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5 Reasons Why Nutrition is Really Important for Runners

Nutrition is just 1% of a runners development but it has a huge impact on the other 99%. It’s

a runners nutrition choices that impacts performance during competition, training quality

and quantity, their susceptibility to injury and illness as well as optimal health and

wellbeing. Therefore the purpose of this blog is to highlight the importance of nutrition for a


An effective nutrition strategy:

1. Optimises performance on race day: A poor nutrition strategy can be the difference

between winning and losing an event or even being able to finish the race in the first

place. Understanding how to fuel for an event such as a half marathon will make a

huge difference to how you perform.

2. Enhances training adaptations: This means you get more from your training runs

and gym sessions. Food not only plays a key role in performance but can support

training adaptations meaning that you can run faster for longer without the need to

stop as often. An effective nutrition strategy can also support recovery after training

to help reduce soreness and fatigue ready for your next run.

3. Supports a strong immune system: One of the biggest challenges that runners face,

particularly in winter, is maintaining a strong immune system. Running places

significant demand on the body which can result in runners becoming ill. Therefore

ensuring you are consuming a balanced diet to meet the demands of training will

help reduce the chance of you getting ill.

4. Supports improvement in body composition: One of the most common secondary

goals that runner’s have is around weight loss. Periodising nutrition choices around

training helps runners to run at their best whilst also working to improving their

body composition.

5. Optimises overall health and wellbeing: Nutrition is a really important part of a

healthy lifestyle. Consuming a balanced diet full of all the different food groups:

Proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fruit and vegetables helps maintain all the

physiological processes going on within the body that are required to maintain

optimal health.

Keep an eye out for the next blog where I will share more about how to fuel for your

training runs in the build up to the competition.

About James

James is a Sport and Exercise Nutritionist. He has an MSc in Sport Nutrition from

Loughborough University and a BSc in Sport Science from Brunel University. He is listed on

the Sport and Exercise Nutrition register (SENr) too. James works with a range of athletes

across a range of ages including rugby, football, golf as well as lots of runners too. You can

find out more about James and what he does via his website

and you can follow him on Instagram and Facebook: JamesFlemingNutrition or get in touch: . He also has a social media page dedicated to supporting

runners: @runningnutritionhub

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