Eating on High Mileage
A lot of people question how I eat enough to withstand 100 mile weeks. It couldn’t be possible to ever gain weight while running 100 mile weeks and you couldn’t possibly eat enough to withstand that activity…ect.
First and foremost, I only ran 100 mile week. I didn’t run 52 but rather just 1. That was my peak week and most of my other weeks were between 60-80. Most not all. As much as I want to credit myself to running multiple 100 mile weeks, I know I would just get injured running several in a row. (or more then 1).
I’ve rambled about this a few times but blogging nutrition and real life nutrition is not the same thing. I feel bad for certified dieticians and nutritionists that also blog. They get mixed in with other bloggers whose research involves personal research and study which is not the same as being certified. Point blank: it’s not. I’ve taken plenty of nutrition classes but don’t know nearly enough as someone who has studied and has their undergraduate, masters, or even PhD. I can tell you what has worked for me but that is no way telling what will work for you or that is right or wrong.
The majority of healthy living blogs focus on getting enough vegetables, fiber and more vegetables into their diet. If I ate half the amount of vegetables that some people do, I would be able to run 1 mile…maybe 2 with deciding it was time to go home.
When you run high mileage and exercise you must learn that you have to eat a lot of foods that aren’t high in fiber. You must eat food that is still healthy but you can’t eat 3000 calories worth of broccoli. You also can’t eat 3000 calories worth of ice cream. Both will result in you not feeling great for a run.
A typical day for me looks something like this right now:
Breakfast: 400-500 calories
Coffee+cream (100-200 calories…my vice).
Some of my breakfast choices lately have been: Bagel and peanut butter, egg sandwich, eggs and toast, waffle with Greek yogurt or peanut butter.
A standard waffle with peanut butter and yogurt has been my go to before races right now and I think I’ll stay to that before the marathon (as well as a bagel with peanut butter while waiting around beforehand). My standard race day nutrition used to be a bagel with peanut butter and yogurt but I had stomach cramps a few races back and it was enough to change my mind.
Lunch (within an hour of running) 500-800 calories
I’ve been having a lot egg sandwiches lately. Eggs, avocado and cheddar cheese on a bagel. I really just have whatever is in the fridge. It could be a sandwich, soup or salad. I don’t have a standard post run meal or lunch. I normally just like to eat what is in the fridge.
Sometimes I’ll go to the gym in between, sometimes I won’t. (now that I’m tapering, I don’t).
Snack: 200-300 calories
I normally have a snack sometime in the middle of the day. I’ve been enjoying apples and peanut butter lately but that is only because apples have been so cheap at stores. I also have left overs if they are in the fridge.
As if anything else is planned, my dinner is the least planned and changes daily. I am such a meat and potatoes kind of person. I’ll have a serving of meat (steak and fish being my favorite), some sort of vegetables (cooked kale, brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash are my current favorites) and some sort of grain. I’ve been better about eating a carbohydrate such as bread or race. I’m actually not a big pasta fan (I don’t like the consistency) so I tend to eat more rice and bread.
I normally like to make a smoothie at night with a cup of milk and protein powder. I have a big sweet tooth so often times I’ll just have ice cream. I don’t really schedule a treat at night but if I’m craving something I’ll have something. Whatever I’m craving I generally have at night. I go to bed around 9-10 personally.
I know this is very vague but it’s how I eat. I don’t worry or stress about food or getting my vegetables daily. As much as I say I want to meal plan, I don’t. If I eat too many vegetables then I don’t feel good running. I don’t know how people eat so many vegetables (honestly). I do strive to get vegetables but not overboard. I try and get enough protein, carbohydrates and fat but I don’t track it and it doesn’t ruin my day. I found the less I stress about food the easier it is. I’ve never had a problem getting enough food and have never lost weight during a training cycle.
I will say I’m hoping to do a carbohydrate deplete and then carb load during my final week of taper.
Questions for you:
What does a typical day for you look like?
Do you plan your food weekly or eat when you are hungry?