Nutrition for Runners (Lose Weight and Run Faster Without Dieting)

Mark Kennedy
Founder of None to Run
June 20, 2023




Whether you like it or not, regular running does not mean you should let your nutrition suffer.

In fact, the opposite is true.And if you're looking to lose weight, coupling consistent running with a good diet can increase your chances of reaching your goal weight.

In this episode I talk with Jason Fitzgerald from Strength Running.Jason is a running coach, 2:39 marathoner and a wealth of practical knowledge when it comes to all things running.

If you want to become the best runner you can be, your diet can not be ignored.

Listen to this podcast episode and be sure to check out Jason's Nutrition for Runners program.

Loved @fANNEtasticfood and @JasonFitz1 's interview with Nancy Clark from their Nutrition for Runners program. So many great tips!— Alexis T (@runcrush) February 16, 2015


Jason Fitzgerald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Jason Fitzgerald                                


In this podcast, you will learn about:

  • Why runners should even care about nutrition.
  • The difference between eating well for a runner versus a non-runner.
  • What you should eat before a run.
  • How far or long do you need to run before considering mid-run fueling.
  • The best foods to consume after your workout.
  • Jason's take on re-fueling with chocolate milk.
  • How a training plan differs for runners that are looking to lose weight versus runners who are looking to get faster.
  • How it's possible to go for a run in a fasted state.
  • Are supplements necessary for runners?
  • And more...

Links and resources mentioned in this podcast:

Nutrition for Runners - Jason's program to energize your runs, help you drop those last 10 pounds & fuel right for your workouts.Strength Running - Jason's main website and blog.

Listen on iTunes or Stitcher radio

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If you enjoyed this episode with Jason Fitzgerald or any other Healthynomics Podcast episode, please leave a review on iTunes. Reviews go a long way in helping the podcast reach more listeners.

Full Transcription

Read the full transcription below or download it here.

Mark: All right, Jason Fitzgerald. Welcome to the show. I believe this is your second time on the Healthynomics podcast.Jason: I think it is. Thanks so much for having me back.Mark: Yeah, no problem. Looking forward to chatting with you. Today we are chatting about nutrition, and more specifically, nutrition for runners. I know for myself as a runner, I'm generally a good eater but I do like my sweets and I like to end my runs, if it's the afternoon, of course, maybe with a beer, a cappuccino or a chocolate milk or something. So I need this call as much as anyone else.Jason: Yeah, and I'll be the first to say that my diet is not perfect either, but I think there's always an ideal that we can strive for, and some lessons to learn too.Mark: Perfect, well let's dive in. First of all whenever we talk about diet, there always a couple of quotes that come to mind. I don't know where I head these or who told them to me. But one I believe is an Olympic kayaker, a Canadian kayaker. He just said, "Garbage in, garbage out." And that resonated a lot with me. And another one that I've heard often is, "You can't outrun a bad diet." And I really like both those, but anyway, why should we care? Why is nutrition important? It's important for everyone but why is it important for runners?Jason: Well yeah. I think you made a really good point with talking about some of those quotes, "Garbage in, garbage out." And look, I mean as athletes, we really need to be aware of what we are putting into our body. Because it helps fuel our performances, it helps us recover from our hard workouts and our long runs, and it really helps us achieve that next level of performance that we are going for. So if all you are eating is fast food and processed food, you are not really giving your body the optimal nutrients and macro-nutrients that it needs to perform at high levels. So I think we've all made this mistake where we think if we are running enough, we can eat whatever we want. We've probably heard the quote that, "If the furnace is hot enough it will burn anything."So of course we are kind of obsessed with our training and we all want to improve and run personal bests but I think if we are real with ourselves, we have to understand that if our training is good, the next logical step with our improvement should be nutrition. Because if you can really dial in your nutrition so that you are eating for performance, you are not running to eat, you are eating to run, and you are really making sure that your recovery from a nutrition perspective is nailed down, then you are going to have more energy on your runs. You are going to feel better while you are running, and you are going to experience less soreness. And ultimately you are going to become a better runner.So I think it's a no-brainer to focus on nutrition. There've been a lot of interesting articles and books that have come out recently in the last five years. And there're some authorities who think that nutrition is kind of the next frontier in performance. The training that a lot of elite guys are doing right now is pretty good, and I think maybe in the last ten years, we've really understood much better how to train distance runners. But we are still learning a lot about nutrition, and how that impacts performance, how that impacts recovery. And I think if we pay more attention to that, especially as recreational runners, because obviously we don't have a team of nutritionists and people there to support us, so even just a little bit of work to try to improve our diet can make a world of difference when it comes to how we feel during training, and ultimately how we race on race day.Mark: Yeah, I like that a lot. I guess for me, and one thing I struggle with as far as nutrition goes and running is that I can clean up my diet, and it's really hard to attribute how much my nutrition is playing into any running success I'm having, or is it just my training. So I don't know if you struggle with that or other people struggle with that? I mean I guess, there're ways you could measure that. Really documenting your workouts and your nutrition. But for me I always struggle because it's like a really hard thing to measure. Like, "Oh, I've been eating well the last month. My training feels better, but is it because I've been eating a better diet or not?" Do you struggle with that at all?Jason: Yes, definitely. I mean I think all runners struggle with this. And I think it's helpful to look at nutrition as something that supplements and compliments your running. So just like you are not going to become a better runner if all you do is strength exercises a couple times a week, you are not going to become a good runner if you have the world's best diet. However, a really good strength program, a really good nutrition program, these are going to complement your running and they are going to enhance it. So I definitely agree that knowing what is contributing to your success in running is really difficult. And I think for most people, people who have jobs and families, and responsibilities, it's almost impossible to figure out specifically what is contributing to them running well. As a coach, I would say that 90% of it is going to be your training. However, if you have a terrible diet, or if you have a couple of really bad dietary habits, that could potentially derail your training, or make it more likely that you'll bomb a long runner, or a workout, or maybe you'll bonk during a marathon or something like that.So nutrition definitely plays a role. And I think it plays an important role but obviously it's not as important as are you doing the right workouts? Are you training smart? Are you doing a consistent long run? The training aspect of running is obviously more important than what you eat for dinner every day. But I think there's a lot of value to making sure that you are feeling your body appropriately, you are not waiting two hours after a long run to eat. You are getting in the right amount of nutrients and the right types of foods immediately after your workouts to help start that recovery process. So there're a lot of things that I think every runner can work on, but you are right. It's very difficult to understand what specifically is contributing to your success. But it's one of those things where if everything is going right - your nutrition are on point, your strength is on point, your training is going well, then if you start slacking off on your strength work, you may not know notice that for a couple of weeks, and then all of a sudden you get a little niggle, or a certain ache and pain, it starts imparting negatively your training. The same thing can happen with nutrition. You have very low energy in a long run, you are not able to hit your splits. So it's one of those things where if everything is going well from a nutrition perspective, you may not even notice. But when things start to go poorly, you may start noticing. So it's definitely something to keep on top of throughout the training cycle.Mark: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Now let me ask you this. Do you think, does eating well for a runner differ from someone who is not a runner? Perhaps maybe we can differentiate between a beginner, a novice runner, and an elite runner. But I'm just interested to hear your take on that. Weather good nutrition for a runner is essentially the same as good nutrition for a non-runner?Jason: Yeah, that's a great question. And I think they differ. So good nutrition for the average person, who might exercise a couple times a week but very generally, versus the person who is training for a race and looking to improve, I think their diets should be very different. First and foremost, any person who has a goal of losing weight should not be doing that while they're training for a race. Obviously if you are lighter, you are going to probably race faster. As long as you are not underweight. No runner should try to be under their ideal weight. But when you try to lose weight while training, which is something that we found during a research into this area, was very common among so many runners, you tend to not accomplish either goal. So your training for your race suffers, and your weight loss goals suffer. So from a dietary perspective, you definitely want to not try to diet and train for a race the same time. So that's a big differentiator between the two.The other thing that I would say is that runners need to put a premium on quality carbohydrate. This is the body's preferred fuel source, it is the rocket fuel that propels us when we are doing hard workouts, anything at a faster pace that requires more intensity. Definitely requires a healthy amount of carbohydrates. Of course that doesn't mean you can eat as many sweets as you want, and you can eat all these processed foods with unlimited carbohydrates. We need to put a premium on the body's preferred fuel source, and you can be a recreational general fitness person on a paleo diet, for example, and not eat that many carbs at all and be totally fine. If you are lifting weights and you are doing a very limited amount of cardio type of exercise, you probably don't need that many carbohydrates. And you probably don't need your energy levels to be through the roof if your only cardio is maybe two 20 minute runs, or swims, or something like that during the week. However if you are a runner and you are training for a race, and you are doing long runs, and hard workouts, and you are running four, five, six days a week, then you absolutely must be consuming carbohydrates because exercising in a carb depleted state is going to affect your energy levels, it's going to negatively impact your mood, and it's certainly going to reduce your performance. So I think those are the two main differentiators from a diet perspective on people who are runners training for a race, and hoping to improve. And then those people who are maybe just interested in being generally healthy.Mark: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So should paleo people if they want to run long, they should expect to run slow. Is that how it works?Jason: Generally yeah, if you are on a paleo diet, you will likely run into some energy issues, especially on a long run. I know that there're a lot of paleo people who are runners, who will probably say that they've become fat adapted, or they are ketogenic, which is basically they eat virtually no carbohydrates and their body is perfectly suited to burning fat as fuel. But you have to realize that is a very tiny subset of the population. And the majority of runners don't have the discipline to do that, don't have the time to go through that adaptation process because it takes probably one or two months just to become adapted to that. Also it's much more beneficial for ultra-endurance athletes. So those people who are training for the marathons or ultra-marathons. But if you are training for a 5k of a 10k or a half marathon, you are not going to be able to achieve the same level of success that you would if you were eating a healthy amount of quality carbohydrates.Mark: Yeah, that makes sense. So let's go through - and I mean you don't have to go into crazy detail here, but let's go through the three different stages of some of the dietary points that we should hit on for people looking for some tips for eating before a run, during a run and after a run. We'll keep it at people who are training for a five kilometer races or ten kilometer races, [inaudible 00:13:31] wrap up the distance, there are different beasts and have different sort of nutritional requirements, so if you can sort of walk us through the before the run, during the run, and after the run. What are some aspects there that we should take a look at?Jason: All right, so let's assume that this person is going to run in the morning. So a person who runs let's say before work in the morning, it really depends on the type of workout that they are going to be running. So let's say you just have an easy half an hour run. You don't necessarily have to eat anything before a run at that distance. You are not going to be burning enough calories, enough carbohydrates, or be working at an intensity level that requires fuel before a run of that short duration, of that low intensity level. But if you are doing a workout, let's say you are doing even a tempo run, or you are doing some sort of 5k specific intervals, or something like that, then it is going to be helpful to have some fuel before you go out and do that workout. Now we are all individuals and we can tolerate different amounts of food and types of foods differently. However, most people need at least one to three hours after a small meal to properly digest it. So if you are running in the morning, you want to have two pieces of toast or something, you probably should have that one or two hours before the run. Now that said, in terms of like specific fueling, before a run of a certain intensity level - so if you are doing a harder workout, you should probably consume anywhere from 100 to 300 calories, and the type of food that should be is mostly carbohydrate. It's digested quickly, it's going to give you immediate energy, and it's going to top off your glycogen level so you have the energy and fuel necessary to complete your workout.his is going to change a little bit if you are doing a long run, you should probably eat a little bit more. You might want to include a little or tiny bit of protein as well, and of course you are going to want to eat that a little bit further out from your run, so that you allow for some digestion, and also so that that fuel can be processed so that it'll be readily available for you. And so in terms of what you should eat during the workout, I'm actually very hesitant about eating during any workout, unless it's a long run. So must runners don't do workouts that are long enough that warrant eating during the workout. So let's say you are running seven miles total, and you are doing maybe three miles worth of faster running. As long as you have some fuel before that run, you don't necessarily have to eat anything during that workout. Your body will have enough glycogen stored within your muscles, in your blood. You'll also have energy coming in from the breakfast that you had, so you'll be totally all set to get through that workout without any mid workout fuel.Now if you are doing a low run, this is a different story. So if you are exercising from 90 minutes or longer, you'll probably want to have some fuel. And the general guideline is if you are exercising between 90 minutes and 2 hours, you probably want to look at the equivalent of say one or two gels. And this is going to be roughly 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrates depending on the brand and type of gel that you get. I know that a lot of runners like dates, and kind of waffles, and there's chews, and blocks and all kinds of different types of stuff. But the equivalent is roughly one to two gels for a workout of that duration. And obviously there're so many shades of grey when it comes to fueling for workouts. It all depends on duration and intensity. The longer it is, and the more intense it is, the more fuel you are going to need. And we can go into a lot of specifics here, but I want to make sure that we are kind of hitting on the really big points, and that's really like, I think most runners, if they are eating three or more gels during a workout, then they are probably running for more than two hours. Probably close to two and a half hours.Mark: Yeah, sorry to interrupt you, but for those who are listening if you are a marathon runner, or run further than that, I did do a podcast specifically on marathon fueling that you may like with Dr. Trent Stellingwerff. He talks a lot about what Jason just touched upon, but if you want to go into some crazy amount of detail, if you really want to geek out on that stuff, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. But sorry to interrupt you there Jason.Jason: No, that's great. That's really great stuff. And one of the things that I want to mention too is that it's very individual and especially if you are training for a marathon, every runner should be practicing their fueling strategy during training. Not necessarily during every long run, but if you are training for a marathon, you probably should be consuming somewhere between 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. And so a couple of times before your race, you want to practice that fueling strategy during your long runs so that your body knows how to process all those calories and carbohydrates, you know how to hold, actually logistically hold all those gels. And it's just going through the motions of practicing it. Eating it while you are running, I think it's extremely valuable for marathoners.Mark: Okay, let's move to the post run, and what are some nutritional tips you've got for those that have just finished their run, they are feeling good, and they are looking to put some fuel back in their bodies. What do you recommend there?Jason: Yeah, post run is all about, first and foremost, you should be getting some fuel into your body within the first 30 minutes after your run. I tend to be a little more aggressive, I like to eat something within 15 minutes if I can. But a lot of times, I'll simply change my shirt or something and immediately have some post run fuel. And I like to divide my fueling after a hard workout or a long run into my post run fuel and then a meal. So within 15 to 30 minutes, I'll try to have a couple hundred calories worth of high quality carbohydrate and a little protein. We've probably heard the ratio of 4:1 carbohydrate to protein is the ideal ratio for recovery. And a lot of studies have confirmed that. It's definitely true that chocolate milk is a great post run recovery fuel because not only are you getting that optimal balance of carbohydrate to protein, but you are also getting some fluid. So it's helping you to re-hydrate too.I don't like to get super into counting calories, or figuring macro-nutrient ratios or assigning scores to food. I just think that is unsustainable, and a lot of the nutritionist and dietitians that we spoke with when we were doing this kind of research confirmed this. These are consultants to the Boston Red Sox, and The Celtics, Orlando Magic. And they all were unanimous in that counting calories, and doing this kind of scoring and assigning ratios is simply not only unsustainable, but most people don't know exactly how to do it, and even if you think you do, you probably don't know exactly how those things are calculated. So it's kind of a waste of time. And so what I would love runners to do is focus on carbohydrate but also have a small amount of protein. So you can have toast with peanut butter, you could have a chicken sandwich or something like that. There're so many options for what to eat after a run, but the most important thing is, first and foremost that window of the first 30 minutes after your run, and also try to focus on carbohydrate with a little bit of protein.Mark: Okay, that's great, and I want to segue a little bit into the running to lose weight aspect, but one point you brought up about chocolate mil there makes me want to tell I guess a little story. I mean I'm a big fan of chocolate milk myself, but I did some research, I actually wrote an article on my blog, I think a couple of years ago, might be three years ago about chocolate milk and how it can actually sabotage your workout if you are doing a short workout between 5 and 10k, which all things considered are not that long, but I looked at some of the numbers. So on a 5k run, I weigh about 180 pound or so. So I burn about 431 calories, and there were times back in my younger days where I'd pound back 500ml of chocolate milk after maybe a 10k run. Well I didn't look at this until years later, but that's actually 360 calories and 56 grams of sugar, which is insane.Jason: That's a lot of sugar.Mark: And to compare, I think a can of coke is about 39 grams of sugar. Jason: Right.Mark: So I just want to tell everyone, just be careful when you are refueling, be aware of how much you are putting in your body. I don't know how much you are having Jason, I'm assuming 250mls, but just, everyone be careful, and do have a look at some labels, and if you have a garment or something, and you do get an estimation of how many calories you're burning and especially if you are running to lose weight, just be aware of how much you actually put in your body right after you did all that hard work and burned some calories. Jason: Yeah, definitely. Of course like we mentioned earlier, the whole if the furnace is hot enough it will burn anything. That is certainly no true, especially if you are trying to lose weight. So I think the chocolate milk, and the more aggressive refueling options that are available to you, the things that have probably a little more sugar in them, those type of foods that are easy to overdue, like you said 500ml of chocolate milk, that's a lot of chocolate milk to pound down after a run, and especially if you are only running 5k or 10k. You don't need that amount of carbohydrate, 56 grams of sugar, that's a crazy amount of carbohydrate.Mark: Yeah.Jason: You want to play that balancing game of let's get 15 to 30 grams of quality carbohydrate into my body, but then let's also keep in mind that that doesn't give you free range as to consume whatever you want after your run.Mark: Yeah, absolutely. I mean when I was looking at those numbers I was shocked, I was like "What was I thinking?"Jason: Now I'm obviously in the United States, so 500ml would be roughly 16 ounces?Mark: It's two cups so...Jason: Okay, you are right then. That's...Mark: So 16 ounces...Jason: Yeah, two cups is about 16 ounces.Mark: Yeah. So it's a lot of sugar.Jason: And I will say something about chocolate milk. I have been drinking chocolate milk after a majority of my runs, but I do keep it to one cup.Mark: Good for you. Showing some restraint!Jason: Yeah, it's tough sometimes, it's so delicious.Mark: Yeah, exactly. So let's keep on this running to lose weight focus right now. I'd like to know, and you mentioned before about don't combine those goals of losing weight and training for a race at the same time. So what does a training program look like for someone that's focusing on losing weight verses someone who is looking to focus on running faster for a particular race?Jason: That is a great question. There're definitely some key differences. So when you are training for a race, the goal is always to have your training be race specific. So you are completing workouts that will gradually over the course of the training program look kind of closer and closer to the race itself. So for example if you are training for a 5k, some of your workouts will ultimately look something like maybe three times a mile, and your goal 5k pace with a short recovery. That's very similar to the race itself. However, when you are training for weight loss, your workouts are not necessarily going to be race specific. They are not going to look like any kind of race. They are going to be probably higher intensity. So everyone has heard of high intensity interval training. It's become very popular in the last couple of years, and it does burn a lot calories. And we've created training plans specific to weight loss that incorporate types of high intensity interval training with other proven ways of weight loss. So you really need to balance the kind of different ways that you can lose weight. So first and foremost, there is the high intensity interval training component. And then one strategy that we use is fasted long runs. So this is teaching your body to burn more fat. You basically go for a long run without eating any breakfast beforehand. If you are training for a 10k or a half marathon, this strategy is not going to help your race. So you shouldn't be doing it. However, what we found is that if you implement a, let's say, six to eight week weight loss specific program before you start doing a race specific training plan, then you are going to lose a little bit more weight, and then you are going to be able to start your training plan at a lower weight, and then focus on your race goals. And we found that if you try and focus on both, you are going really to accomplish neither. So it's better to one rather than both. Mark: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You mentioned the fasted long run. I had some experience doing some fasted long runs and I must say if you are looking to get faster, and that's your goal, that's what you are training for, those fasted long runs are great. For me in particular, I noticed just from the psychological benefits, because you're on your long run, you are training, you are out there by yourself grinding away and those last few miles or kilometers, they are really going to hurt more than normal, because you haven't got any fuel. But come race time, when you've rested, you've tapered your training and your fueling, you are going to feel 100 times better. So just for me, during my race, all of a sudden I felt amazing. I'm like I was late in the race, also I had more energy than I thought I ever had just because I'd practiced those fasted long runs. So have you had a similar experience with those? Jason: Yeah, I've done a lot of fasted long runs before. I'm someone that actually performs relatively well without a lot of fuel. I don't even bring fuel with me if I'm doing a 20 mile long run or something like that, unless I'm practicing marathon fueling.Jason: Yeah, I've done a lot of fasted long runs before. I'm someone that actually performs relatively well without a lot of fuel. I don't even bring fuel with me if I'm doing a 20 mile long run or something like that, unless I'm practicing marathon fueling.Mark: Yeah.Jason: But they are definitely harder than if you were having some gels and you had some breakfast beforehand. You'll definitely feel that fatigue even more acutely during the last several miles. And we recommend the fasted long run as an optional strategy. The longer in itself just burns a ton of calories, both during the run itself and afterwards, which a lot of people will refer to it as a caloric after burn. I think technically it's called excessive post exercise oxygen consumption, if I'm not mistaken. But the long run for forms the cornerstone of any good weight loss program. That's also specific to runners. And so we say, "Let's take it to the next level, and if you are comfortable with it, then let's do it fasted as well. So you combine that with high intensity interval workouts.We also include some different types of sprinting that are really helpful for increasing the metabolism, and then of course strength workouts. You can't talk about weight loss without doing strength work. I think it's critical during any weight loss cycle. It preserves muscle mass. If you are significantly restricting calories, you could potentially be losing muscle. So strength workouts are going to help you maintain your muscle mass, which is always a good thing. And then you are also going to increase just by having those strength workouts in your program, you are going to increase the total amount of work that you have to do every week. And so that's just a simple way that you are going to burn additional calories. So all these different strategies at play at once are quite effective at weight loss.Mark: That's great. So for someone looking to lose weight running, how many times a week would you be prescribing that they run? Or strength training I guess. What does the typical sort of week look like for someone you might be looking to lose weight running?Jason: Yeah, great question. So I think it depends on kind of where you are starting at. So someone who is a total beginner, their weight loss training is going to look different than someone who is comfortable running ten miles right now. But we have several eight week programs that are specifically designed for weight loss, and the moderate volume program has you running anywhere from four to five times a week. Not all those runs are hard or difficult. For the most part, the intensity level is, I would say for three days out of the week, the intensity level is relatively low. I mean your long run is low intensity but you are encouraged do to do it fasted, but it's a longer workout. So it's challenging in a different way. But there's one workout of the week that is your faster, definitely more challenging workout. We use the type of high intensity interval workout - hill repetitions. This a really fantastic way of kind of building strength and injury resistance in addition to increasing the amount of calories that you are burning during the sessions. So you can imagine if you are running one minute repetitions, you'll be burning a lot more calories, if you are doing this one minute repetitions up a hill than if you were doing them on a flat terrain. So what we do is we combine hill repetitions with strides, which are simply accelerations and hill sprints, which are very short repetitions. They are only eight to ten seconds, but they are at maximum intensity. This is very similar to a tabata workout, except the recovery is a little bit longer and the session is shorter. But it's more running specific, I think it's much better for injury prevention. So one of the things in our programs that we like to accomplish. We like to do a couple of things at once. So if someone follows a weight loss program, they are probably going to lose a lot of weight but they are also going to be doing some great training, and they are going to be setting themselves up to stay healthy over the long term.Now in terms of strength workouts, we have two more significant strength workouts per week, and these are kind of what you think of when you think of strength workouts. You're i the gym, you are doing some lifting, you are doing more classic types of lifts like squats and dead lifts and bench press, and those kind of things. Now the other days are more runner specific types of strength and core workouts. Some of them are up to 25 minutes long. Some of them are only about 10 minutes long. And again, we are accomplishing two things at once. We are increasing the total work load that you are doing during the week, and we are also helping you stay healthy and prevent injuries as well. Because the idea there is if you are healthy, you are going to be able to run more. And if you are able to run more, you are going to be able to maintain your ideal weight for a longer period of time.Mark: I like it. Well, before we start wrapping things up here, I've just got a couple of other quick questions, one being supplements. Are supplements necessary for people who run?Jason: I think for the most part no. And we talked with a lot of registered dietitians about this. Unless you are a pregnant woman, or looking to become pregnant, there is no supplement that you absolutely need. And of course I have to defer to anyone's doctor. There's going to be a lot there that they are going to have to discuss with your practitioner. However, there can be a couple supplements that could be really helpful. A lot of runners like to take some additional protein after a run, especially a more challenging run, like a faster workout or a long run. This can help really jump-start the recovery process especially if the long run was very long or if the workout was very challenging, there's going to be some significant muscle damage. And getting a good amount of protein in right after the run, of course in conjunction with carbohydrate can improve that recovery process. I'm not a believer in supplements. I definitely wouldn't say that taking a multi-vitamin is necessary. I think it gives you just very expensive pee. I think the best course of action is simply to get a blood test and have all your levels looked at, especially vitamin D. Make sure that your levels of vitamin D are intact and if they are not, you can always supplement. If you don't eat a lot of fish, your level of Omega 3 fatty acids could be low, so you may want to supplement with fish oil. One of the reasons why I partnered with a registered dietitian on this project is because I'm a running coach, I'm not a nutritionist. So I definitely defer to her on these more nuanced and specific questions but it was actually very eye opening. Because we interviewed a lot of very high profile dietitians and it was interesting because they I think almost unanimously said that supplements are not necessary. And they pointed to a lot of elite athletes and pro-sports teams who only supplement very specifically and it's on an individual basis after a lot of testing.Mark: Were there any other big surprises when you spoke to these nutrition experts, like Nancy Clark or any of the others? Anything that shocked you?Jason: It's interesting, I don't think anything completely shocked me, but I was very interested in hearing all of them, and there was not one who disagreed that counting calories or trying to determine macro-nutrients percentages, or ratios, or scoring your food, or any of those kind of strategies are not advised. They were very adamant that it wasn't a good idea, it's not going to help your diet in the long term, so focusing into intuitive eating, which is the approach that we took, and we think works best, especially long term for sustainability reasons, is going to be much more helpful for you. Not only for weight loss, but for maintaining your ideal weight and also for fueling and making sure your nutrition is on point to help complement your running. Mark: That's awesome. Well Jason, you provided a ton of information for everyone out there, a ton of useful information. So can you tell us a little bit more about your new program? Or I guess it's not that, how long has it been out?Jason: It's been out for about two months now.Mark: Okay, and it's Nutrition For Runners?Jason: Yeah, Nutrition For Runners. It's a comprehensive program showing runners how to energize their runs, fuel appropriately, get to and maintain the ideal weight. So what we did I partnered with a registered dietitian. Her name is Anne Mauney, and she is really fantastic. She has a private practice in Washington DC, and she works with a lot of private clients helping them focus on whole food nutrition without calorie counting. She's taught nutrition courses at George Washington University. So she is a pro, and she is the kind of person I go to with all my big nutrition questions. And the program is something that we worked on for, I would say about ten months, very close to a year, doing a lot of research, we interviewed a lot of really great people for it, including Nancy Clark, who's probably the country's top sports dietitian. She's advised Olympians, the Boston Celtics, she's even been on the back of a Wheaties box. I mean what dietitian has been on a Wheaties box?Mark: Yeah, I thought that was reserved for Michael Jordan and...Jason: I know, right?Mark: That's really cool. I'd love to get her on this podcast some time.Jason: Yeah, she was really fantastic. So we interviewed her, senior editor at Competitor Magazine, a lot of other dietitians, ultra marathoners. And our goal was to create a program that helped runners fuel right for their workouts but it was actually easy to follow. So our entire goal was can we get most runners to their ideal goal weight, while being properly fueled and have them feel great on their runs and perform at the level that they should be performing at, without worry about technical jargon, all the intricacies of fitonutrients, biochemistry and all this stuff. We did so much research into some of the top nutrition books. I don't think that we need another lesson on what is a carbohydrate, or how is fat processed in the body. I think what is going to work for runners is a program that shows you this is a framework to follow, here's what to do, here's what not to do, and then we give you the tools and resources necessary to do it, and then you are off to the races.So that's what we did, we are really excited about it. The program has a lot of content that will help you do exactly that. There's a whole library of training plans that are geared towards weight loss, and also for performing for best at certain race distances, because we believe that is one of the best ways to maintain your goal weight. We have meal plans and an entire cook book, also meal guides showing you exactly how to structure your fueling and meals based on when you run during the day. So if you are an afternoon runner, or you run in the morning or evening there're different ways to structure your fueling strategy. So we go into all that and a lot more in the program. So we are really excited about it.Mark: That's cool. I really like that, the different meals for different times that you run because with the family and everything, I'm often running at different times. Sometimes I'm in the morning, sometimes afternoon, and sometime during the week, I head out at 9 p.m.. So that diet would be very beneficial for me.Jason: Yeah, and I've been the same way myself. I've run at 5:30 in the morning before, or 8:30, or 9:00 o'clock at night and they do require different strategies. And I've learned the hard way, that if you don't prioritize your nutrition for a 9 p.m. run or a 5:30 a.m. run, then you are definitely going to feel the effects of that.Mark: Have the beers after the run, not before, right?Jason: That is the central tenant of our program.Mark: So if people want to check out Jason's program, and I recommend that you do, you can find it at All one word, nutritionforrunners, and I'll put a link in the show notes so you can check that out. So Jason, let us know where else can we find you online, and where is your body of work located?Jason: Sure, my home base is and you can find me also on Twitter, JasonFitz1, Jason Fitzgerald was taken unfortunately. So is where I post regularly on my blog, and I have an email list where I provide a lot of additional content there as well.Mark: Awesome, well thanks for joining us Jason.Jason: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. It was a blast.Mark: Cheers.

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