Yesterday I spent most of my day dreading the fact that I had to hit the track at night and do Yassos (if you aren’t familiar, Yassos is a workout created by Bart Yasso, one of the running greats, as a predictor of your race time –> basically, you run 10x800m (with 400m jog in between) and find the average of those 10. That average [in min:sec] is your estimated marathon time [in hours:min]). I try to do Yassos three times in a training period —> once at the very beginning, once halfway through and once at the end. That way, I feel like I have a good gauge on my progress and an estimate of where I”m at.
I finally headed to the track around 7:30 in hopes that a) it would be a lot cooler and b) that it wouldn’t be quite as busy as last time I went. Success! But this also meant that I closed down the track and was there until after 9. 🙂
I noticed that the struggle was not as bad this time around [yesss] and appreciated the arm strength that I’ve been working on —> when the running got tough, the arms were put to work and helped me keep my time where it needed to be.
My average was 3:43, which is a bit off my goal marathon time… but I’m feeling REALLY good about where it’s at.
Thank you all for your kind comments, messages and emails yesterday in regards to yesterday’s post! I think the thing I loved about it the most is I haven’t felt like I’ve deprived myself at all and can still what feels like a “normal” eating and drinking life. I can’t wait for the next 10 pounds. 🙂
I feel like for years, I was doing this wrong. I thought, oh hey, I run a LOT… that means I need to eat a LOT. But no, it does not work that way. This is why —>
1. I used to calculate the calories burned after a run and think WOW I burned all of that?! Time to treat myself. But what I didn’t realize is that some of that was normal calorie burn — I never took away how many calories I would have been burning if I wasn’t running and just hanging out at home.
2. As you run more, your body becomes more efficient, meaning that it does not require as much fuel to run as much. So while my body was getting more efficient, I never put two and two together and continued to eat like I was just starting out.
3. Your metabolism naturally starts to slow down when you are in your 30s (sadly), which means that despite all the exercise that you do, you still need to eat a little less.
I think the part when I realized all of this and knew that I was not eating how I should as a marathoner/runner was when I was reading Meb for Mortals [must read if you haven’t already]. There was a part in the book when he was talking about how his metabolism slowed (see #3) and realized that he couldn’t eat a full bagel anymore and just had to go for a half. Or go to ice cream with his girls, and not eat any. Or eat half a banana.
At first I didn’t understand what Meb was saying because he runs like 120 miles per week and does a ton of cross-training. But then it finally clicked.
When you’re a runner, your food is your fuel. Your fuel to go the extra mile, and to give your body the energy it needs to nail and recover from your workouts.
I’m not a nutritionist by any means, but when you’re thinking about that runner diet, think about what makes you feel the best as a person — especially when you are working out. It will make a HUGE difference in every aspect of your life. I’ve noticed that since I’ve cut caffeine and focused on eating cleaner, that mid-day slump at about 2 or 3 p.m. doesn’t really happen.
That being said, my weekday meals generally looks like this:
Breakfast: Smoothie + hardboiled egg
Lunch: Salad (generally spinach, avocado, tomato, cottage cheese with organic salad dressing // or spinach, avocado, tomato, cheese, brown rice with salsa as a dressing)
Snack: Apple [with almonds if I’m really hungry]
Dinner: Smoothie // salad // cottage cheese + hardboiled egg // bison burger with mushrooms (choice depends on how hungry I am)
Other snacks that I love: grapes (still obsessed), PROBAR Bite, air-popped popcorn
And I also make sure I’m getting in at least 64 ounces of water + a few La Croix throughout the day 😉 Since I’ve focused on this, it’s really helped in my workouts especially in this heat and humidity.
So, to master that runner diet –> you need to figure out what works best for you. And base it on a few different factors — not just the fact that you run. Our bodies are really smart and do a good job adjusting at what we throw at them; and when we keep throwing a minimum distance, it becomes our “new normal” — so we also need to adjust to that.
(P.S. I just saw this quote yesterday and need to share —>
Do you struggle with diet? What are your favorite snacks?
What’s a workout that you dread the most? How do you get yourself through it?
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