The Nutrition/Food Part of Marathon Training

Why is foam rolling such a pain in my ass? Oh yeah, because I have a sore glute. It’s nothing serious, just your run-of-the-mill tightness that needed to be worked out with this torture device:

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Adam and I used to share this nice soft foam roller but recently he bought this super hard monster to take care of business – ouch!

Today is the day that I run my 5K time trial! I already know it’s going to go really well because I finally parted with $12 of my hard earned dollars and bought Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. I’m going to listen to Bad Blood on repeat and GET IT DONE: 36:51 is the time to meet or beat so that I can set 5:59 as my goal for Chicago. That’s about a minute faster than the 5K PR I set back in December, but also about on par with the fastest 5K I’ve ever run during training.

One of the components my new coach has been stressing is proper nutrition. This is such a shaky subject for me since most people know I battled an eating disorder for a long time. I never think about calories in/calories out and I just try to not to think about food choices as little as possible. This may be one reason why I eat the same things almost every day, who knows…

I’ve recently realized that I spent a lot of years thinking about what I was eating, and now I’ve spent the last couple of years doing my best to not think about what I’m eating at all. Neither one has really worked out “the best” for me, although I would say right now I am happy with where I am at on my journey.

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking more about what I eat. I enjoy a good piece of fruit as much as anyone else:

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And I also enjoy a tasty cupcake too:

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Sometimes I make green smoothies:

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And sometimes I make pepperoni pizza:

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If I’m being honest, Adam and I eat out quite often. Probably much more than the average couple. Could we cut back? Sure. Will we? Probably not. It’s something we just like to do and it’s convenient.

I could make healthier choices when I eat out though, and this training cycle I’m going to try very hard to do that. Instead of thinking, “I ran 15 miles today, EAT EVERYTHING” I am going to try and listen to my hunger cues better.

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Photo: TheRisingSpoon.com

Last year was my first time in the marathon rodeo ring, this year I know what to expect. It’s time to look at all the things I could have done better last year, and put those things into place so I can meet my goals this year.

But first…. that 5K time trial. Here we go!

How do you deal with runger? Do you carry healthy snacks around with you? What are your favorite on-the-go snacks?

15 comments

  1. cheryl

    I should be working on this too…I usually have snacks with me (to stave off hungry kids). Granola bars are my main stash, but to be honest with you, I don’t really like them that much (any brand). I prefer a salty snack–like crackers or pretzels…
    Good luck on your 5k–CRUSH IT!
    cheryl recently posted…Marathon Training: Day 1My Profile

  2. Heather

    Go get that 36:51! You’ve got this! Also Out of the Woods is a really great song for running, it is right around 180 bpm.

    Food and nutrition has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I’ve been trying not to get too caught up with it, because, for the most part, I am happy with how I look and how my clothes fit. But that said, I was 3-5ish lbs lighter last summer, and another 3 lbs lighter the year before that…so I definitely don’t love the way things are trending. Plus I know that part of reaching my running potential is improving my nutrition and reducing body fat. So yeah…I go back and forth on the whole issue.
    Heather recently posted…Charlevoix Half Training – Week 5My Profile

  3. Kerry

    This is something I super need to work on. I get runger real bad and eat everything. My husband often wonders how I eat so much. But unfortunately I don’t eat good things. I really need to get a handle on that. Good luck on your 5k today! I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  4. Susan

    You are so right on about the nutrition! One thing I have had to work on is refueling w/ in 30 minutes of being done. A glass of non dairy milk + peanut butter on a tortilla does the trick until I can eat a decent breakfast. I think this helps my recovery. I tend to snack on larabars, homemade trailmix, fruit, peanut butter + apples or carrots and sometime a smoothie but I would rather chew my food than drink it.

    If you have any questions, please email me. I have my degree in nutrition and even though I work in the tech field, I still have a passion for it and love to help others.

  5. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor

    Ahhh good luck on your 5K today! You can do this!! Just remember to relax and leave it all out there – whatever the result is, you can worry about that later, just don’t stress!

    You and Adam are not alone. Kevin and I eat out ALLLLLLL THE TIME. Mostly because it’s just easier, with me running and him working late we just don’t have time to prepare meals in the evening. This then spills over into me not having anything to take for lunch so I eat out then too. It sucks, but, I try to just make the best of a less-than-ideal situation and make healthy choices about where and what I eat from restaurants.

    Something that I’ve heard works really well, that I’d like to try to make the transition to, is switching to 4-5 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones. Having a healthy mid-morning snack has worked wonders for me – some nuts and cheese or greek yogurt with dark chocolate chips – although I have more trouble doing it in the afternoon.
    Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor recently posted…Grandma’s Marathon GoalsMy Profile

  6. Skinny Running

    I should do something like this too. I have a blog about running to lose weight. check it out at http://www.skinnyrunning.wordpress.com

  7. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    Good luck running your 5K. Where are you running it and what time of day? You made a good decision taking Taylor with you. Love her new album!

    Food was something I had to become very cognizant of when I started marathon training and triathlon training. It is so important to get in the right amount of protein, carbs, and healthy fats for performance and recovery. When I first starting running distance and training for marathons, I was actually under-eating (which was bad). This past year I had the best performance of my life and I attribute this partially to eating more calories and healthier options.

    My favorite snacks include cut up apples, string cheese, protein bars (Balance, Luna, Cliff, etc.), almonds and trail mix, carrots and hummus, and wasabi peas (a handful will reduce my appetite).

    Can’t wait to hear how your 5K goes!!!
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Settling Into Our New HomeMy Profile

  8. Maddie @ Dixie Runs

    I just try to find a balance. If I know I’m going to make something fattening and delicious for dinner, I’ll be sure to eat a really healthy breakfast and lunch. Thomas and I like to eat out too, but we try to keep it to once a week unless we are super busy. I think forcing yourself to give up foods is where the trouble begins. You can’t deprive yourself, but balancing is difficult too!
    Maddie @ Dixie Runs recently posted…First Marathon – Conservative or Aggressive?My Profile

  9. Amanda @ Slimplify Life

    Hahaha still laughing from the first sentence of this post.

    I basically avoid runger at all costs by never letting myself get to the point where I am ravenous. I snack a lot to keep off the hunger pains because if they do hit, BOOM I WANT TO EAT EVERYTHING and then it gets scurrry.

    GOOD LUCK WITH THE 5K, GO GIRRRRL!!
    Amanda @ Slimplify Life recently posted…Cocoa Coconut Oatmeal {Gluten Free, Vegan}My Profile

  10. Hollie

    You are hilarious.

    Marathon training and running and in general is such a balance. A balance between food, life and training. I often wonder how we fit all the pieces together. My husband and I eat out a lot when he is home so I completely understand that.
    Hollie recently posted…Flag Day Trail 10k (45:40)My Profile

  11. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I rely on snacks alot when Im training! I find it hard to eat a big meal all at once so I usually snack throughout the day. I always find that making small simple changes in my diet is the best approach to eating better during training.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Molly Murphy Memorial 5k 2015My Profile

  12. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    I’ve been trying really hard to eat better for this marathon, too. I don’t want to gain weight again during training because it makes it harder to run! Plus, tight elastic on my tummy makes me nauseated. I’ve added way more fruit and veggies to my diet and am avoiding candy etc like crazy. We’ll see if it makes a difference! Whole, healthy foods are supposed to keep you full longer so you don’t snack as much but I don’t know if it’s working lol.
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…This Week In WorkoutsMy Profile

  13. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola

    I try to have an after-workout snack planned prior to working out so that I don’t make a poor choice when I get home. In terms of snacking, the best thing for me is to not keep junk food at home… because I will eat it 🙂 I try to keep healthier options at work, like almonds and greek yogurt, so that I have something available if I need a snack. But yesterday, I bought a small bag of doritos at the grocery store and ate it in the car on the way home. So go me, haha.
    Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola recently posted…How to Distribute Protein IntakeMy Profile

  14. Jennifer

    You know me… I love food (I probably dine out more often than I should). This year I also want to do a better job about my nutrition. Last weekend I made myself some eggs after my long run… I sooo wanted that tasty breakfast sandwich. Good luck with the 5K!
    Jennifer recently posted…RBX Active Review – Digital Camo LeggingsMy Profile

  15. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    When I was doing long runs, I had to carry healthy snacks with me for the rest of the day. If I had them, I’d be more likely to eat them than grab something junky! Good luck on figuring this out. Eating is so different for so many people, it is a hard thing to give advice on!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Las VegasMy Profile

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