To hear me talk about my food cravings these days, you’d think I was pregnant (I’m not), on a diet (I’m not), or running 20 miles at a time.
That, I am. There’s a reason why any seasoned long-distance runner will tell you that training for a marathon is not the best way to lose weight. Far from it. Once you get into these 40+ weekly miles and long runs of 18 or more, food becomes a constant presence in your mind, right up there with your latest split times and next workout.
Luckily, I’m not too big on cookies. It’s yet another reason why I love training for something: that focus on improving performance and form makes me all the more conscious of what I put in my stomach.
The cravings, I truly believe, are just my body telling me it needs something. For example, after long runs I usually crave pickles (salt!) and cheese (protein!).
And once the mileage really gets up there, all I can think about is avocado. Avocado, avocado, avocado. It’s come to the point of eating at least one a day! That’s a serious amount of calories right there, but I guess I need them? It’ll be that, or snacking constantly on something just as fatty and not as healthy.
Complicating things is the fact that I usually run during my lunch break, and often head out around 1 or even 2 p.m. By then, breakfast has been long digested and forgotten, so the following pre-runch snack is common (and yummy):
- Salad greens
- 1 boiled egg
- 1 plum tomato
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 good-size piece of low-fat smoked Gouda cheese (I know, it’s rich in calories; nutrients – not so much. I could’ve done without it. But why suffer?)
- lots of pickles (Trader Joe’s cournichons, deliciously sour)
- Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette, to taste
Finally, this isn’t really common (in fact, until today I hadn’t made a smoothie in years), but BabyRuns has been into Jamba Juice lately and nagged me all this weekend to make “jamba juice” at home (at what point do I talk to him about brands and the power of marketing?). So I finally stocked up on frozen fruits. Afternoon delight:
Made of roughly equal parts:
- Low-fat Banilla yogurt (banana/ vanilla; from Trader Joes)
- Orange-Peach-Mango juice
- frozen berry mix (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
Peanut butter makes everything better.
Your turn: What are your favorite pre- and post-run foods? Any
pregnancy training-specific cravings?
An easy four-miler with 10 strides at the end for
fun torture. A stride should be running a flat, straight stretch of 100 meters or so, as fast as you can (or, as they say, in Zone 5). Ideally, on a track, but then I’d be sentencing myself to four very boring run-in-circles miles; so I just decided to set up my RunKeeper to four miles steady, then 10 reps of 15 seconds fast followed by 15 seconds slow.