Monday, July 19, 2010

How Not To Eat Everything In Sight!

Last weeks training has gone a little bit better...still slowly building back whatever mileage I had pre-Brooklyn Half. I went back to my first speed workout in.....weeks. It's about a mile warm up/cool down, and it was about 5 miles in Central Park. For a few terrible reasons, after the workout I didn't have anything as a "recovery" food.

Excuse list:

  • I had no cash and the deli wouldn't let me put $3 on my debit card (illegal!)
  • Duane Reede was out of chocolate milk
  • I forgot to pack a Lara Bar in my bag
  • I wasn't hungry

Okay, the last one is at least legitimate, but I still should have made an effort to have some sort of protein after this workout. It was HARD and I was tired and sore. I was sore Friday, but not too bad, and was able to hit the gym for a bit.

But my run on Saturday was a mess. My legs felt like a stack of bricks. A really heavy bricks that formed a person. I cut the run short, my ego only slightly nicked, and threw it out of my mind. But later I started to wonder...What if I had recovered better on Thursday night? Would it have really made a difference on my run two days later?

Sunday I went on a long (20 mile) bike ride. I had a healthy breakfast (half a bagel with a tablespoon peanut butter) and when I got home I was ravenous. I had the other half of bagel with another tablespoon of peanut butter, and a giant chocolate protein shake made with soy milk and some frozen berries. This was around 11am. By 1pm I was really hungry again. Throughout the course of the day I was feeling ravenous. No matter what I ate, I felt hungry a short time later.

As long runs and rides get longer, I wonder, how do you recover without eating everything in sight?! I understand as my weekly mileage increases I will need to consumer more calories to balance out calories burned, but many of you know the feeling of insatiable hunger after a long workout. How do you control your appetite? Do you keep track of what you eat versus what you burn? Or do you not control it, gain a few pounds but don't worry because you'll eventually drop it?


  1. I haven't quite figured that one out yet. But I have found that I am more likely to be super hungry the day AFTER a long run than the day of. I think I am hungriest as my body kicks up in metabolism, but then it levels out. It doesn't happen every long run, just when I hit new weekly milestones etc.

    I think that eating foods with a low glycemic index and high protein. Those foods digest slower so you have less of a blood sugar spike.

    I think I might check back to see what other people suggest. I am always looking for better ways to eat during training.

  2. Lisa--It will definitely be interesting to see how others deal with it! Someone also suggested eating real foods, as opposed to protein bars and things like that.

  3. I am with Lisa, I am SUPER hungry on days that I only have a short, slow recovery run. (the days after a long or hard workout) I try to eat a protein for snacks- either hard-boiled eggs, a protein shake, rice toast with almond butter, protein bar, etc. I don't eat gluten, so that really helps me to eat fresh, natural foods instead of bread-y snacks.
    Have you checked out the book racing weight by Matt Fitzgerald? Super helpful.
    oh, I also try to eat every 3 hours. :)

  4. Ariana, I actually do have it and ready it about six months ago...maybe I need to reread a few pages ;)

  5. Just randomly found your blog through dailymile and thought I'd chime in!

    From my experience, eating a snack of 3:1 carbs to protein immediately after a long run works really well, followed by a healthy meal after showering/stretching, regardless of hunger level.

    I also can't stress enough the importance of whole, real foods: whole grains (ideally sprouted), lean protein, unprocessed-everything, loads of fruits and veggies, natural nut butters, etc. Runner's nutrition seems to favour refined sugar/flour from a digestibility and energy-availability standpoint, but that's what leads to the intense crash.

    Runner's bodies are like sportscars.. you don't put the cheap fuel in there!

    Just my two cents. Great blog!

  6. 3:1 carbs to protein, not 3:1 protein to carbs? Interesting, I've always been under the assumption that more protein was best after a workout to help muscle recovery.

    And I definitely agree--I eat virtually no white bread/white rice. I try to eat pretty healthy all year around, but I know I'll need to pay a bit more attention over the next few months!

    Thanks for chiming in :)