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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Running & Eating

All day I've been pondering running and eating and the problems that I've had combining the two. Well, I've also been pondering what to have for dinner, but that's another story.

Before the Long Run - Last year, I consistently ate Clif Bars before long runs. That worked out in some ways. I never felt hungry while running, I never felt nauseated, and the bars seemed to give me the appropriate amount of energy. They were easy to grab and go and eat in the car on the drive down, because the last thing I want to do getting up at 4am for a run is prepare breakfast. However, they made me gag. I can't believe that there was a time that I ate Clif bars because I just liked them. I started to dread eating them and towards the end of the season, I couldn't choke down a whole one, I always left a few bites.

I need a solution. The suggestion was made that eggs and wheat toast would give me both protein and complex carbs, but I can't eat them in the car, nor do I want to get up early enough to prepare them. A banana doesn't do it for me - I had a banana before the run on Saturday and I think I had digested it before I'd run a quarter mile (meaning I was hungry for the whole run). So, we're going to try peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat. I need to get back into the organic peanut butter, but I think this will give me both simple and complex carbs, plus protein from the peanuts. Easy to prepare (I can prepare them the night before if I don't mind them getting mushy) and I can eat them in the car. We'll see how it goes.

During the run - Last year, I was big on Honey Stingers. Of all of the energy gel products, these are the only brand that don't make gag. I actually enjoy the taste and I don't get the gastrointestinal upset that I get with some other brands. I will be sticking with them, but I think I'm going to mix it up by also trying shot bloks and sport beans. I tried sport beans the night before Marine Corps and they're good!! However, they get a little too sugary for me after a while. I haven't really investigated shot bloks enough because I always felt like they took up too much space. However, I found out that one packet of shot bloks has three servings in it... oops. Anyway, after about 16 or so miles, I start not wanting to eat gel anymore, so I'm hoping that if I have bloks and beans along, I'll actually eat them. I'm also going to start watering down the gatorade some.

After the run - I'm trying to figure out how to handle the spike in appetite and metabolism after a long run. Last year, I just gave in every week, figuring that I'd tortured my body for 4-5 hours, so I'll just let it have what it wants, and it wants a whole pan of brownies. Not good nutrition. I need to read up on this more than anything and I need to have food in the house that I will enjoy but will also be good for me. This is a challenge and I think the biggest obstacle that I have to overcome if I want to lose weight this training season. I'm still working on it. Unlike the other two items, I don't have a solution yet.


Joey said...

best thing (for me) that i stumbled on, and not just for long runs either--i love the bananas for the potassium, but even better, just grab a spoon and dig into the peanut butter for a bite or two. it fills you really fast (i can literally only do a bite or two), it's sweet and tasty, and it gives the fastest dose of protein that is SO necessary for those micro-tears that come with distance running. maybe i should designate a special peanut butter spoon in my utensil drawer...

Sandra said...

toast the wheat bread and it wont get as soggy. also put a banana with your peanut butter sandwich instead of jelly...

Kim said...

Yeah, I like the bananas on the sammich, but sometimes I just want old fashioned sugar. Or preserves. Someone on a running forum also suggested peanut butter and honey. But can you really beat old fashioned Peanut Butter & Jelly?? :)

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