Nutrition For Runners


Eating to Run- Part 2

This tip was prompted by two people, Chris (Brisbane) sent me the chart below and thought I may be interested in its contents. And on my recent trip to Singapore to meet the operator of the new Lazy Runner Club, Khairil and I got talking about food, exercise and life, he said to me,
‘Its all easy, every time I have a pint I know I have to run 2.5km, that’s how I can drink and stay in the healthy weight range’, and I thought, thumbs up for Khairil he is a true Lazy Runner!

The chart below is great (thanks Chris), in fact you could plan your whole running diary around it.

Like to drink a few stubbies on Saturday nights…then it looks like it’s a 10km run for you on Sunday morning. Want to have bacon and eggs for breakfast? then you are up for about 7km every time you have them, add another couple of kms if you like fried eggs.

Another interesting thing about the chart is the difference between running off your food and walking off your food. There are a few experts out there that are often telling us that walking and running offer the same health benefits. That may be the case if you are in the right healthy weight range, but if you are exercising to lose weight then obviously running is the better and faster option.

The section I love is the third line, should I have an apple and run 10mins or a glass of wine and run an extra 2mins?..mmmmm...that’s a tough one! And you know my theory about how its not worth tying up the shoelaces for anything under 5km, so it looks like I can have a bottle if I run for an hour…and just think of the benders we can go on if we get into our marathon training!

If you consume. . .

Burn it off by:

Sitting still for

Slow walk for

Brisk walk for

Jog for

A glass of water (375ml)





1 apple (150g)

1 hr 10 min

35 min

17 min

10 min

A glass of wine (150ml)

1 hr 15 min

43 min

21 min

12 min

1 full-strength beer (375ml stubbie)

1 hr 52 min

56 min

28 min

16 min

An ice cream cone

2 hrs 6 min

1 hrs 3 min

32 min

18 min

1 chocolate bar (60g)

4 hrs 5 min

2 hrs 15min

1 hr 8 min

39 min

1 can soft drink (375ml)

2 hrs 13 min

1 hr 7 min

33 min

19 min

A large juice-bar juice (650ml)

4 hrs 16 min

2 hrs 8 min

1 hr 4 min

37 min

2 rashers bacon, and 2 poached eggs

4 hrs 18 min

2 hrs 9 min

1 hr 5 min


2 rashers bacon and 2 fried eggs

5 hrs 46 min

2 hrs 53min

1 hr 27 min

50 min

1 meat pie 

6 hrs 9 min

3 hrs 5 min

1 hr 32 min

53 min

Flavoured milk (500ml)

6 hrs 14 min

3 hrs 7 min

1 hr 34 min

53 min

2 slices takeaway pizza

10 hrs 6 min

6 hrs 3min

2 hrs 32min

1 hr 27 min

1/4 chicken and chips

10 hrs 53 min

5 hrs 27min

2 hrs 44 min

1 hr 33 min

1 serve battered fish and chips

11 hrs 45 min

6 hrs 53min

2 hrs 57 min

1 hr 40 min

*Calculated from Food Standards Australia New Zealand food composition tables, based on average energy expenditure for a 70kg, 40-year-old male.

We are told the average Aussie eats enough carbohydrates and consumes enough calories to fuel a marathon runner, the problem is less than one percent of Aussies run marathons…so all the excess stays with us in fat

In the last few weeks of a marathon program you could be expecting to run about 8-10 hours a week and for a half marathon 5-6 hours a week.

I can see you all now working out your food plans for those weeks

Seriously though, input requires equal output. As the chart shows you can have a meat pie and if you do nothing it will take over 6 hours for it to leave you…or run for less than an hour and that pie has gone.

I think it’s a good habit to get into, to think about what you are putting into your mouth and have a good understanding of what it may take in energy to not let that food cause you to gain weight.

It is pretty basic really, you hate running or you haven’t got time to run on the weekend, then you can’t have those fish and chips or the two stubbies.  But if you are like me and you love to eat and drink and don’t mind getting our for a run for an hour then you can justify a bit of a pig out.

There is another thing to remember though, most of the things on the chart are not really healthy options. So yes, you may be able to run them off if you love running, but the unhealthy high fat and alcohol component does more than just cause weight gain.

Those unhealthy choices also can cause serious health risks like cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure…not to mention even alcoholism and depression…so I’m not saying run marathons and spend your life eating take away and drinking beer. However, if you crave the good stuff, eating out and a few drinks on a couple of days a week is fine....

Happy eating and running! 





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