I thought I’d bring ‘Foodie Friday’ back this week — but in a different format. I’ve been learning a TON about myself so far during marathon training and one of those learnings revolves around food. Now, I’m not gonna lie — some of you might be surprised by what I’ve learned, and I’ll stick a giant caveat on this post — this is just what has been working for me. It may not work for you. But one thing I’ve definitely learned while training is that every body is different! TRUTH!
But back to the point here – the things I’ve learned while eating like a marathoner (my way).
By now you all know — I’m a big-time fan of food logging. I picked it up during the barre n9ne challenge last May and have been a faithful logger ever since. I stick to the same number of calories every day, regardless of what my workout plans may be. Yes — even on long run days. With the exception of the fuel I take during the long runs (which I’ll get to in a minute!), my calorie number stays exactly the same.
And so far? That is totally working for me. I haven’t needed to eat anything more than my body has been needing, calorie-wise, before I started marathon training. However, I will say this: if I get to the point in training where I am faced with hungry horrors and my body truly needs more calories, believe me — I’ll eat an extra snack or mini-meal to satisfy my body’s needs. I’m not in this thing to deprive myself, that’s for sure. I love food way too much for that *and* I know it’ll just have the oppositie effect that I’m looking for. Fuel, fuel, fuel!
What I have noticed? My body craves, craves, craves….protein. Not carbs so much (‘cept for the night prior to a long run…mmmm pizza!), but protein. It’s the one thing that keeps my body feeling energized and truly fueled. I am finding myself gravitating towards proteins in a big, big way lately.
Some examples of what that might look like:
- egg salad on a flatout wrap — huuuuuuge fan of these lately.
- chicken salad on a flatout wrap – newfound love affair sparked just this week (picture below…which you’ve seen if you follow me on instagram!)
- (basically any protein source stuffed into a wrap and I’m a happy camper)
- cottage cheese (or plain Fage 0% yogurt) with fruit, HEALTHY BITES!, a laughing cow wedge spread on a sliced apple, peanut butter on an english muffin — heavy rotation snacks going on up in here
- one thing that hasn’t changed; post-run recovery meal: OATMEAL!! Except for last weekend, I went with protein pancakes (see, there’s the protein fix again!) because I had fresh blueberries which just screamed PANCAKES. OMG it was heaven on a plate:
Another oddity — and one I wasn’t expecting — on long run days, I’m not nearly as hungry as I am the day after the long run. My body actually tends to feel less hunger after a long run. I’m still eating appropriately on long run days but I totally expected to want to eat my face off after 15 miles! Instead, it’s the day after — sorta like DOMS that always hurt way worse the second day? Hungry horrors tend to settle in the next day for me. I guess my body takes awhile to catch up to all those miles run. ha.
A final biggie — this one is all about what I’ve learned fueling during my runs. And I KNOW this will sound crazy to any of you who run longer distances, I clearly am in the vast minority here when I say this. But my body tends to run better on less fuel and less water. I simply cannot take much of anything in my stomach before a long run (we’re talking maybe a couple of crackers or a half a banana while zipping out the door). And during the run — the most I’ve taken for fuel so far has been 5 honey stingers and 3 gummi bears (Scott is loving the fact that he can eat gummi’s as fuel!). Water — Scott and I share an 10 or 22 oz water bottle (depending on the length of the run). Yes, we share. I can’t stand running with the handheld, but Scott doesn’t mind it (what a guy!). Again — I KNOW that’s not very much water but it’s all my tummy can take. Any sloshing or heavy stomach feelings, and the run goes all downhill for me. Really fast.
So I feel like I’m baring my soul to you guys here but seriously, this is my quirky-but-it-works-for-me approach to eating like a marathoner. The bottom line: I eat as many fueling foods as I can get my hands on, I’ve been limiting alcohol during the week (sad face lol) and hydrating like whoa.
Running, of any physical activity, is suuuuuch a personal journey, it truly is. And this is one journey that I am loving, quirks and all. A HUGE thank you in advance for sticking by me throughout this ride so far, I know I am blabbing a LOT about marathoning, I promise not all of my posts will be about it for the next few months. I’ll try, anyway.