How to Eat Like a Hybrid Athlete

Hybrid athletes master the art of blending strength and endurance training. These athletes train to run marathons while maintaining elite strength levels. Hybrid athlete Fergus Crawley recently divulged insights into the diet of his demanding lifestyle. 

On June 24, 2024, Crawley took to his YouTube channel to share a thorough breakdown of his daily diet, tailored to support his ambitious goal of running a sub-three-hour marathon without sacrificing his strength training gains. He offered a detailed full-day meal plan alongside practical tips for those aspiring to follow in his footsteps as a hybrid athlete.

Check it out below:

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Fergus Crawley on How to Eat Like a Hybrid Athlete

Eating like a hybrid athlete requires knowledge of the following key points:

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)


Current Profile

Variable & Fixed Approach

Periodizing Macros

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Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

Crawley defines Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) as the maintenance level necessary to sustain one’s body weight. He suggests calculating this value by using an online tool (try this one). A study published in Obesity (Silver Spring) underscores the crucial influence of TDEE on body composition and weight management. (1)


Body goals are a personal journey. To achieve a leaner physique, one must aim for a calorie deficit of five to 10 percent of the TDEE. Conversely, gaining strength or building muscle requires a five to 10 percent calorie surplus above the TDEE.

Adhering to zero percent of the TDEE is advisable for those focusing solely on maintaining their current state and enhancing performance.

Current Profile

Crawley operates at a calorie deficit, since his goal is to become leaner and lighter. 

Crawley says:

“Using myself as an example, I come to 2,475 calories — my TDEE minus zero percent,” Crawley said. “I’m trying to get a little leaner and lighter [for a] sub-three-hour marathon. I’m currently 93.5 kilos. I am still 181 centimeters tall and lift four days a week.” 

Variable & Fixed Approach

Crawley outlined two advisable strategies for hybrid athletes’ dietary plans: variable and fixed.

“Variable is generally recommended for progressive or varied training volume or for somebody who gets hungry on rest days,” Crawley said.”

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Variable Approach

Crawley adheres to his daily caloric baseline of 2,475 calories when lifting or taking a break from endurance training. On endurance training days, he compensates by consuming 90 percent of the calories burned during his sessions. This flexible strategy permits adjustments in calorie intake based on the day’s physical activity.

Fixed Approach

A fixed approach features a constant or close-to-constant calorie intake. The key to making this effective is to periodize macro intake for training days while maintaining the daily baseline. This also depends on whether one is doing strength or endurance training.

Periodizing Macros

Crawley suggests that 0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is adequate for both strength and endurance athletes. However, research published in PLoS One recommends a higher intake for endurance athletes, suggesting a range of 1.2–1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. (2

Crawley advocates those with a caloric deficit increase their protein intake to preserve muscle mass and enhance satiety. He proposes that carbohydrates constitute the remainder of an individual’s caloric intake.

“You can periodize carbohydrates potentially around your sessions. Where your energy expenditure is higher or‌ sessions are harder, you’ll want more carbohydrates. Look for about one gram of fat per kilogram of body weight per day,” Crawley said. 

Fergus Crawley’s Meal Plan 

Crawley begins his day with black coffee, followed by a serving of mixed berries and baked apple Skyrs, which are notably fat-free. This dietary choice is approximately 31.5 grams of carbohydrates and 41.4 grams of proteins.

Below is a detailed breakdown of his dietary intake for breakfastsnacks, lunch, and dinner:


A Cup of Coffee 

Mixed Berries — 190 grams

Baked Apple Skyr — 450 grams 

A Cup of Black Coffee

Baked Cookie Salted Caramel Flavor

Between meals, Crawley incorporates an additional 41.6 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of protein, and 7.5 grams of fat.


For lunch, Crawley consumes a balanced meal consisting of approximately 93.2 grams of carbohydrates, 112.3 grams of protein, and 28.7 grams of fat distributed across various dishes. 

Two High-Protein Bagels

Butter Basted Chicken Breast

Sweet Corn


Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Unsmoked Bacon Medallions

Medium Banana 

Before dinner, Crawley adds 27 grams of carbs, 1.3 grams of proteins, and 0.4 grams of fat. 


For dinner, Crawley consumes approximately 62.5 grams of carbohydrates, 63.1 grams of protein, and 23.7 grams of fat.  

Two Ciabatta Rolls

Beef Burgers with Low Fat Cheese

Caramelized Onion Chutney

Mayonnaise & Ketchup

Rocket & Mixed Leaf Salad


Non-Alcoholic Lager

In conclusion, Crawley highlights the critical role of micronutrients and warns against overlooking them.

“Eat your micros, sleep sensibly — get enough of it — have a routine, and drink water and electrolytes when it’s hot or during sustained exertion periods,” Crawley recommended. “Have a caffeine curfew; don’t go mental every day and wonder why you can’t get to sleep or why you feel destroyed every morning and need to reach for a coffee to be able to function.”

Crawley continues, “Moderate alcohol intake around recovery and performance. You can drink if you want, but accept that it’s going to have a downstream effect on your performance, recovery, sleep, and potentially decision-making.


Ostendorf, D. M., Caldwell, A. E., Creasy, S. A., Pan, Z., Lyden, K., Bergouignan, A., MacLean, P. S., Wyatt, H. R., Hill, J. O., Melanson, E. L., & Catenacci, V. A. (2019). Physical Activity Energy Expenditure and Total Daily Energy Expenditure in Successful Weight Loss Maintainers. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 27(3), 496–504. 

Kato, H., Suzuki, K., Bannai, M., & Moore, D. R. (2016). Protein Requirements Are Elevated in Endurance Athletes after Exercise as Determined by the Indicator Amino Acid Oxidation Method. PloS one, 11(6), e0157406. 

Featured image: @ferguscrawley on Instagram

The post How to Eat Like a Hybrid Athlete appeared first on BarBend.


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