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4. Keep counting
It is not necessary to count calories all the time. Rather, it is sufficient to do so periodically as a way of auditing your diet and training. At times when your diet and training are consistent, one quick audit will cover you until your diet or training changes. But when either of these factors does change, it’s a good idea to perform another audit to quantify the change and keep it within acceptable parameters.
If you are like most runners, your training does change as you move into the off-season, and it’s not unlikely that your eating habits change too, so be sure to calculate your total daily calories consumed and burned early in each off-season and perhaps also periodically throughout it. This measure will help keep you from relaxing too much! Also, research has demonstrated that the very act of recording your eating heightens your awareness and steers you away from the worst excesses.
Again, you can refer to Racing Weight for simple guidelines on calculating “calories in” and “calories out”.