While female runners need more calories than non-runners, women generally require fewer total calories than their male counterparts. Women need to make wise choices in order to ensure that they're getting adequate total carbohydrate, protein, and fat on fewer calories. Women runners tend to assess body weight from several angles: health, vanity, and sports performance. Many women want to know their "ideal" body weight, but it can be difficult to determine a number. You'll need to assess a variety of factors, including your body-fat percentage, your current body weight, your medical history, and your running goals. It's important to remember that the leanest runners aren't always the fastest, and to look at your total health picture.
What's a speedy gal to do? The answer: Choose wisely. Female runners need a solid nutrition foundation: a daily mix of 2–3 fruits, 3+ servings of vegetables, 2 servings of lean protein, 2–3 servings of low-fat dairy products, 3–5 servings of good fats, and 6–12 servings of grains and other carbohydrates daily. You can adjust this according to your training volume and any weight loss (or gain) goals.