One of my biggest challenges throughout my training is determining the right diet. As my runs become more consistent and I even lengthen my distances naturally my metabolism will increase and I feel as though I will need to fuel my body more than when I am not training. Makes Sense.....but what should I fuel it with?
When I first started running, pizza was my training food, although it was exactly what I wanted it severely lacked the fuel and nutrients my body needed. So as any good educated person would do I went to Google for answers. I started to research "running diets", I also started looking at what professional runners were consuming and comparing my diet to theirs. The problem I did run into is most running editorials were preaching "organic" which I thoroughly agree with however as a poor college kid, my grocery budget did not always allow for that to happen.
But I have definitely changed the way I eat and the way I look at eating, because trust me I love food, and Pizza is still one of my favorite indulgences. One of my favorite stories is of Dean Karnazes, Ultra Marathoner, was out on a 50miler and ordered a pizza. The place delivered it to him and he carried the box under his arm while he ran.....Dean is crazy but incredible. Maybe one day you will see me running down the highway with a pizza box under my arm. Now days I have learned how to fuel my body and when it needs refueling. I have gone to were I eat almost every two hours while I am awake but in smaller quantities and more nutritious items.
Eating right is very important when training for a race or just maintaining your conditioning, I have people who tell me all the time "Hey your a runner you can eat whatever you want"....somewhat true, but I don't recommend it. You will be able to tell a huge difference between "eating whatever" and eating the right things.
I will share with you some of my recommended items to add to your shopping cart if you are training. I love Almonds and could probably eat more than I am suppose to but a good handful of raw almonds is a good snack throughout the day. Cage Free Eggs, you can never eat enough eggs when you are running they have great protein in them. Canned Black Beans are a great way to get the lycopene your body needs. Whole Grain Breads have good fiber. Steamed Vegetables not canned. I always have an Orange as a snack at lunch...load up on Oranges. Milk (add some chocolate syrup for a great post run drink). Sweet Potatoes are a great side dish with your meal. Whole Wheat Pastas are a better choice than regular. I recommend adding Oatmeal to your diet as well. Yogurt and granola are a regular breakfast for me as well. And for a sweet tooth craving I recommend Dark Chocolate. Last but certainly not least drink lots of WATER....Dehydration is miserable!!