also lowers our metabolism rate. Instead, graze on high quality snacks such as unsalted nuts and fruits throughout the day so you don’t end up with hunger pangs.
#3 Load on carbs
The whole “carbs are bad” advertisement has gotten many of us running away from rice, noodles and the like. The thing is carbs are way more efficient in providing energy to your body. We often forget that there are good carbs (such as wholegrain, brown rice, quinoa) and bad carbs (refined sugar, white potato). The good news is that HPB has enforced a labeling system which you can watch out for the next time you go supermarket shopping!