No matter the level of athlete you are, beginner, intermediate, advanced, or a professional. Whether you're a man or a woman, young or old, these rules apply and will be the single biggest factor in seeing immediate gains in endurance and strength no matter what sport you participate in.
This article is to the point and hits the basics. http://www.powerbar.com/articles/260/sports-nutrition-basics-for-team-in-training-athletes.aspx
Read it and begin to implement these simple nutritional guidelines into your training. (training meaning prior to activity, during activity, and after activity) If you are not currently using these practices this will be the quickest way to see noticeable gains in speed, strength, power, and overall endurance. These nutrition basics are the most abused and neglected area of many beginner level endurance athletes.