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Balancing Energy Intake with Energy Expenditure for Female Runners

Overtraining syndrome is more common amongst runners than you would think. Often an enthusiasm for running, improving performance and body composition can lead to runners being over zealous with their training plans. Many focus on training and neglect to pay attention to their requirements for good nutrition and adequate rest.

The inter-play of chronic over exercising with insufficient energy intake (from food) and insufficient sleep/rest may lead to a prolonged and unexpected decrease in performance and deterioration in both physical and mental health.

We discuss the Sports Performance Triangle, Female Athlete Triad (FAT) and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs).

Fascinating insights into the importance of balancing energy intake with energy expenditure to promote running performance and overall great health.


What is the definition of overtraining syndrome and how does is manifest in runners.


What are the triggers for this overtraining syndrome and the links to the sports performance triangle?


An overview of overtraining syndrome, Female Athlete Triad (FAT) and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs).


The Female Athlete Triangle and the inter relation with low energy availability, menstrual dysfunction, and low bone mineral density.


Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs) and how it encompasses the health male and female athletes and the impact on poor health and sporting performance.


The importance of adjusting food/energy intake to meet increased energy expenditure as your endurance training increases.


The links between REDs and Disordered Eating, Eating Disorders and reduced athletic performance.


How to notice the early signs of overtraining syndrome and how to guard against the development of REDs.


The Key Takeaways from this episode:

  • It is important for a runner to consider training, nutrition, and sleep/rest in equal measure to help prevent the development of Over Training Syndrome
  • Remember that it may occur in men as well as women, so be aware of this with running colleagues and partners
  • Important to take on sufficient food to fuel the amount of exercise you are undertaking
  • Insufficient energy intake will result in a deterioration in running performance and may lead to other health issues
  • Consider working with a sports nutrition professional to ensure you are fuelling appropriately and taking onboard sufficient nutrients overall


Related Episodes:

Sports Nutrition Foundations for Runners


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you’ll join us again. If you’d like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

If you’re ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.

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If you’d like help from Karen and Aileen to design a personalised sports nutrition plan for your running – please contact them at

Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen