Posted On:
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Updated On:
Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Coach Tip Tuesday: Pack Snacks

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A close-up of assorted dried fruits.

Hello again!  It’s time for Coach Tip Tuesday!

As we head further into spring (i.e. nicer weather) and closer to what looks to be a promising race season, your training will be ramping up as you get ready for any and all goals that you have set for yourself.  As we head into this time period, I want to give you this short bit of advice:

Pack snacks.

So short, so simple, and so seemingly easy.  But I can tell you from years and years of my own experience as an athlete that getting into the habit of always having snacks with me was actually tougher to put into practice than it seems.  And as a coach, I can tell you from the numerous “hangry” post-workout comments that athletes post that I’m apparently not the only one who has trouble making this a regular part of my routine.

I’m not saying that you need to pack a full-scale picnic for wherever you go (though that does sound tempting…), but I can tell you that having some easy, nutritious options available to me throughout the day has proven exceptionally useful.  

Running errands?  Going to be heading right to the pool after work?  Is the probability high that you will be very busy all day long at work?  Do you have a long drive from one part of your day to the next? 

All of these situations are ones in which having shelf-stable snacks readily available is very helpful.  All too often I hear:

  • “I didn’t have time to eat.”
  • “I didn’t think about how much time I’d be busy today.”
  • “Work was busy today and I didn’t eat much.”
  • “I didn’t plan for time to eat in between things and before my workout this afternoon.”
  • “I was really hungry by the end of my workout.”  

All of these situations are easily remedied by having - yep, you guessed it - snacks.  Snacks make eating less “intimidating” because they (in many cases) do not require a lot of time, preparation, or fuss.  In many instances, they can be eaten “on the go” - as you are working, driving, or going about your daily activities.

So this week, my challenge to you is this: figure out some easy, nutritious snack options that you like that you can easily pack or take with you daily as you navigate your activities (fitness and non-fitness).  Here are some suggestions:

  • Whole fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes, etc.)
  • Sliced or small vegetables (baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced bell peppers, etc.)
  • Trail mix
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Nut butter packs

My experience has taught me that if I have good snack options at the ready, I will feel happier and will eat more nutritiously overall.  If I wait for hunger to set in, I tend to get cranky or eat the first thing in sight (which may or may not be the best choice for my long-term goals).  Just a smidge of pre-planning allows me to fuel my body well and nourish it so it can keep doing all of the things I ask of it.

I live by this: I’d rather have a snack and not eat it than need/want a snack and not have it.

So that’s it, my friends. Pack snacks. You’ll likely be so very happy that you did. :)

About

Coach Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.

She can be reached at laura@fullcircleendurance.com.

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