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Endurance Runners’ Diets Directly Effect Performance

Part of the joy in endurance running is that the athlete is afforded more calories than their couch dwelling counterparts. However, when a well-meaning non-runner says to me, “you get to eat whatever you want though, right?” I have to sadly answer no and explain how I believed that lie once too.

I began running with hopes that I could eventually eat junk food all day long and pay no penance for it. It took me just a few stomach churning runs to realize that I was wrong. For most runners, their performance is directly related to their diet.

“Junk in, junk out,” is the phrase nutritionist Diane Greenleaf likes to use as a reminder for how our body works. She pointed out that while training does lead to more calories being burned, it doesn’t replace the fact that the body needs nutrients. And it’s no surprise that our tasty junk food isn’t chock-full of vitamins.


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