Runners, cyclists, or triathletes – Should you be eating the same way year round?
As a runner, triathlete or cyclist I am sure you are well aware that your training will not be the same throughout the year. If you are following the classic periodization model, then the off season is a time to target your base and really develop your aerobic fitness so that you can make larger gains later on in the season. Naturally, your workouts are not going to be nearly as demanding during this time. Do you know that what you consume in the off season and how you train can greatly influence your body’s metabolic efficiency?
So , what should you be eating in the off season? For starters, your calorie demands will not be nearly as high, so you can cut back a little on the calories. Secondly, try and make your carbohydrate sources rich in fiber and stay away form excess amounts of starches. Since you are not asking your body to perform too many high intensity training sessions, you don’t need the excess carbohydrates. Finally, don’t feel like you need to pack tons of extra calories for your long workouts. If your training session is not going to be physically grueling, then you can get by with fewer calories. Of course you should start backing off gradually to figure out what works.
Structure your off season nutrition just as carefully as you would your training. How great would it be to not have an extra 5-10 pounds to lose going into the season?