On the surface, running is as simple as lacing up and hitting the pavement (or the mud), but looking a little deeper, there are many other factors that have an enormous impact on your running. These can be anything from buying the right shoes and scheduling workouts, to figuring out what music to run to and what running tights to wear. If you’re new to running, we’ve got a few helpful tips to make running easier.

Why should you plan your training and eating?

It helps to plan when to work out and when to eat, but why is it important? When you eat is critical to your workouts. Likewise when you work out is critical to when and how much you eat. If you like to workout in the morning, it’s best to grab something small beforehand and eat a bigger meal afterwards; if you’re training around midday, you’ll want something light before the workout and something heavier afterwards; and if you’re working out at night, you won’t want a very heavy meal, but you’ll need to make sure you get adequate protein to nourish muscles.

Planning your workouts ahead of time also helps you figure out how much you need to eat on certain days or at certain meal times.

How to plan, practically

Plan the night (or a few days) before:  Adjust your meals around your schedule

Getting ahead of your schedule is one of the most important ways to guarantee your success. When it comes to food, it’s harder to make good choices when your choices are limited. Drawing up a grocery list of the right foods or designing a loose meal plan for the week are both great ways to ensure that you end up eating foods that will fuel your day and your workouts. It can also help to plan what to do if you’re eating out, for example knowing what options are available on menus.

Plan your training sessions each Sunday

Something else that helps is putting workout sessions in your calendar. Think about it, you put all other important things in your calendar, why not your workouts? It will help you to make sure you keep workouts a priority and help you plan whatever else you need to around your workouts. Our advice is to take 10 or 15 minutes on a Sunday to decide on what days and at what times (before you drop the kids off, at lunch, before dinner) you’ll work out in the coming week. This is useful because it means that even if things do come up (because, well, life), you’ll have a quick and easy overview of your schedule and be able to rearrange things accordingly.

Get a few snacks that are always “good to go”

Finding a few snacks that you love and can easily just grab before leaving home is a great way to ensure healthier eating and that you have the right fuel for every workout. While there are a vast number of healthy snacks out there, they aren’t all equally convenient for you, or even appetizing to you. Take a few minutes to think about what snacks are nutritiously beneficial, and require little prep; some good examples include: nuts, fruit, and jerky; you can even try our delicious no-bake energy bar!

Keep the right foods at home

While getting great on-the-go snacks can be somewhat of a challenge, finding the right foods to have at home is a whole lot easier. You’ll want to stock up with good sources of complex carbs; things like brown or wild rice, lentils, beans and fruit, and you’ll want to invest in lean protein: turkey, fish and chicken, tofu, chickpeas and eggs, to name a few. Lastly you’ll need to get some good fats into your diet; foods like avocado, nuts, peanut butter, vegetable oils and fatty fish.


Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

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