The ultimate seven-day meal plan for endurance athletes

Registered dietician Tristaca Caldwell-Curley shares her comprehensive (and printable) meal plan that helps you train faster and longer, builds muscle and boosts metabolism.

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Woman biking
Photo, Getty Images.

Calling all weekend warriors – if you’re training for a marathon, biking regularly or are a Crossfit fanatic, you need a different diet to fuel up. Endurance athletes need significant amounts of carbs to let them train longer, and protein to help build muscle and boost metabolism. It’s also important to eat regularly to keep your energy up and help you recover from workouts, so we’ve included snacks.

A note on serving sizes: You shouldn’t be hungry on this meal plan. If you are, add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks. And make sure you drink plenty of fluids as well.

MONDAY
Breakfast
Breakfast-on-the-go shake with 1 scoop protein powder.

Lunch
Barley sushi salad with nori.

Barley sushi salad with nori
Barley sushi salad with nori.

Snack
Celery sticks with 2 tbsp natural peanut butter, topped with dried cranberries.

Dinner
Black rice and edamame salad.

Black rice and edamame salad
Black rice and edamame salad.
Photo, John Cullen.

Snack
“Chocolate mousse”: Stir 3/4 cup unsweetened yogurt, 2 tsp cocoa powder and 2 tsp coconut sugar together and refrigerate for at least 30 min.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
2 omega-3-enriched eggs, sliced fresh tomato and Jalapeno pan fries.

Roberto Caruso
Jalapeno pan fries.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Lunch
Spicy black bean burritos.

The fast-food version of burritos can be loaded with empty calories and hidden fats. You'll be surprised how quickly you can make a wholesome variety at home using fibre-rich beans and corn, whole wheat tortillas and vitamin-packed fresh peppers. Our recipe is completely vegetarian and easy enough for teenagers to prepare themselves after school. It's also a great healthy snack after a workout or as a fast weeknight meal.
Spicy black bean burritos.
Photo, Masterfile.

Snack
1 cup sliced fresh fruit and berries topped with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.

Dinner
Ginger chicken stir-fry with greens on rice.

Ginger-chicken-stir-fry-with-greens-0-l
Ginger chicken stir-fry with greens.

Snack
3 cups plain popcorn drizzled with olive oil, salt and fresh or dried dill, plus 1 cup milk or soy milk.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Homemade apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal.

Homemade apple cinnamon instant oatmeal recipe
Homemade apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Lunch
Mediterranean lentil salad with feta.

Snack
Homemade trail mix: 2 parts whole-grain cereal to 1 part dried fruit and 1 part nuts.

Dinner
Lemony packet-baked salmon, with maple-glazed squash and steamed snow peas.

Snack
Greek yogurt topped with fruit and granola.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
1 cup high-fibre cereal with low-fat milk and 1/4 cup slivered almonds.

Lunch
Cirtus, chicken and spinach toss.

Leftover chicken never looked so good. Peel a couple of oranges and whip up this vitamin-packed supper salad in about 10 minutes.
Citrus, chicken and spinach toss.

Snack
Apple with 2 tbsp seed or nut butter.

Dinner
Herbed chicken meatballs with spaghetti, served with a green salad.

Herbed-chicken-meatballs-with-spaghetti-0-l
Herbed chicken meatballs with spaghetti.

Snack
Plain popcorn drizzled with olive oil, salt and fresh or dried dill, plus 1 cup milk or soy milk.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Sliced banana with 2 tbsp peanut butter, rolled in whole wheat pita.

Lunch
Roadside fish tacos.

Roadside fish tacos recipePhoto by Roberto Caruso
Roadside fish tacos.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1/4 cup hummus and 1/2 8-inch whole-grain pita, cut into triangles.

Dinner
Spicy peanut, tofu and spinach stir-fry.

spinach, spicy, vegetarian, main, peanut, vegan
Spicy peanut, tofu and spinach stir-fry.

Snack
Decaf latte with a serving of fruit.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
Fresh vegetable omelette with lentils.

Lentils in an omelette? Their flavourand texture add dimension - and a hitof healthy folate to boot.
Fresh vegetable omelette with lentils.

Lunch
Pita pizza with hummus and mint.

Michael Graydon
Pita pizza with hummus and mint.
Photo, Michael Graydon.

Snack
1 cup sliced fresh fruit and berries topped with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.

Dinner
Asparagus and brown rice risotto.

Roberto Caruso
Asparagus and brown-rice risotto.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
Homemade trail mix: 2 parts whole-grain cereal to 1 part dried fruit and 1 part nuts.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Ricotta-oat-bran pancakes

Ricotta-oat-bran-pancakes-with-maple-raspberry-sauce-0-l
Ricotta-oat-bran pancakes with maple-raspberry sauce.
Photo, John Cullen.

Lunch
Avocado tuna wrap

It's amazing how this classic wrap is elevated by simply adding a ripe avocado and store-bought hummus or tzatziki.
Avocado tuna wrap.

Snack
Apple with 2 tbsp seed or nut butter.

Dinner
Grilled steak with baked potato and grilled asparagus.

Snack
1 cup sliced fresh fruit and berries topped with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.

Click here for a printable version of this meal plan.

Tristaca Caldwell-Curley is a registered dietitian and Chatelaine Health Advisory Panel expert.