Training Nutrition – Old School v. New School

OLD SCHOOL – Engineered food.  We all know the products: taffy-like or candy-like energy bars, gels, chews, sports drinks, recovery drinks — the list goes on and on.  We’re promised better performance through better science, as we pay premium prices for packaged foods.  They are easy to use, and we are told that they are necessary. 

NEW SCHOOL – Real food for best performance and health.  Chocolate milk has the right blend of simple carbs and protein to be the perfect recovery drink, and water is the best thing to take for hydration.  Phyto-chemicals in plants help prevent certain kinds of cancer, and natural fiber in grain-based products are more effective than engineered, refined fiber added to packaged products.

TAKE-AWAY – There’s no need to turn away from all engineered food; I find that gels and chews work well during races, and the convenience of engineered food can’t be matched, but aim to eat as low on the food chain as often as possible in order to maximize the benefits of real food.

RECIPE OF THE DAY: My favorite pre-race/pre-workout snack is a peanut butter fig newton sandwich.  Yep, it’s just what it sounds like: smear some peanut butter on a fig newton (fat-free preferred) and top with another fig newton bar.  Lots of carbs, plus a bit of protein and fat to slow digestion a little bit.  And the taste ain’t bad either! 
     Now, I know some people will say that this isn’t the most healthy snack, and it’s not very low on the food chain either, and that’s true, but I think it beats energy bars, and it’s so good!


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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