The distance runner meal plan: oatmeal, steak and Pedialyte

first_imgDistance runners at SU don’t have a secret nutrition plan. They don’t count calories or measure protein powder. The runners simply eat to fulfill their appetites and snack on fruits and vegetables between meals.Justyn Knight does not track his caloric intake. Instead, he focuses on eating a normal, balanced diet.“I’m not one of those guys who watches their calories,” Knight said. “I know my body, I know when I’m hungry, I know when I’m full before the point where I can’t move. Usually I just try to eat regular. If I’m hungry, I’ll just snack more.”While every runner is different, common themes exist among Syracuse’s distance runners. Chow down on a big breakfast to prepare your body for a grueling day of exercise. After a hard workout, eat steak. Before a race, hydrate and refuel with electrolytes. These diets help Knight, Aiden Tooker, Paige Stoner and the rest of SU’s longhaul runners cover up to 80 to 100 miles in a given week of training.The coaching staff generally takes a hands-off strategy on dieting because “it’s not a subject that you can really deal with in college athletics,” head coach Chris Fox said. While there are common foods he encourages all his runners to eat — especially red meat — every athlete is different.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Someone like Justyn (Knight) or (Aidan) Tooker can probably eat a ton, because they’re little and thin and they don’t put on weight,” Fox said. “They probably need to eat a ton. Other people might need to watch themselves a little bit, because well, we don’t need a fat distance runner.”Tooker, a sophomore, has a particular routine. On days where he has to run twice, he’ll wake up at 6:45 for his workout, then eat a mini-breakfast of oatmeal and water. He’ll then go back to sleep after his first run, before he drinks his daily coffee and wolfs down eggs and an English muffin.Knight and Stoner also consume big meals to start their days. Knight prefers three scrambled eggs, toast and a smoothie with berries and kale, while Stoner opts for either oatmeal or pancakes.The biggest point of emphasis all three runners and Fox centered on was the red meat. After a hard workout, coaches recommend lean steak or even hamburgers.“We try to have, after our big workouts, red meat,” Tooker said, “Because we have to get iron, it’s really important for our recovery and maintaining our energy level.”Every runner has a different pre-race routine. Stoner eats a peanut butter sandwich and a banana four hours before every race. Knight eats chicken parmesan the night before. But the most important thing on the day of a race is to stay hydrated.Knight struggles to drink as much water as he’d like, downing about a Gatorade bottle’s worth a day. He’d like to double that.Oftentimes, water is too “bland” for athletes who spend their days putting their bodies through extreme stress, Tooker said. The runners need to boost their electrolytes for peak performance.On race days, Stoner fuels up with Nuun, an electrolyte-filled energy drink. Tooker and others have a different alternative.“A lot of times before races we’ll have Pedialyte, and it’s just a more healthy choice for electrolytes over Gatorade. A lot of the guys go to CVS the day before or two days before to stock up,” Tooker said.Some of the most elite athletes on campus pay close attention to what they put in their bodies, but overall, their diets are not so different than a normal, active college student. Stoner, Knight and Tooker all eat three meals a day, fill out the food pyramid and even have cheat days on Sundays when they pig out at Mother’s Cupboard diner.Since there is no specific nutrition plan, the responsibility is on Syracuse’s runners to make healthy choices. They understand that their diet can make or break their performances.“I always eat with a purpose,” Knight said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 31, 2018 at 10:46 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmermanlast_img

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