One of the great running books that I have read recently is the Hansons Marathon Method. I’m not necessarily going to run a marathon anytime soon, but I was interested in the training principles that are part of the Hansons running team.
An excellent section of the book was on nutrition for runners. I have always struggled with how many calories I should eat every day. The 2,000 calorie diet is common knowledge, but is this diet appropriate for runners? What about runners who run higher mileage and workout more than other runners?
The Hansons book provides an answer by way of a simple formula based on the amount of running that a person does per week:
1. Light to moderately active (45-60 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week): Body weight X 16-20 cal./lb. = daily calories
2. Very active (60-120 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week): Body weight X 21-25 cal./lb. = daily calories.
For example, I currently weigh 171 pounds. It might be stretching it to say that I do 45 minutes of running per day, but I’m probably pretty close on average. Therefore, my daily caloric intake should be (171) X 16-20 = 2736 – 3420 calories.
Because I’m on the low-end in terms of mileage, I should probably aim for just under 3000 calories per day.
Anyway, I thought that this formula was a cool way to calculate ideal caloric intake and wanted to share it with you. Happy running!