Nutrition Periodisation For Runners

October 20, 2020

Nutrition Periodisation for Runners

In this episode we look at Nutrition Periodisation for Runners. You may not have heard of it, which is understandable as it is a fairly new concept.

Thinking about your running, do you ever consider YOUR nutrition in relation to your running training calendar?

Do you ever think about your food intake and its correlation with the various phases of your training for example pre-race phase or rest and active recovery phase?

In this episode we discuss the phases of Nutrition Periodisation and how manipulating your nutrient intake could support YOUR training, resulting in physiological adaptations known to enhance running performance.

LISTEN HERE Episode 28: Nutrition Periodisation for Runners


Nutrition Periodisation For Runners


Defining Nutrition Periodisation and outlining its various titles. Nutrition Periodisation is interpreted in various ways, however it is outlined here as 4 phases throughout the calendar year. Moving on to suggest what an athlete’s training programme may look like during these 4 phases.


Outlining the other interpretations of Nutrition Periodisation including the physiological adaptations achieved through planned and purposeful manipulation of nutrition as well as exercise. Manipulating nutrition on a daily/weekly or over months/years is also discussed here as an approach to achieving physiological adaptations and enhanced performance.


Moving on to discuss the influence of nutrition periodisation on muscle adaptation with a focus on protein and antioxidants.


Thinking about the performance enhancing effects of nutrition periodization with carbohydrates being the principle macronutrient discussed. Strategic carbohydrate feeding is known to be capable of increasing the production of carbohydrate transporters in the digestive tract, thus increasing the amount of glucose transported into the bloodstream for readily available energy. But low carbohydrate feeding is also thought to enhance performance, this is also considered.


Looking at the 4 phases of nutrition periodisation and thinking about WHAT food and nutrition to consider and WHY during each phase.


Nutrition Periodisation for Runners

There are no specific female factors… the nutritional approach is very individual whether you are male or female and will relate specifically to the individual’s training/race goals.


Nutrition Periodisation For Runners

  1. Nutrition Periodisation is known by several names and there are various approaches to it. E.g. it may also be known as periodised nutrition and may be split into 4 x phases throughout the year, or broken down into nutrition periodised “for the work required”.
  2. Nutrition periodisation essentially is the nutrition and energy needs of an individual in an effort to support their sports training…training and nutrition go hand-in -glove.
  3. Ultimately nutrition periodisation is in place to support adaptations to enhance performance
  4. Most research focuses on the adaptation and performance effects of manipulating the macronutrients, however remember the micronutrients are important too.
  5. Remember to consider the practical aspects of nutrition periodisation i.e. will you have to travel to competition? If so, what can you take with you? What will be available on the course?
  6. Additionally, practicing with these foods during training is important to reduce the risk of digestive issues during competition/race.
  7. Finally remember, remember the foundations of good sports nutrition begin with an everyday healthy diet and this should run through every phase of training….even during your rest phase!!

Related Episodes:

Nutrient Timing for Performance

Macronutrients to Help Runners go Faster and Longer


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.

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