Nutrition Periodisation For Runners - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 28

Published on:

15th Oct 2020

Nutrition Periodisation For Runners

Nutrition Periodisation for Runners

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

Show Notes


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 periodization and thinking about WHAT food and nutrition to consider and WHY during each phase. 


Key Takeaways:

  1. Nutrition Periodisation is known by several names and there are various approaches to it. Eg. 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 periodization ie. 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: 

Ep 2 Macronutrients to Help Runners Go Faster and Longer

Ep8 Nutrient Timing for Performance

Ep 9 Energy Bars, Gels and Powders


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 

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About the Podcast

She Runs Eats Performs
for mid-life female runners of all abilities
Are you confused about the science around nutrition for runners? Listen in to learn about the WHY, HOW, WHAT, and WHEN of eating to fuel your running performance.

We are here to help you translate sports nutritional science, into easy to apply tips and plans, helping you enjoy peak running performance. We focus on the FEMALE FACTORS every mid-life woman needs to know to be a healthy runner.

About your host

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Aileen Smith

Nutritionists, Educators, Podcasters, Runners and Friends

We have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living. She Runs Eats Performs for female runners of all abilities who are looking for simple ways to improve their running performance and their health with nutrition and lifestyle.
We enjoy sharing our nutritional expertise, reviewing the latest sports science and most of all helping you to take easy action so you can enjoy your running life to the full.
We are here to help you achieve great health and good shape whilst staying injury-free with easy-to-understand sports nutritional concepts and easy-to-implement tips and plans.

Aileen and Karen are BANT and CNHC Registered Nutritional Therapists.