BMI and Body Fat – They’re the same thing, or are they?
If I’m anaemic, the oxygen-carrying capacity of my blood will limit the ability of my muscle cells to work, to contract and ultimately it will limit my ability to run.
We need fat in order to live. It serves many vital functions, providing energy for the body and helping with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. However some fats are better for the body than others…
Runners can store about 2,500kcal in the form of glycogen (i.e. carb) and that will fuel them for about 2 hours of exercise. Even the leanest athlete carries a reserve of about 50,000kcal as fat, however, so perhaps fat adaptation could be a very useful strategy for endurance events.
A balanced diet is not just about calories; the source of those calories will influence the overall quality of your diet and the true nutritional value.
Ideally we should be aiming for 50% of our calories being provided by carbohydrates, 35% by fats and 15% by protein. That really isn’t very helpful, when we can’t visualise those calories to start with but there’s a useful Public Health England graphic known as the eatwell plate …
“I’ve recently fought my way back from an extended period of injury (6 months) where I was not able to train at all, only minimal running.
Now that I’m back do a structured week of training how many potatoes do I need to eat? How much pasta or rice equates to an hour of sub-threshold running?
I’m currently doing an hour of running a day. This mostly consists of sub-threshold runs at about 70% – 80% max heartrate range. I’ll do one race or one VO2 Max session per week ( >90%) followed the next day by a recovery run at 60% – 70%. I average one non-running day per week. I also do one exersise (core strength) class per week.”
Thanks, Laurie, June 2015
The answer to your question depends upon what else you’re eating, because you’ll be getting energy (kcal) from all of your food. Bear in mind, also, that your energy needs and your energy intake will normalise across a week (or any given period), such that you may be ‘catching up’ on your rest day or slightly deficient overall on race day.
In order to answer your question fully, we would have to do a food diary, but I can make a series of assumptions based on weight, height and activity levels. Then, I would calculate the difference in energy requirements between none, little and your actual training schedule.
Mary, Russell-Price Sport & Wellness Nutrition
Do you ever crave specific foods when you’re having a bad day? Do you get snappy when you miss meals and make do with snacks, or you ‘go on a diet’? Do certain foods (or drinks) make you feel mellow?
Yes, there certainly seem to be some strong links between mood and food.
Many people will ‘go on a diet’ each and every January. Their willpower and self control will last for a while, maybe long enough to shed the extra pounds, but maybe not. Most successful weight loss regimes…
What’s the best source of energy for runners – carbs or fat?
As with so many apparently simple questions, the answer is: well, it depends…